Ghana’s outdated forestry laws allow deforestation for ag with impunity, study finds

04.10.2017

Cocoa beans drying in the sun in a village in Kakum National Park, Ghana Photo: Francesco Veronesi/Flickr

Ghana lost 75 percent of its forest cover between 1900 and 2010, and 2 percent of its forests continue to disappear every year. The conversion of forests to other land uses is the biggest driver of this deforestation, with agriculture estimated to be responsible for half of all clearances.

However, the legislative framework governing the country’s forests wasn’t designed with widespread conversion in mind. Regulations are increasingly outdated, creating a lack of clarity that is fuelling illegality and damaging forests, according to environmental law firm Client Earth.

The study found that illegal mining and agricultural activities are taking place in forest reserves with impunity. For example, Ghana has for years experienced widespread illegality in the conversion of forest reserves for cocoa production. A lack of coordination between different ministries makes it difficult for regulators to enforce laws. As a result, “farmers and miners working at all scales in or near forest reserves are often not caught and punished for illegally encroaching on forests,” the study concludes.

More from Blog

There Will Be Blood / Four key takeaways from our latest report

Continue reading
UK Environment Act / Analyses show exemptions would create dangerous loopholes

Continue reading

Leather / BMW fails to substantiate allegations against Earthsight’s research


Continue reading
It is essential that a mandatory public list of non-compliant businesses is included in the final regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation

Continue reading
Brazil / World’s largest sovereign wealth fund finds beef giant guilty of driving illegal deforestation

Continue reading
Grand Theft Chaco II / Paraguay Senate seeks accountability from government following Earthsight illegal deforestation exposé

Continue reading
EU anti-deforestation law / Suspect timber firms lobby for certified wood ‘green lane’ in draft proposal

Continue reading
Open letter / Paraguay must halt invasions, deforestation of indigenous Ayoreo lands

Continue reading
FSC hall of shame / The ethical wood label’s long line of scandals

Continue reading
Open letter / Ethical wood label FSC is no longer fit for purpose and must urgently reform

Continue reading

Stay up to date with all Earthsight news & updates

Receive email updates for the latest news and insights from Earthsight and be among the first to read our new investigations.

We keep your data secure and don’t share anything with third parties. Read full terms.