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Monitoring of Artisanal Mining (Galamsey) in Ghana

Galamsey mining has become an increasingly important driver of environmental degradation in Ghana, based on stakeholder consultations, inquiries from donors and current events. This unregulated activity takes place in rural areas near existing regulated mines. The activity has important negative impacts on forests and waterways. Despite its negative impacts, it plays a key role in local economies and creates employment for a large part of the local population. It is envisaged that the methodologies applied for the charcoal monitoring service will be adaptable to support this service and the two services together will provide a cohesive picture of environmental conditions.

Artisanal mining is considered a major source of livelihood for many rural people in Ghana. However, the increase in unregulated mining (galamsey) activities in recent years has resulted in severe land degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution of water bodies and acidification of soils deleterious to the biophysical and socio-economic environment. Accurate information about the location and scale of these mining sites is necessary for decision makers to take action through remediation and restoration activities.

Galamsey endemic areas have been identified and mapped with Sentinel 1 and 2 image data. A portal has been launched and can be found at:

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