The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University is urging the Parliament of Ghana to revise the legislation that created the Ghana Integrated Alumunium Corporation (GIADEC), to require that it strives to comply with the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative Performance Standards, (ASI) and to regularly report to Parliament on efforts it is taking to that end.
The ASI Performance Standards are the premier voluntary industry standards for addressing sustainability issues in the aluminum value chain.
According to the report by the US research institution, GIADEC should also be required to publicly disclose such information on its website and the legislation revised to provide EPA representation on GIADEC’s board.
“The Ghanaian Parliament should not approve additional deferred payment agreements or engineering, procurement and construction contracts until the Government systematically examines the environmental and social risks of developing an integrated aluminum industry and linking such developments to infrastructure loans; and EPA, in collaboration with GIADEC, holds public hearings in communities likely to be impacted by proposed Integrated Aluminum Industry Plan projects”, the report said.
The report suggested that, the hearings should be accessible to all members of the public and NGO representatives and provide details on the likely environmental and social implications of the Integrated Aluminum Industry Plan.
The Minerals Commission according to the report should also refrain from issuing licenses for proposed bauxite mines in the Atewa Forest Reserve at least until GIADEC and the Government have had an opportunity to reassess the merits of siting mines in the Atewa Forest based on an evaluation of scientific evidence and input from local communities.
“To provide EPA greater independence from political influence, Parliament should reform the EPA Governing Board membership and more clearly define the grounds upon which the President is authorized to terminate Governing Board directors. EPA autonomy would likely increase if a portion of the Governing Board seats were filled by representatives from civil society and minority/opposition political parties”, the further suggested.
The report said, Ghana could leverage the expertise and resources of international institutions, such as the African Development Bank, to support the reform of its environmental assessment laws.
“Parliament should enact new environmental assessment legislation or EPA should promulgate new regulations that explicitly require government ministries, agencies, and state-owned enterprises to undertake strategic environmental assessments when formulating industry or sectoral policies, plans, and programs”, it added.
About the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University is a nonpartisan institute founded in 2005 to help decision makers in government, the private sector, and the nonprofit community address critical environmental challenges.
The Nicholas Institute responds to the demand for high-quality and timely data and acts as an “honest broker” in policy debates by convening and fostering open, ongoing dialogue between stakeholders on all sides of the issues and providing policyrelevant analysis based on academic research. The Nicholas Institute’s leadership and staff leverage the broad expertise of Duke University as well as public and private partners worldwide.
Since its inception, the Nicholas Institute has earned a distinguished reputation for its innovative approach to developing multilateral, nonpartisan, and economically viable solutions to pressing environmental challenges.