The Council of Ghanaian Chiefs, Members of the Okyeman Foundation and the Ghanaian Community in the Netherlands has expressed concern and shock at the current threat to the Atewa Range Forest at Kyebi in the Akyem Abuakwa area for bauxite mining.
This resulted from several engagements by the Atewa Ambassadors who are musicians led by Obour, President of MUSIGA.
The Ambassadors in a concert dubbed: “Save Atewa Benefit” Concert in Amsterdam canvases the support of the Ghanaian Community to urge government to secure Atewa for water and not for bauxite mining.
In a petition to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Chiefs proposes to him to invoke an executive instrument to secure and upgrade the Atewa Range Forest into a National Park, a living legacy which can be named after the revered King “Late His Royal Majesty Nana Sir Ofori Atta I,” whose 75th Anniversary is celebrating in the month of August.
The Atewa forest was established in 1929 during the leadership of the late Nana Sir Ofori Atta I and can be a legacy for his memory and recognition of his generational leadership for Ghanaians.
The petition which is signed by 14 Chiefs led by Barima Asamoah Kofi IV (Chairman CoGhaC) and (Dr. Stephen Kwasi Oduro) Abakomahene of the Akyem Kotoku Abohyendwa Kofi Stool and Divisional Chief of Abirem Traditional Area respectively states that the Atewa Range Forest which is also known as Kwaebibirem is an area of high hydrological importance and also of significant value for the global persistence of biodiversity, harbouring rare and threatened species found in few other places in the world.
“The Atewa Forest is the source of water for up to 5 million Ghanaians, with some in Accra, Eastern and Central Regions of Ghana and so Bauxite mining in the Forest would greatly endanger the water provisioning services and the large number of species in the forest that are already globally threatened with extinction.”
The chiefs in the petition agreed with the many resonating voices that the forest future should be protected to promote a green economy in the surrounding landscape than mining.