719-i. Ghana Capacity Development

Since 1999, the NCEA has contributed in various ways to SEA and EIA capacity development in Ghana. Major activities were related to the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS, 1999-2004), the Ghana Environmental Assessment Support Project (GEASP, 2006-2008) and the oil and gas sector (2009-2014).

Significant details

Started: 1999

Process and activities

Between 1999 and 2004, the NCEA supported Ghana in undertaking an SEA for its GPRS. Activities included:

  • Support in conducting a pilot SEA;
  • Support during the actual SEA for all sectoral, regional and district plans (in total ca. 400);
  • Contribution to a mid-term evaluation of the SEA process.

The NCEA also issued independent advice on the draft and final SEA for the GPRS.

In 2005, the NCEA assisted Ghana's EPA in reformulating the Ghana Environmental Assessment Support Project (GEASP). After approval of this project, the EPA requested the NCEA to support in implementing the programme. The NCEA's activities in this project included:

  • Comments on the inception report;
  • Discussions/advice on implementation of the project;
  • Assistance on ToRs, reviews and scoping workshops;
  • Comments on a work plan for SEA for district planning and on sectoral EIA guidelines.

A review of Ghana's EIA system in the form of an EIA system mapping was also planned to be part of GEASP, but could not be finalized in its project period. It was therefore undertaken under the Natural Resource and Environmental Governance (NREG) programme.

During the IAIA conference in Ghana in 2009, the NCEA discussed opportunities for assitance to Ghana's oil and gas sector. The discussions resulted in a cooperation between the NCEA and Norway's Oil for Development programme. Activities under this cooperation focused on EIA and SEA for the Jubilee oil field and involved the NCEA both as a capacity developer and as an independent advisor. Examples are: 

  • An advisory report by the NCEA secretariat on the EIA;
  • Comments on the quality of the environmental permit;
  • Coaching for the EPA team undertaking an SEA;
  • Recommendations concerning a suggested approach for the SEA;
  • Comments on the draft process and draft contents of the SEA;
  • Advice on a ToR for a Strategic Health Impact Assessment (SHIA) of the oil and gas sector: the NCEA advised on how the SEA and SHIA could complement each other, and provided suggestions for HIA experts.

The NCEA also undertook some smaller capacity building activities in Ghana. In 2011, at the request of the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, the NCEA provided  to the Minerals Commission an advisory report by the Secretariat on SEA for the mining sector. In 2012, the EPA requested the NCEA to provide an in-depth analysis of the performance of the combined EIA and environmental compliance and enforcement. To this end, four case studies were analyzed and their results presented.



The NCEA's activities concerning the GPRS resulted in a revision of the GPRS in 2004 and broader introduction of environmental and social aspects in public planning.

Activities in the GEASP contributed to improved SEA capacity, mainly through joint scoping activities and recommendations/reviews. District plans were improved, partly due to an improved work plan on SEA for district planning.

Involvement of the NCEA in the oil and gas sector development improved the role of EIA and SEA in this sector, and thereby its environmental sustainability. The NCEA's analysis of EIA performance in Ghana contributed to the formulation of future capacity development programmes.


For the end of 2014, a mapping workshop to assess the EIA system in Ghana is planned.

Parties involved

Members of the working group

Technical secretary: Ineke Steinhauer

Further details

Country: Ghana

Last modified: 29 Jan 2019