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Exclude Atewa Forest From Bauxite Deal   
 
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05-Dec-2019  
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Two groups advocating that the Atewa Forest be preserved have urged the government to exclude the forest reserve from the Sinohydro bauxite mining deal. The Coalition of Non-governmental Organisations and the Concerned Citizens Against Mining say given that the 17,400-hectare forest reserve is home to many endangered plant and animal species, as well as the source of water for millions of people, the government had no business using it to mine bauxite.

A statement signed by Mr Daryl Bosu of the coalition said available data on bauxite reserves showed that about 75 per cent of the total bauxite reserves in the country was within the Nyinahini enclave, which made it a better alternative than Atewa for any such huge capital investment.

“The campaign to exclude the Atewa Forest from the bauxite agreement has always made the point that bauxite reserves in the Atewa Forest are small, compared to other locations, and so the forest should be excluded from the bauxite deal,” it said.

Nyinahini

It added that although Dr Gideon Boako, the Spokesperson for the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, had, in a recent statement, alluded to the fact that Nyinahini was the obvious choice over the Atewa Forest for the bauxite development programme, there were bulldozers in the forest undertaking stock surveys and assessing the expected damage to tree species as a result of bauxite mining.

“All this is going on with the participation of staff of the Forestry Commission,” it said.

According to the statement, that did not present a clear position on whether Atewa or Nyinahini was the preferred choice for the Sinohydro bauxite deal.

Demands

The Coalition of NGOs, therefore, demanded that the government officially exclude the protected Atewa Forest Reserve from the bauxite agreement and, in the mean time, also increase the protective status of the forest to that of a National Park.

"This is the time to leverage our long-term partnership with China, which is also a natural climate solution champion, appointed by the United Nations, to harness the green investment potential of the Atewa landscape.
 
 
 
 

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