A Rocha Ghana, an environmental non-governmental organization wants government to discontinue plans to mine bauxite in the Atewa Range Forest.

“The current land conversion ongoing in most forest reserves across the country as a
result of illegal mining activities should be halted with immediate effect. Mining is not
compatible with forest reserves and the services they provide Ghanaians,” it said in a statement to mark the World Wildlife Day (WWD).

The statement further urged government and state institutions to recommit to enforcing existing regulations on forest management.

Today, March 03, 2021 marks World Wildlife Day (WWD).

The United Nations (UN) World Wildlife Day (WWD), which takes place annually on the 3rd of March is a celebration of the beautiful and richly diverse forms of wild animals and plants on the planet. It is also an occasion to raise awareness of the many benefits they provide to people and to drive discussions and work towards transformative change on the urgent threats facing them.

This year, WWD is celebrated under the theme, “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.”

It is aimed at stressing the immense value of forests and forest-dwelling wildlife species and for the economic, social and cultural well-being of communities around the world.

It also underlines the importance of sustainable use of forests and forest species in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land).

In Ghana, forests play a crucial role in the achievement of the SDG 6―Clean Water and Sanitation as most of the country’s water sources take their heads from forest reserves.

For instance, over 5 million people depend on water from the Atewa forest―the Densu, Birim and Ayensu Rivers (major sources of water) take their root from Atewa Forest.

According to the United Nations, between 240 and 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas globally, relying on the various ecosystem services provided by forests and forest species for their livelihoods and to cover their most basic needs, including food, shelter, energy and medicines.

Wood and non-timber forest products also make up a fifth of incomes in rural households in developing economies with access to forest resources, and the forest sector powers over 80 million jobs globally.

Three global manufacturing companies – BMW Group, Tetra Pak and Schűco International KG recently responded to concerns over the use of aluminium made from bauxite mined in the Atewa Forest.

Their positions were communicated in letters to the Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape (CCAL), the grassroots movement advocating against bauxite mining in Atewa Forest.

The three companies are all members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) established to certify members and their products in the bauxite-aluminium supply chain that meet its sustainability standards.

Campaigners advocating for protection of the Atewa Forest have repeatedly stated that mining bauxite in the Atewa Forest would not meet ASI’s requirements. Bauxite mining in Atewa would threaten species with global extinction, undermining the Convention on Biodiversity and the Sustainable Development Goals that both set clear targets to stop extinctions.

If bauxite from Atewa forms part of Ghana’s aluminium supply, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC) risks outright rejection of all Ghana’s bauxite and aluminium by responsible aluminium users.

Source: Ghana/Kasapafmonline.com/102.5 Fm