Solving the Galamsey Threat: Land Restoration Project Engages Stakeholders

The Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLRSSMP) of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources held a meeting with its stakeholders to find a sustainable and long-term solution to the mining problems illegal, also known as “galamsey”, which destroyed most of the country’s land.

The project aims, among other things, to build the capacity of the agencies mandated to regulate mining activities in the country as part of the process of finding viable solutions to the threat.

The project aims to strengthen the integration of the country’s natural resources and its management in order to increase benefits for communities in the targeted savannah and cocoa forest landscapes.

It will also support sustainable land, water and forest management initiatives in target climate-vulnerable landscapes and support the formalization of small-scale mining.

The GLRSSMP geographically targets two landscapes: the northern savanna zone (including the Guinea savanna ecological zone, the Sudanese savanna ecological zone and the upper parts of the transition ecological zone); the cocoa forest landscape (including parts of the forest ecological zone and the Pra river basin).

It will capitalize on land use planning for integrated landscape management to optimize land use, formalize artisanal and small-scale mining for sustainable mining, restore degraded lands, promote sustainable agricultural practices and strengthen the sustainable management of forest landscapes for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Clean up local mining

Addressing participants from the Central, Ashanti, West and North West regions, the project’s National Coordinator, Dr. John Kingsley Krugu, said the project would clean up Ghana’s small-scale mining sector. .

He explained that the objective was to ensure that the actors of the sector exploit in a responsible and sustainable way to preserve the forest reserves and the bodies of water of the country.

He said that the various agencies in the sector have an institutional framework to guide operations within the sector, but acknowledged that more resources and capacity building would be needed to enable them to apply the laws governing the industry.

Under the project, the government would bear the cost of exploration where it would map all areas with mineral deposits, while all small-scale miners would need a license to mine.

Dr Krugu explained that the aim was to ensure that no outsiders get involved in small-scale mining and that concessionaires do not destroy the land under the guise of exploring for minerals.

He said the already mapped mining concessions would also help small miners to access bank facilities to enable them to undertake their mining activities.

Dunkwa Small Scale Miners Association vice-president Benjamin Annan said the project would help miners by removing the cost of exploration and called on the government not to politicize it.

He said politicizing the project would jeopardize its success and force people to revert to old ways.

Appeal mechanism

Introducing the grievance mechanism component of the project, World Bank environmental specialist Wilson Zoogah said the project has put in place measures to help communities and individuals who may have problems with the implementation of the project to seek redress.

He said the mechanism “ensures that appropriate and mutually acceptable remedial actions are identified and implemented to the satisfaction of complainants and avoids the need to resort to court proceedings”.

Comments are closed.