This policy provides the framework for addressing problems and constraints to ensure equity in land allocation and holding and to maintain a stable environment for the country's sustainable social and economic development. 3.1 Guiding Principles: Deriving from both national convictions and international guidelines, agreements and conventions, the principles that guide Ghana's land policy are as follows: Ghana's international boundaries will be protected and secured in accordance with international conventions; shared water bodies with neighbouring countries should be managed in accordance with international conventions for the mutual benefit of all stakeholder countries; cross-border activities by farmers, cattle herdsmen and rustlers, smugglers, etc., should be handled with neighbouring countries, such that the welfare of the people, territorial integrity and the security of Ghana are preserved;3.1 The principle of land as a common national or communal property resource; the optimum usage for all types of land uses, including human settlements, industry and commerce, agriculture, forestry and mining, the protection of water bodies and the environment in the long term national interest; the principle of government facilitating equitable and reasonable access to land within the context of national land use planning the principle of fair access to land and security of tenure;the principle that whoever takes land for mining and timber operations should restore same to the state it was before the operation. In effect, the principle that the "Polluter Pays" applies to land, water resources and the environment; the principle of private sector as an engine of growth and development subject to national land use guidelines; continued political support at the highest levels, as well as provisions of strong incentives to encourage responsible land-use and respect for regulations, thus offsetting real and perceived costs imposed by loss of access or restriction on use; land development fees and taxes should reflect the prevailing economic market values; the principle of community participation in land management and land development at all levels, which is vital for sustainable urban and rural land development; the principle of promoting land information technology.4.4 The use of any land in Ghana for sustainable development, the protection of water bodies and the environment and any other socioeconomic activity will be determined through national land use planning guidelines based on sustainable principles in the long term national interest. (b) All lands declared as forest reserves, strict nature reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and similar land categories constitute Ghana's permanent forest and wildlife estates, and are "fully protected" for ecosystem maintenance, biodiversity conservation and sustainable timber production. (c) Fully protected land areas as well as timber and wildlife protected areas may be used for the purposes of education, research, recreation and tourism, provided that such uses are compatible with the conservation of the environment. Uses of wetlands for farming, grazing, fishing, timber production and salt-wining will be encouraged provided that such uses tend to conserve the ecosystem, biodiversity and sustainable productivity of wetlands.
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