Mr George Awudi, Programmes Co-ordinator of Friends Of The Earth (FOE), an NGO on environment, who made the call said, since Ghana was new in the production of oil, it was proper that government studied its exploration and production over a period, before exposing the whole block to multi-national oil companies.
Mr Awudi said a gap has been created in the country's oil industry, since there was no proper legal regime to regulate activities of the companies currently licensed to handle the exploration and the commercial production of oil.
He made the call at a forum in Tema at the weekend, to commemorate World Environmental Day, which is celebrated on June 5th of every year. This year's celebration which is being held in Rwanda is on the theme: "Many Species, One Planet, One Future".
The forum whose participants were drawn from environmental and youth clubs in Tema, was organized by FOE in collaboration with Oil Watch Coalition, an international NGO on oil production.
Mr Awudi pointed out that "Ghana's Oil Law that would have set out proper legal regime and efficiency in the oil sector was lagging behind the commercial oil production plans, to the detriment of biodiversity protection, environmental justice, participatory democracy in the oil sector, and sustainable development".
He questioned whether Ghana has conducted a proper cost benefit analysis on the scope, to determine what would be more profitable between extracting oil and gas, as against utilizing and preserving the environment. He added that the exploration of oil must be properly regulated to prevent the destruction of marine life and biodiversity, since many species die as a result of such natural resource extractions.
Mr Awudi indicated that a similar gap was created in the mining sector, when large-scale mining activities were allowed to precede the mining policy, leaving untold destruction of biodiversity and other chronic backlashes in that sector.
The Co-ordinator expressed regret that the current situation of issuing licenses to oil companies and the establishment of institutions in the industry, based on political fiats, would not create an enabling environment for the citizenry and organizations, to fully contribute in the efficient running of the sector. 6 June 10