Over 30 environmentalists charge Akufo-Addo to end ‘injustices’ against natural resources

More than 30 environmentalists have entreated President Nana Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency address the destruction of natural resources in the country.

The conservationists who belong to various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) want the president to crack the whip on illegalities against the environment, including illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey.

The group’s latest petition comes after a documentary by Accra-based Joy News, which showed the wanton destruction of forests at Apamprama and Manso by illegal miners.

In the documentary, some military personnel were seen providing security for the illegal miners.

In a statement, the Eco-Conscious group vehemently condemned the military’s presence, describing it as “appalling and should not take place in a country that prides itself on being governed by the rule of law”.

According to the group, continuous mining in the country’s forest reserves violate provisions in the 1992 constitution.

“Ghana’s Minerals and Mining Act 703 as amended, provides administrative environmental guidelines for all mining activities in forest reserves in the country. The mining guidelines prohibit any exploration activities in protected forest reserves.

“It is disappointing that we have allowed mining tycoons to take over our forests. If an activity is prohibited, it should not be taking place. Where is the expected due diligence from the Forestry Commission, the police, and the Environmental Protection Agency?” the activists queried.

The Eco-Conscious citizens want the President to “take urgent, robust action to restore sanity” among the military and the public.

The group also wants the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to probe the military’s involvement in illegal mining activities and implement sanctions against anyone found culpable.

“We are informed that the Military High Command has initiated an investigation into the matter. Whichever institution is investigating, we hope it will be thorough, swift, and impartial, resulting in a report written without fear or favour.

The statement added that “appropriate sanctions should be applied to culpable persons, without regard to rank. No one is above the law of the land, and the Rule of Law must reign in Ghana. We request the full disclosure of the findings, as this is a critical matter of public interest”.

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