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Six Communities Get Renewable Energy Facilities

Renewable energy facilities have been established and handed over to six communities across four districts in the Upper West and Upper East Regions.

These facilities consist of Solar-powered mechanized boreholes, charging centers, street lamps, and eco-friendly shea processing units.

The project was made possible through funding from the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, under the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. This initiative falls under the “Creating Lands of Opportunity: Transforming Livelihoods through Landscape Restoration in the Sahel (LoGMe)” project, led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Ghana) in collaboration with A Rocha Ghana, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savannah Agriculture Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), the Water Resources Commission, and the Department of Agriculture.

Solar-powered Borehole

The primary objective is to significantly contribute to landscape restoration in the Sahel while establishing income-generating opportunities for local communities. The LoGMe project is being executed in Dalaasa, Naadema (Builsa South District); Yamerga, Awaredone (Talensi District) in the Upper East Region; and Nanchala and Sakalu (Sisala East District) in the Upper West Region.

These renewable energy facilities aim to provide sustainable and efficient access to basic household electricity and meet community and production needs effectively.

The distribution of the facilities is as follows;

  • Nanchalla – solar mechanized borehole and shea processing center
  • Dalaasa  – solar mechanized borehole, solar charging center, solar street lamp, and shea processing center
  • Naadema – Shea processing center
  • Gbango – solar mechanized borehole, solar charging center, and solar street lamp,
  • Tarikome – solar charging center and solar street lamp
  • Yameriga – solar mechanized borehole
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World Environment Day- Press Release

On the occasion of World Environment Day under the theme “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” it is a critical moment for all state and non-state actors to reflect deeply on our environmental footprint. We must ask ourselves if we are proud with how we have stood by and allowed the destruction of our water bodies, forest reserves, and environment. Why have we become spectators, watching a few individuals, connected to the seat of government or otherwise, to plunder and destroy the priceless natural resources that have sustained us for generations?

What kind of future are we preparing to hand over to our children and their descendants?

On this special day, we all need to recognize the crucial responsibility in bringing about positive environmental changes. We all need to rise up in our communities, workplaces, and our homes to take action to end the unprecedented environmental destruction, particularly the scourge of irresponsible legal and illegal mining, that has led to the destruction of our productive lands, water bodies and forests and exposed citizens today and tomorrow to health, food insecurity and water scarcity risks.

While citizens respond to the clarion call to aggressively restore the land and plant more trees, we demand same commitment, without contradictions from our government in ensuring that our works are not in vain by taking action to secure existing forests and protecting the sanctity of our rivers and watersheds.

We call on the government to honor its commitments to ensuring a healthy environment and the well-being of Ghanaians by:

  1. Repealing LI 2462, which practically opens up all our forest reserves for mining. Immediate steps must be taken to suspend all mining concessions in these vital life supporting ecosystems.
  2. Acting swiftly to restore our water bodies and ensure quality water supply for all.
  3. As we approach Green Ghana Day on June 7th, a day meant to contribute to greening Ghana, it is important to remember that before planting new trees, we must first secure existing forests.

Our forests and waterbodies play a critical role in stopping the spread of desertification and contributing to Ghana’s drought resilience.

The government is reminded of its fiduciary duty to protect the welfare of Ghanaians. Leadership must take responsibility and rally us all towards sustainable development. The current impunity resulting in environmental destruction must end.

We wish everyone a memorable World Environment Day and urge all to take meaningful action for the future of our environment and our country, Ghana.

Long Live Ghana

Daryl Bosu
Deputy National Director
A Rocha Ghana
Tel: +233202555727
Email: [email protected]

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Press Release: Notice of Civil Action Against the Government of Ghana

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.

Our constituent team of CSOs include, A Rocha Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana, Civic Response, Nature and Development Foundation, and EcoCare Ghana. 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.

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.

 

See Full Statement HERE

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BRACE project launched to improve sustainable mining to safeguard the environment and protect people

The European Union (EU) has launched the, “Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive Landscapes in Ghana (BRACE)”, project aimed at improving sustainable mining to safeguard the environment and protect individuals living in mining areas. BRACE underscores EU’s strong commitment to fostering responsible resource extraction practices that prioritize environmental preservation and the well-being of local communities. With EUR 1.718 million funding from the European Union, the BRACE project, implemented by a consortium of not-for-profit organisations (Wassa Association of Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) and Nature and Development Foundation (NDF)) led by A Rocha Ghana, also aims to ensure adherence to human rights, transparency, and accountability in mineral governance by contributing to sustainable and equitable environmental management and good natural resource governance in Ghana. See Full Press Statement HERE
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Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive Landscapes In Ghana (BRACE)

The European Union-funded Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive Landscapes in Ghana (BRACE) project, seeks to ensure Human Rights adherence, transparency and accountability, and respect for communities’ ERs in mineral governance.

Project Context

Ghana’s extractive sector remains one of the country’s biggest exports as it contributes over a third of export revenues. There are plans to make Ghana the mining hub of Africa. Already, the sector has adversely impacted lives and livelihoods, stripping communities off their rights leaving them with no voice and channels to seek justice.

 

Mining licenses are often granted without the requisite due diligence, particularly in socially and environmentally sensitive areas such as farmlands, forests, and rivers, despite bans on prospecting in forests and mining in rivers. The boom and expansion in the extractive sector for gold and transition minerals has led to the displacement of communities, loss of farmlands, and contamination of water sources with mercury, zinc, and arsenic, resulting in exposure to health risks ranging from respiratory problems to cancer. Compensation for affected individuals is often inadequate, with minimal benefits flowing back to the communities impacted.

 

Furthermore, there’s a looming threat to Ghana’s Forest Reserves (FRs), critical ecosystems where communities, especially women, rely on non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for their livelihoods and benefit from various ecosystem services essential for social well-being. The enactment of the ‘Environmental Protection (Mining in Forest Reserves) Regulations L.I 2462′ in November 2022 has opened the door to mining activities within Forest Reserves, jeopardizing their ecological integrity and sustainable management. Already, several mining permits have been issued targeting globally significant biodiversity areas (GSBAs), demanding urgent policy and legal reviews to safeguard communities’ rights to benefit from the public goods and services provided by forests.

 

In response to these challenges, the European Union-funded Building Resilient and Active Communities in Extractive Landscapes in Ghana (BRACE) project has been initiated. The project seeks to ensure human rights adherence, transparency and accountability, and respect for communities’ environmental rights in mining and mineral governance in Ghana.

 

Goal

To register for the Eco Church programme, a church leader in consultation with the pastor simply needs to fill out this form.For more information please contact Emmanuel Turkson:Email: [email protected] Number: 0240910897 

Target Landscapes

Eastern, Ashanti, Western North, Western, and Ahafo Regions.

 

Strategies for effective implementation of the intervention include

  1. Empower selected stakeholders to hold institutions accountable over environmental damage, poor governance, and environmental rights violations in Ghana’s extractive sector by 2025.
  2. Capacity development of stakeholders as Community Paralegals to use community-based courtroom advocacy to seek redress over natural resources violations and governance.
  3. Lobby and advocacy to seek redress over violations of environmental rights using Ghana’s Business and Human Rights Action Plan and complementary initiatives by end of 2025.
    Strengthen local environmental protection and NR management through capacity development of CREMAs Executive Committees to implement their Action Plans with communities for sustainable NR use by mid-2026.

Expected Outcome

  • Trained groups defend communities ERs/NRs through national and local level campaigns using evidence gathering, advocacy, and media reporting.
  • Communities receive legal services through Community Paralegals, Community based Courtroom Advocacy (CCA), committed pro bono legal practitioners, and a Legal Access Funds.
  • Strengthen collaboration among stakeholders to engage duty bearers and seek redress on extractive sector environmental and ER violations.

Project Duration: 3 YEARS.
Funded by: European Union
Project Implementing Lead: A Rocha Ghana
Implementing Partners: Nature Development Foundation
Wacam 

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Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana raises alarm over GMO

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has called on the Government of Ghana to halt all activities geared towards introducing Genetically Modified (GM) products onto the Ghanaian market.

According to them, government through multinational seeds companies and agents in Ghana has approved the commercialization of 14 novel GM products comprising eight maize and six soya beans products.

“The consequences of this approval are dire and mark the beginning of the loss of Ghana’s control of our own indigenous agricultural system, leaving it in the hands and control of powerful multinationals, who can decide and dictate the pace of our food system,” they added.
The penchant taste for laboratory seeds, they say, comes with serious negative implications on health, the economy and the environment.

See Full Statement HERE

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Ghana Gets Wildlife Resources Management Act

The President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has signed into law an Act of Parliament which seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has announced.
The Wildlife Resources Management Act, 2024 (Act 1115), sponsored by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, was passed by Parliament on 28th July, 2023, and assented to by the President on 1st March, 2024.
The Wildlife Resources Management Bill, which had been pending for over fifteen (15) years, was previously laid before the fifth, sixth and seventh Parliaments, until it was eventually passed by the Eighth Parliament, on 28th July, 2023.
Wildlife and protected areas were previously regulated by the Wild Animals Preservation Act, 1961 (Act 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 685) and the Wildlife Reserves Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 710). These legislation, enacted over fifty (50) years ago, were not in tune with current international best practices for wildlife protection and management, and did not provide a proper legal framework for the implementation of the Forest and Wildlife Policy, 2012, the Forestry Development Master Plan (2016-2036) and other national and international frameworks that guide sustainable resource management, all of which were adopted years after these laws were passed.

See full statement HERE

Download the Wildlife Act HERE

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Ghana Environment Manifesto 2024 Launched

“To ensure a prosperous and healthy future for all Ghanaians, leadership needs to prioritize environmental well-being in policy and development planning urgently. This should then inform an investment drive with a focus on environmental concerns, supported by altruistic incentives and legislative frameworks that hold polluters accountable. Finally, this must be done within an environment of a well-informed and empowered community, strong and independent institutions devoid of political elite capture and strong administrative accountability.”

Above is a succinct statement curled out from the Ghana Environment Manifesto which was launched on March 26, 2024, at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra.

The manifesto covers areas such as the Land Sector, Forestry Sector, Forest, Biodiversity and Agriculture Sector, Oil, Gas and Energy Sector, Environment and Climate Change Sector, Mining Sector, Wash Sector, Marine Environment and Fisheries Sector.

The document was developed through broad engagements of Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) within the natural resources, oil and gas, energy, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and climate change sectors, sharing inputs from their respective constituents across the country.

The Launch

Delivering a welcome address, National Director for A Rocha Ghana, Dr. Seth Appiah-Kubi called on political parties to refer to the Green Manifesto while prioritising environmental and green pathways as part of their potential future government’s development agenda.

“What I am driving at is the fact that considering our overreliance on our natural environment as a nation, it is high time we highlighted the importance of ecosystem services support to our national development and match it with the appropriate investments,” he said.

Further highlighting the need to secure our natural environment for generations to come, Ms. Eunice Aseidu, Programmes Coordinator at the Friedric-Ebert-Stiftung Economic Policy Competence Centre, said, the solutions to environmental degradation and prioritising green growth are not confined to the corridors of power but within dialogue amongst stakeholders and building synergy across divides to ensure sustainable environmental practices.

“Given the critical role the environment plays in our continuous survival, I urge the political parties to urgently centre environmental sustainability at the centre of their development agenda and we look forward to yet another political season with the environment at the centre of campaigns and subsequent conscious effort toward its implementation”, she added.

In his Key Note Address dubbed Prioritizing Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing in Ghana’s Development Agenda, Dr. Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, Director General for the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) called for a more inclusive approach to combating environmental issues. According to him, the efficient coordination and connection of all key stakeholders including government, traditional leaders, CSOs, and the media, will produce a positive impact.

Dr. Mensah-Abrampa further urged CSOs to help improve capacity, knowledge and skills to enhance indigenous peoples’ appreciation of environmental protection. According to him, CSOs seem to have left a huge gap between traditional conservation norms such as taboos and contemporary environmental protection modalities, which according to him, should not be the case.

Participation

Political Parties present at the launch were, the National Democratic Congress (NDC); the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the Movement for Change (M4C). Also present were key state institutions like, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI); Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MoFAD); Water Resource Commission (WRC); Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (WSWR) and Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

The event further saw representatives from Academia, Civil Society and the Media.

The launch was made possible by the partnership of Kasa Initiative Ghana, Green Livelihood Alliance Ghana, A Rocha Ghana and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

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Ghana Environment Manifesto 2024

In the wake of increasing vulnerabilities to the Climate Crisis is the necessitated need to protect the environment towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Agreements and the Global Biodiversity Framework. Nonetheless, environmental sustainability in Ghana is under severe threat due to Land degradation and deforestation, Water scarcity and pollution, Climate change impacts, Waste management crisis, poor mineral governance, and Limited renewable energy.

Owing to this, Ghana’s development, economic growth, and public health is threatened. Addressing them requires a paradigm shift towards green development, focusing on economic prosperity while protecting the environment and ensuring social equity.  This necessitates sustainable land management, integrated water resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation and Circular economy, sustainable waste management, Sustainable Forest Management and Biodiversity Conservation, and Accelerating renewable energy transition.

The Ghana Environment Manifesto captures the felt needs and aspirations of Ghanaians across the 16 regions over the increasing impunity and detrimental activities of government, corporations and individuals.

The aspirations highlighting issues, commitments and need actions within the Land, Oil, Gas and energy; WASH; Forestry, Biodiversity and Agriculture; Environment and Climate Change, Marine Environment and Fisheries and finally the mining sector are detailed in the attached Environment Manifesto for the election year 2024.

 

Ghana Environment Manifesto 2024

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COMMUNIQUE: Women Inclusive Safeguarding for Sustainable Environment Mineral Governance

A coalition of CSOs A Rocha Ghana , SOCODEVI and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Ghana Canada’s Foreign Policy—Global Affairs Canada and BRACE on the 7th and 8th of March organised a stakeholder engagement to mark International Women’s Day with a focus on “Women Inclusive Safeguarding for Sustainable Environment and Mineral Governance.”

The two-day event which took place at Bibiani in the Western North Region of Ghana aimed at spearheading a transformative shift in mineral Governance by advocating for inclusive policies Safeguarding women’s social, environmental and non-extractive rights.

The stakeholder engagement was attended by representatives of civil society, development partners, academia, cooperatives, the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana Cocoa Board, private sector, media, and communities.

Below is a Communique highlighting the outcome of the forum.


COMMUNIQUE