May 28th , 2023



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3 months ago

As part of attempts to reduce unlawful mining, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has reaffirmed that forest reserves remain no-mine zones, save in some rare circumstances.

To do this, he claimed, the government has stopped issuing licenses for exploration, prospecting, and/or reconnaissance in forest reserves, unless there are extraordinary circumstances.

Likewise, river bodies have been designated as no-mineral zones, the majority of which, he continued, have their origins in forest reserves.

He also disclosed that a total of six licenses for mining in forest reserves had been given. They include the 2018-issued CIMAF Ghana Limited license, which ceased to be valid in 2021, and the 2019 renewal of the Chirano Gold Mines Ltd permit.

The remaining companies are Kingsperp Mining Ltd., Koantwi Mining Co. Ltd., Onex International Co. Ltd., and Trans-Atlantic Logistics Ltd., all of which were given licenses in 2020.

Only Chirano Gold Mines and Koantwi Mining have mining activities under one of the six permissions, he said, with the rest still working on the remaining authorizations and/or licenses needed to start their operations.

The minister was addressing parliament on the condition of the nation's forest reserves when he asserted that, despite several threats that have a detrimental influence on the vital resources, the ecological integrity of Ghana's forest reserves has mostly been preserved.

In addition to mining, he listed additional concerns such as bushfires, unauthorized logging and mining, agricultural settlement, and others.

He also mentioned the several safeguards the Forestry Commission has put in place to guard against the various causes of deforestation and forest degradation. They include continuous patrols of the forest reserves, upkeep and protection of internal and external boundaries, stakeholder sensitization and awareness-raising, decommissioning of illegally obtained equipment, and demobilization of said equipment, among other things.

Additionally, the minister stated that through programs like the Green Ghana Project, Youth in Afforestation/Reforestation Project, and the Modified Taungya System, tree-planting exercises are being carried out to restore sections of forest reserves that have been affected by these drivers of deforestation.

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