The Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Concerned Citizens Against Mining in Atewa has demanded the removal of the Atewa Forest Reserve in the Sinohydro bauxite deal.
“We are happy to observe that the Vice President’s Spokesperson has listened to the voices of reason of Ghanaians, home and abroad, to share this crucial information,” a statement signed by Daryl Bosu of the Coalition and issued in Accra yesterday said.
The Coalition stated that the campaign to remove Atewa Forest from the bauxite agreement had always made this point very practical and economically relevant, that, bauxite reserves in the Atewa Forest were small compared to other locations and so the Atewa Forest should be excluded from the bauxite deal.
The NGO had for a long time been calling on the government through local and international media and agencies to exclude the Atewa forest from the bauxite deal
This comes after Dr Gideon Boako, Spokesperson for the Vice President affirmed the NGOs’ position with clarity and precision.
Dr Boako, on November 19, 2019 reportedly made a statement, calling out those he claims to be ‘doubting Thomases’, “that government will destroy Atewa Forest and deprive millions of Ghanaians access to drinking water coming from the Atewa Forest.”
The statement added that available proven bauxite reserves data shows that 75 per cent of the total bauxite reserves in the country was within the Nyinahini enclave making Nyinahini the obvious choice over Atewa for any such huge capital investment.
The coalition urged the government to officially exclude the protected Atewa Forest Reserve from the bauxite agreement and instead increase its protective status to that of a National Park, “so that there can be no further threats to this critical mountain forest ecosystem from an investment that government now affirms will not be significant.”
It said “this is the time to leverage our long-term partnership with China, also the Natural Climate Solution Champion, as appointed by the United Nations, to harness the green investment potential of Atewa Landscape. It is also time to redirect investment and transition of Atewa into a living landscape that supports water services, climate adaptation, biodiversity and fosters well-being and prosperity.”
The NGOs Coalition also pointed out that the apparent release of the first tranche of the Sinohydro funds had absolutely no bearing at all on Dr Boako point in anyway and had never been a politically motivated concern.
By Times Reporter