Professor Alfred Apau Oteng-Yeboah has expressed unhappiness and disquiet that Atewa, a globally significant biodiversity area with multiple benefits and great potential for ecotourism, is one of the natural forests planned to be exploited in exchange for the US$2.0 billion Chinese money acquired for infrastructural development across the country.
Though he has no problem with infrastructure for national development as described for the purpose of the money, but have a problem with the inclusion of Atewa in this deal.
Prof Oteng-Yeboah in a piece written sees Atewa as sacred and a total embodiment of the soul and spirit of the Akyem Abuakwa people which should be protected.
He asked why should a precious, unique and priceless site such as Atewa be destroyed and who will accounts for the water and the endemic animals and plants, many of which were yet to be scientifically discovered and named?
“Who will follow the removal of rocks which predate our current age, mark and study them to provide an account of their history? Who will supervise the removal and haulage of the excavated soil of the mountain and make sure that it is only bauxite deposits that are being removed but not diamonds and gold? Who will account for and who will authenticate the value of the excavated soils?” he asked.
Prof Oteng-Yeboah who retired at the Department of Plant and Environmental Biology at the University of Ghana, Legon, noted that there were many questions to ask whose answers may never be found and that he was aware of work done on the ecosystem valuation of the Atewa in terms of its contribution to human wellbeing.
This he said was where the Precautionary Principle enshrined in Agenda 21, which is the forerunner of the current global Agenda 2030 and the AU 2063 should be invoked.