The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process in Ghana is led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Some SEAs are conducted but not for forestry and even the SEAs produced for the other sectors are not available on the EPA website.
The process for decision making on extra-sectoral activities is completely non-transparent to the extent that even though the same parent ministry is responsible for both forestry and mining, permits are sometimes given for mining prospecting in forest reserves against the better judgment of the Forestry Commission. Given that no SEA is conducted for the forestry sector, there is no laid down process for decision making on development options in forest areas.
The Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with other stakeholders including development partners, government institutions, and civil society organizations has developed the Ghana Country Environment Analysis Framework (CEA). The purpose is to assess the country’s environmental priorities, the environmental implications of key economic and sector policies, and the country’s institutional capacity to address them. In addition, it seeks to find practical management, institutional and policy solutions to handle issues of natural resource management, environmental degradation, and sustainability of growth.
Among other objectives, it guides the institutions in the natural resources and environment sector such as Forestry Commission and Minerals Commission to avoid short-lived consumption of natural resources that will leave the country poorer than before. The guide also ensures better regulation and management, less wasteful utilization of natural resources, more effective capture of the economic value of the resource, better collection of revenues and higher levels of reinvestment and savings. The latest CEA report dates as far back as 2007. However in April 2008, a concept note was prepared for Ghana by the World Bank.