Recreation Gov't halts plans to mine for bauxite in Atiwa Forest, opts for national park

The decision follows vigorous campaigning from environmental groups in the country.

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atiwa forest.jpg play Atiwa Forest (Rainforest Trust/Damien Halleux)
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The government has announced a decision to halt plans to mine for bauxite in the Atiwa Forest in favour of developing it to become a national park.

The decision was announced by the chief executive officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie who went on a tour of the area with the US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert peter Jackson and the deputy head of mission for the Dutch Embassy, Caecilia Wijgers.

"If you look at the long-term benefits of preserving the forest as a national park vis-a-vis mining the bauxite, the advantages of preserving the forest far outweigh whatever initial benefit that would accrue to us as a nation from the mining. It makes sense to preserve the forest and turn it into a national park."

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US amb x Okyehene.jpg play US Ambassador Robert Peter Jackson meets the Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panin (Graphic Online/Gabriel Ahiabor)

When we have a national park like what is in South Africa and elsewhere, you go there and you see that people are indeed benefitting. I am more, particularly, interested in the three rivers (Birim, Densu and Ayensu) that serve about seven million people in the country. If we are not careful, so many of us are going to die as a result of thirst because of the pollution of the rivers, so it is important we preserve and conserve it”, Owusu-Afriyie said.

The decision follows vigorous campaigning from environmental groups in the country.

During the tour, the diplomats met with the Okyehene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori-Panin.

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