Group asks gov’t to prove bauxite mining technology that protects forests

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The Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape (CCAL), have asked government to show prove of any best bauxite mining technology that protects forests during and after mining. The group says their understanding of bauxite mining indicates that there is no any ‘best practices’ in any part of the world that protects forest while mining is ongoing.

The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC), in May 2019, at a press conference stated that mining bauxite in the Atewa forest reserve will not lead to the destruction of the three key rivers which take their sources from the reserve. According to GIADEC, ‘best practices’ worldwide would be used in ensuring the Atewa forest and the three water bodies whose watersheds are located in the forest are safe.
Protest
But addressing members of the group after a peaceful protest march from Sagyimase to Kyebi, on Tuesday, 21st January, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of CCAL, Nana Ampem Darko Amponsah, debunked the claim of using the best practices to mine in the reserve. He stated that, there are no best practices of mining bauxite anywhere challenging GIADEC to show prove of the best practices been spoken about.

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                         Protest 

The peaceful protest dubbed ‘yen pene’ was embarked purposefully to send a message to the government and various stakeholders of the Atewa reserve that, the mining of Bauxite in the reserve will only benefit a few but destroy the greener forest and its immediate surroundings. The concerned group further stressed that, it’s not too late for the government to abandon all plans to mine the bauxite in the forest and secure it for water, biodiversity and long term wellbeing.
The protest by CCAL follows a notice served on the Attorney General by some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on their decision to sue the government over its plans to mine bauxite deposit in the forest.

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                  Call for support.

The group has called on various stakeholders and dignitaries to join the fight to get the government to change its position on mining of bauxite deposit in the forest.
They have reiterated a called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, to consider declaring the forest a National park in the memory of the late king of the Akyem Abuakwa State, Nana Sir Ofori Atta I.
“This option has a great public support amongst forest edge communities and would honour Ghana’s commitment to the international convention on biological diversity,” Mr. Oteng Adjei, President of CCAL, stated.
The group as part of the protest has also petitioned the Okyehene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, to intervene in getting the government to upgrade the forest to a National park.
They have again petitioned other stakeholders such as the Forestry Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to intensify their support for the protection of the forest.

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