The Christian Council of Ghana has appealed to the government to reconsider its decision to mine bauxite in the Atewa forest in the Eastern Region.
The Atewa forest reserve is one of the three reserves being considered by the government for the mining of bauxite.
The other two are Nyinahin and Awaso.
The Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Corporation (GIADEC) has been mandated to promote and develop an aluminium industry by expanding the value chain to include the mining of bauxite, as well as the refining, smelting, and marketing of finished products.
Several non-government organisations and environmental activists have kicked against plans by the government to mine in the forest.
Contributing to the ongoing discussion, the Christian Council said in a letter to the president that: “The extraction of bauxite will undoubtedly require the forest to be removed since the deposits are only within the top few metres of the horizon and spread over a wide area.”
The Christian group said: “The resulting landscape will be impossible to restore to its former condition because the organics layer will be removed during the mining and it would probably take centuries for the lost flora and fauna to be re-established if they are not entirely extinct.”
The Christian Council said instead of mining, the government should rather establish a national park in the forest.
“Establishing a new national park is an option with great public support amongst the forest-urged communities who are so dependent on the forest. A new national park at Atewa forest can deliver sustainable jobs and livelihoods for many people and, as part of a living landscape, can provide new economic opportunities,” the Christian Council said in a statement.
Attached is the full letter of the Christian Council to President Nana Akufo-Addo:
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