The Youth Alliance for Green Ghana (YAGG) want the securing of the Atewa Forest from encroachers and mining activities to be an integral part of the government’s Green Ghana Initiative.
According to the Alliance, the initiative which culminated in the National Tree Planting Day marked on 11th June 2021 was fruitful an must be extended to protecting the nation’s forest reserves as well.
YAGG commended the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, and all stakeholders who contributed to the institution of the Green Ghana Initiative and also congratulated Ghanaians for the massive support and cooperation.
They believe the national and international attention which has been brought unto the Atiwa Forest as a result of anticipated bauxite mining activities calls for some special attention.
A statement signed by Kenneth Agyir, National Coordinator of YAAG and copied to the media on Monday said as young people devoted and committed to ensuring a Green Ghana, we find the overwhelming support given the initiative, a pure testament of the responsiveness of the Ghanaian people to the cause of achieving environmental sustainability in the country.
“On the back of this praise and admiration for the Government’s display of its commitment to a Green Ghana, we find an opportune occasion to remind the government to take the right action by securing Atewa Forest against all forms of mining activities.
An occasion to serve a gentle reminder to the government and the good people of Ghana, of the inherent socio-ecological wealth the Atewa Forest presents to our dear country,” the statement said.
The statement added that the Atewa Forest and its geological architecture was a hydrological gem of the country, providing invaluable water services to over 5 million Ghanaian and despite all the lapses in protecting the place over the years, the forest remained one of the most biologically rich habitats in the world, with so many species found nowhere else in the world and over a 100 species categorized endangered on the global Red List of species.
It added that Scientists also described the Atewa Forest as providing the last buffering areas to help maintain suitable climate for food security and wellbeing in the face of global warming and that by all standards, Atewa Forest was not a place to be traded by any Government, or Corporation for its bauxite resources which is beneath all the invaluable services.
“We appeal to the government and the people of Ghana, to, desist from any mining activities in the forest and all other forests, reserved for ecological purposes in the country. Our dear country is blessed; in mineral, human, forests and many other resources. As a people, we have since time immemorial symbolized hope and resilience to many across the world.
“Now as the world faces a climate and environmental emergency with its countless uncertainties, let us remain the beacon of hope. Let us continue to symbolize our legacy, of an ecologically accountable society for future generations”.