Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has intimated that government is considering placing a total ban on all small scale mining activities in Ghana’s forest reserves.
This is one of two measures the Minister revealed as part of government’s efforts to combat land degradation and deforestation which have become synonymous with mining activities in the country, particularly illegal small scale mining.
According to him, a total ban on small scale mining activities would go a long way to protect the about 261 forest reserves in the country.
“The idea is to find whatever means to protect these forest reserves from attack from illegal small scale mining. So yes there are difficulties, yes there are challenges, but what I want to say is that we are absolutely committed to dealing with this age-old canker of illegal small scale mining,” he said on JoyNews’ PM Express.
Samuel Jinapor revealed that the government is planning on introducing new legislation which will rule that private individuals and monarchs that give out their lands to small scale illegal miners would lose their lands.
“There are some new measures we’re intending to bring on board. For example, we’ve begun examining or interrogating the possibility of going to Parliament to seek legislative intervention which will say that anybody who was to give out land; any stool, skin, family, clan or individual who gives out land for purposes of illegal small scale mining, the state will have the right to confiscate the land,” he said.
He added, “So we’ve begun the examination of that. We believe that may help. So these are additional measures we intend to roll out. We’re also looking at banning mining altogether except large scale mining in forest reserves in our country.”
“As you know I put a freeze or a ban on prospecting, recognizance, exploration and or exploratory activities in forest reserves. And that has helped a great deal. We’ve not banned mining in forest reserves because as you know Newmont for example is mining in forest reserve, Chirano is mining in forest reserve, but we’re examining the possibility of banning small scale mining altogether in forest reserves,” he said.
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