Students kick against mining in Atiwa Forest

The Coalition of Students in Conservation (COSIC) has kicked against government’s decision to extract bauxite beneath the Atiwa Forest Reserve. The group said the Reserve is one of the critical water sources in Ghana providing water to over 5 million residents in Greater Accra and Eastern regions as well as parts of Central Region. Addressing the media in Kumasi, COSIC noted that it is not against leveraging of the country’s bauxite mineral deposits for development but concerned about government’s plans with the Chinese to extract bauxite beneath the Atiwa Forest Reserve. “As students, we are not against the Government of Ghana leveraging on our many bauxite mineral deposits to develop the country. Indeed, the exploitation of the many mineral resources in Ghana to drive economic growth and development is not out of place. However, we are concerned about the plans of government in an MOU with the Chinese to extract bauxite beneath the Atiwa Forest Reserve which provides water to many Ghanaians.” The President of COSIC, Obeng Boama Emmanuel, lauded the effort by the government to raise the needed funds to address the developmental needs of residents but said it must be done without creating situations that threaten citizens’ existence now and in the future. “As Ambassadors on this important water tower – Atiwa Forest Reserve, we stand with many well-meaning Ghanaians and all civil society organizations as well as research institutions to call for de-listing of the Atiwa Forest Resrve from areas targeted for bauxite mining,” Mr Obeng Boama noted. COSIC is appealing to President Akufo-Addo to use his executive power to declare Atiwa Forest as a National Park to provide some level of security and stability for the implementation of sustainable activities. The move, according to the students, will also entrench Ghana’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 6, 11, 13, and 15. The Coalition comprise of Renewable Natural Resources Students Association (RENARSA), Forest Resources Technology Students Association (FORTSA), Save the Frogs, and KNUST AROCHA.

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By Ibrahim Abubakar||Ghana ]]>