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Ghana : Indicators

2012 > 20 Key Indicators 2012

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Freedom of Information Legislation

The Right to Information Bill was first tabled in Parliament in February 2010 but has made no significant progress since then towards being passed into law. Civil society organisations and other stakeholders have raised concerns over the slow progress and amendments to certain restrictive clauses. Read more...

National Forest Policy

The policy framework, as contained in the 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy, is publicly available. A review of this policy was completed with stakeholder participation in 2011 and the Cabinet approved the new policy, but it has not yet been officially published. The policy addresses key issues in the sector. Read more...

Codified Forest Law and Supporting Norms

There are the several laws that regulate the protection and management of the forest. As part of the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union, one new Legislative Instrument was passed in July 2012, to create the Timber Validation Council. A more substantial review and consolidation of the forest law has started but not yet been completed. Read more...

Signed VPAs and Other Agreements on Forest Products

Ghana ratified a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union on 19 March 2010. The final agreement and supporting documents are publicly available. Implementation has been slow to date. The aide memoire of the Joint Monitoring and Review Mechanism mission in March 2012 anticipated the finalisation of the wood tracking system and legality verification system to support issuance of the first licenses in 2013, but it remains to be seen whether momentum can be maintained. Read more...

Provisions for Transparency in Forest Laws and Norms

The Forestry Commission New Service Charter 2008 includes commitments to information transparency under its core functions and sets out service standards for public correspondence and reports, but it is not being adhered to fully. The Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union highlights the importance of transparency in the legality assurance system, but unlike other agreements it does not include a specific annex on public information. Read more...

Recognition of Customary Rights in Forest Laws and Norms

In the Constitution, stool forest lands are vested in accordance with customary law and usage, and the institution of chieftaincy together with its traditional councils is guaranteed. However, the state exercises control over all forest resources. Even though the timber resource management regulations require the involvement of traditional councils in the granting of timber operations, this falls short of explicit recognition of customary rights to manage and use forest resources. Read more...

Formal Procedures for Consultation on New Forest Norms

Although there are directives on consultation on some specific issues in the forest sector, there is no legally enshrined procedure for consultation on new forest-related norms. There has been considerable consultation on new initiatives such as the VPA and the new policy recognises multi-stakeholder interests, but civil society organisation have called for consultation to be backed by legislation. Read more...

Legal Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent

The Timber Resource Management Regulations Legislative Instrument 1649 indicates that before timber rights are granted in lands other than existing forest reserves, written consent of the owners is required. Procedures for obtaining consent and processes for resolving conflicting interests over the land are established in the regulations. In practice, these provisions are sometimes not followed and there have been concerns over the granting of administrative permits without any prior notice or consent of communities. Read more...

National Land Tenure Policy

There is a land policy from 1999, which led to projects aimed at addressing the issues of insecure tenure, but on-going disputes have not been resolved and the policy has not been updated. The ownership of forest reserves by traditional authorities is clarified in the gazette, but it is usually not covered with title (and documentation). The state controls all forest resources, but there has been progress on recognising tree tenure in off-reserves Read more...

Consultation before Commercial Logging Allocation

The Timber Resources Management Act and Regulations set out procedures for consultation of local stakeholders prior to the allocation of timber rights, however in practice these requirements are often not adhered to and some groups are unaware of their rights Read more...

Regulation of Environmental Services

The Environmental Protection Agency is working on plans for regulating environmental services, but no formal system has been proposed yet. The emergence of initiatives for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation has resulted in discussion on ownership of carbon stored in forests, but there is currently no clear basis for reforms Read more...

Strategic Environmental Assessment

The Environmental Protection Agency has developed a Strategic Environmental Assessment manual for the development of district plans and for different sector policies. However, the legal status of this process is unclear and to date the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has not published an assessment on land use priorities. In practice, there is no transparency in decision-making process on competing demands, such as between forestry and mining. Read more...

Forest Ownership and Resource Use Maps

There are no maps showing ownership of forest land and holders of resource rights, such as the areas of timber utilisation contracts. Maps of forest reserves and off-reserves areas can be accessed at district Forest Services Division offices; however they do not contain these details. Read more...

Legal Documents for Commercial Logging Operations

The legal documents for timber utilisation contracts and permits can be obtained on request from Forest Services Division offices, but they are not published online and it is difficult to gather comprehensive data on existing timber rights. Exposés by civil society of the number and extent of 'administrative' salvage felling permits allocated without following any due procedures led to them finally being suspended in 2012. Read more...

Reports on the Verification Process of Eligibility of Commercial Operators

The Timber Rights Evaluation Committee validates pre-qualification and bids of companies for allocation of timber rights. Some summary reports are available online and documents on the winners of the auctions can be accessed on request, but in practice due processes have not been consistently followed. Read more...

Forest Management Plans

Forest Management Plans are produced but they are not available on the Forestry Commission website. Since 2010, strategic management plans for forest reserves have been updated or developed to reflect their socio-economic, cultural and environmental values, but operational plans for timber activities bear little reference to them in practice. In some cases, copies have been made available by district offices when requested, but there is no obligation on the authorities to provide them. Read more...

Reports from Independent Forest Monitoring

A process to recruit an Independent Monitor, in compliance with the Voluntary Partnership Agreement, was initiated by the Forestry Commission in 2011 and bids were invited from organisations, but none has been appointed to date. Read more...

Data on the Distribution of Forestry Royalties and Incentives

The Forestry Commission publishes data on collection and distribution of royalties and land revenue to stool chiefs, District Assemblies and traditional councils. In accordance with the law, reports are published online for six month periods. Read more...

Information on Forest Law Infractions

There is no official publication of data on forest offenders and fines. Some cases of those who are arrested and/or prosecuted appear in the newspapers, but these tend to focus on small-scale illicit chainsaw operations. Information on enforcement activities to combat corruption in the forest sector is not published, and there have been no action on large-scale tax avoidance. Read more...

Annual Forest Authority Report

The Forestry Commission (FC) is required in its Service Charter to publish an annual report and present it to parliament through the Minister. The last annual report was produced in 2006, but more recent reports from sub-divisions of the FC such as the National Forest Plantation Development Programme have been published annually. Read more...
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