Forest conversion is the removal of natural forests (deforestation) to change the purpose of the land. It may be wanted for agricultural use (such as growing crops or providing pasture for cattle), or for mining or urban expansion.
Not all policies, laws and regulations are easily available in Ghana, particularly online. With this law database, NGOs, communities and researchers can explore the laws that regulate Ghanaian forests. As a result, a broader range of perspectives can be voiced during national debates on forest management and protection.
Forest conversion is challenging to regulate, as it involves multiple sectors like forests, mining, agriculture, land and investment, and requires efficient coordination between different groups including communities, private investors and government ministries.
As a result, the legal framework governing forest conversion in Ghana is complex, inconsistent and not entirely complete. In partnership with our in-country associates from TaylorCrabbe Initiative, we have created a database that draws together relevant legal texts from many sectors. These laws and policies identify the current requirements for converting forest land to another use. However, legal reform is needed to develop a comprehensive legal framework.
The documents listed below have been gathered from different public sources and are not the property of ClientEarth. Where available we have included official texts, but not all are the official publications and therefore may contain mistakes.
The database will be updated as laws evolve.
ClientEarth also has a Ghana law database on legal texts related to forest and natural resource governance, as well as a law database on forest conversion in Liberia.
Forest conversion laws: Ghana
Forests and land policy
Mining and agriculture policy
- Minerals and Mining Policy 2016
- Community/Investor Guidelines for Large-Scale Land Transactions 2015
- Environmental Guidelines for Mining in Production Forest Reserves in Ghana 2001
- Artisanal & Small Scale Mining (ASM) Framework 2015
Legal Framework of the Forest and Land Sector
- Land Use and Spatial Planning Act 2016
- Lands Commission Act 2008
- The Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands Act 1994
- Forests Act 1927 (Cap 157)
- Forest Protection Act, 1974
- Forest Protection (Amendment) Act 2002
- Timber Resource Management Act 1998
- Forestry Commission Act 1999 (Act 571)
- Manual of Procedures – Forest Resource Management Planning in High Forest Zone – Section A Strategic Planning
- Manual of Procedures – Forest Resource Management Planning in High Forest Zone – Section B Operational Planning
Legal Framework of Environmental Assessment
- Environmental Assessment Regulations 1999 (L.I. 1703)
- Environmental Assessment (Amendment) Regulations 2002 (L.I. 1703)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Act 490, 1994
Legal Framework of the investment sector
Legal Framework of the Mining sector
- Minerals and Mining Act 2006
- Mercury Act 1989
- Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2173)
- Minerals and Mining (Support Services) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2174)
- Minerals and Mining (Compensation and Resettlement) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2175)
- Minerals and Mining (Explosives) Regulations, 2012 (L.I. 2177)
- Minerals and Mining (Health, Safety and Technical Regulations, 2012) (L.I. 2182)