Law, land and what lies beneath: exploring mining impacts on customary law and cultural heritage protection in Ghana and Western Australia

Wazi Apoh, Kirsty Wissing*, Wendy Treasure, Joe Fardin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This research paper assesses the impacts of mining on the operation of customary law in relation to land tenure and cultural heritage resources in Indigenous communities, specifically in southern Ghana with comparative reference to Western Australia. This research paper explores extant regulatory approaches for customary law recognition, land tenure administration, heritage and mining in Western Australia and how these could be adopted and adapted to circumstances in Ghana. The authors conducted interviews in the Newmont-Ghana and AngloGold Ashanti mining-impacted communities in Ghana and at the Northern Star mining-impacted community in Wiluna, Western Australia. Industry and government stakeholders in Ghana and Australia were also consulted. The key problems explored are: How is customary law and cultural heritage managed at an Indigenous/customary landholder level vis-a-vis central and sub-national government levels? How do mining companies interact with Indigenous/customary landholding groups and how do central and sub-national governments participate in or regulate these interactions? What are the attitudes of customary landholders in Ghana about the impact of mining development on their cultural heritage and how can the situation be improved? This research paper aims at generating reform ideas to improve governance and regulation of cultural heritage protection in Ghana.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)367-386
    Number of pages20
    JournalAfrican Identities
    Volume15
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017

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