Renew Our World has today called for more protection for the Atewa Forest in Ghana. The ancient forest is currently under pressure from Sinohydro requiring repayment of loans with mined bauxite. If the mining goes ahead then the drinking water of up to five million people living in downstream catchments in and near the capital Accra may be undrinkable. The mining will also lead to significant loss of biodiversity.
Some of the indigenous species at risk from any potential mining include the White-thighed Colobus and White-naped Mangabey monkeys, White-bellied Pangolin, Afia Birago Puddle Frog, the tree Aubregrinia taiensis as well as the Togo slippery frog.
Seth Appiah-Kubi, Country Director of A Rocha Ghana said: “Mining in Atewa would not only prove to be an unsustainable pathway to follow but would lead to the irretrievable loss of a natural treasure of great global significance and increase the vulnerability to poverty for a great many people. There is an unacceptably high risk that mining in Atewa will lead directly to the global extinction of species – God’s good creation – that are found nowhere else on earth.”
“We are also greatly concerned for the thousands of people living in the immediate catchment and the millions downstream who will be exposed to threats to their water supplies, air quality and general living conditions with consequences for their livelihoods.
“According to a recent World Bank report the negative impacts of large-scale mines within forests extend far beyond the footprint of the mine itself and bauxite mines in West Africa have a particularly troubling history. So we are not unfounded in our concern for the people living around Atewa.”
In order to overturn the plans for the mine, A Rocha Ghana and six other civil society organisations and four private citizens have taken the government to court.
The six organisations are Flower Ghana, Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape, Ghana Youth Environment Movement, Ecocare Ghana, Kasa Initiative Ghana and Save the Frogs Ghana.
The organisations’ Writ is making the claim that mining of bauxite in the Atewa Range Forest violates “the right to life and dignity as enshrined in articles 13 and 15 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which includes the right to a clean and healthy environment as well as the right to have the environment protected for the benefits of present and future generation.”
The organisations filed a suit against the Attorney General at the Ghanaian High Court with the case likely to be heard in September or October of this year.
Let’s Take Action Together
You can support this campaign in two ways!
- You can sign this petition by A Rocha Ghana calling on the government to designate the forest as a National Park.
- You can also take your advocacy to Twitter and ask the Ghanaian government to protect Atewa.
Please do also share this action on social media with your friends! Together we can make a difference and care for Creation!