‘Leave Atewa Forest alone’ - BirdLife International

BY WWW.GHANAWEB.COM - Feb 22, 2021 at 4:35pm 100

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International organisations have added their voice to calls that seek to stop the mining of bauxite in Ghana’s Atewa forest.

According to the organisations such as American Bird Conservancy, Amphibian Survival Alliance, BirdLife International, Guyra Paraguay, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Global Wildlife Conservation, the Rainforest Trust, Synchronicity Earth, WWF the mining will only deplete the given natural resources.

In a report by Africa Briefing sighted by GhanaWeb, the Chief Executive of BirdLife International Patricia Zurita has stated that it is essential to protect the life of wildlife animals than destroying them for mineral purposes.

“Ensuring that our consumption nurtures nature rather than destroying and depleting it is a critical step for which we must all take responsibility. We salute these companies for setting the standard to help save the Atewa Forest.” She said.

The Atewa forest is also a critical water source, housing the headwaters of the Birim, Densu and Ayensu rivers, which provide water to local communities as well as millions of people downstream, including in the capital, Accra.

It is home to at least 50 mammal species, more than 1,000 species of plants, at least 230 species of birds and more than 570 butterflies. The Forest Reserve is located in Kyebi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, the President’s hometown.

Civil society groups are demanding answers from the President regarding the decision to embark on mining activities with the potential of destroying the reserve in his backyard.

In 2019, Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo assured that the ecosystem of the Atewa Forest will not be gravely impacted by the mining activities. According to him, the cutting edge technology to be deployed will ensure the protection of the animal and plant species.

“The technology of today is much more sensitive to these issues because of the pressure that is being brought on the bauxite and oil companies to take it into account. So, to some extent, beginning now, the full-scale exploitation of Ghanaian bauxite resources, we are in a better place, technology-wise, than we would have been 20, 30 years ago,” the President said.

Meanwhile, many Ghanaians have signed onto an online petition launched to stop the mining of bauxite in one of the country’s key forest reserves.