CSOs to Sue Ghana Government Over Protected Forests Logging and Mining Plans

The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) including A Rocha Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana, Civic Response, Nature and Development Foundation, and EcoCare Ghana, has announced their intent to file a civil lawsuit against the Government of Ghana.

This action is in response to the government’s recent moves to convert protected forests, specifically Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs), into logging and mining sites.

“Recent developments resulting from the active actions of the Government of Ghana, which has led to unprecedented risk to convert Ghana’s protected forests such as Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) into logging and mining areas have compelled us to issue a formal notice of intent to pursue civil action against the Government of Ghana.”

In a statement, the CSOs argue that these actions violate the State Proceedings Act, 1998 (Act 555), and various legal frameworks, including the Timber Resources Management Act and the Timber Resources Management and Licensing Regulation.

“We have taken this critical step in accordance with Section 19(1) of the State Proceedings Act, 1998 (Act 555), to fulfil our constitutional duty in safeguarding the natural environment, as enshrined in Article 41(k) of the 1992 Constitution.”

The groups cited concerns over the declassification of forest reserves like the Subri River and Krokosua Hills Forest Reserves and the issuance of Timber Utilization Contracts without the mandated competitive bidding process or parliamentary ratification.

“While acknowledging the Government’s developmental objectives and the imperative need to utilize natural resources for national progress, we are of the conviction that such utilization must strictly adhere to legal frameworks outlined in the 1992 Constitution, the Timber Resources Management Act, 1998 (ACT 547) as amended, and the Timber Resources Management and Licensing Regulation, 2017 (LI 2254). Of particular concern is the recent declassification of Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) within some forest reserves including the Subri River Forest Reserve and Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve, and the subsequent awarding of a Timber Utilization Contract to some logging Companies to operate in same.”

“We find this as a breach of due process and legal stipulations, therefore prompting the issuance of this notice of intent to commence legal proceedings should the Government fail to annul the aforementioned contracts.”

The coalition is calling on the government to annul these contracts and adhere to legal processes to ensure sustainable forest management.
In light of the foregoing, we urge the Government to reconsider its actions and engage constructively in resolving this matter in accordance with the rule of law and best practices in natural resource management.”

Find below the full statement:

Press Statemen GSBA LOGGING FINAL

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