Accra, July 2, GNA - A Former Director of the
Ghana Law School, George Agyemang Sarpong, has unveiled a masterwork on
Ghanaian Environmental Law to fill the void on the Ghanaian jurisprudential
Generations of Ghanaian law students, legal practitioners, judges, policy-makers and legislators have engaged with environmental law in Ghana to date without any comprehensive domestic treatise on the subject to guide them.
The book, titled: “Ghanaian Environmental Law – International and National Perspectives”, comprises 491 pages in 10 chapters.
The book has been structured to deal with basic doctrinal issues such as nature, sources and development of environmental law, as well as other core aspects of the subject such as environmental justice.
It also discussed the role of regulatory bodies in environmental management and protection and the regulatory frameworks for the conservation, management and utilisation of natural resources, including oil and gas.
It also engages with the sources of Ghanaian law that have environmental dimensions from the 1992 Constitution, statutory regulations to by-laws of the District Assemblies, international conventions, case law, and government policy documents including proposal for reforms where relevant.
It gives detailed attention to the treatment of natural resources in Ghana, especially the menace of deforestation and water pollution.
The author set out to ascertain the extent to which Ghana environmental jurisprudence had been influenced by Ghana’s participation in various international and local fora and treaty arrangements on the subject.
Speaking at the launch at the British Council in Accra, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, said the launch of the book was timely as it would help to create consciousness in Ghanaians about the significance of the environment.
The Minister said Ghanaians were becoming the architect of their own destruction, following the great harm they were causing to the environment without knowing that their survival depended on the environment.
“We have taken the trouble to destroy the environment,” the minister noted, adding that it was necessary for everyone to safeguard the environment from undue destruction and for protection of lives.
Dr Richard Frimpong Oppong of the Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia, who reviewed the book, said with the publication of the book, the situation where law students, legal practitioners, judges, policymakers and legislators examined environmental law, relying mainly on foreign legal texts would no longer be the case.
“As with many areas of Ghanaian law, these individuals often resort to foreign legal texts that fail to capture the nuances of Ghana’s socio-cultural and political contexts,” he said.
Dr Oppong said the time was ripe for stakeholders to utilise the avenues that the common law and criminal present for ensuring environmental protection.
“It will be a great tribute to Sarpong if this one-stop book spurs on litigation as a means of safeguarding environmental rights in Ghana,” he added,
A former Minister of state in the erstwhile President Kufuor’s administration, Madam Elizabeth Ohene, launched the book.
The function chaired by Dr. Tony Oteng was well attended by members of the Judiciary, the Ghana Bar Association, policymakers, among others.