Protect Atewa forest – Youth Alliance to govt

The Youth Alliance for Green Ghana (YAGG) has called for the protection of the Atewa forest after showing gratitude to the government for the Green Ghana tree-planting exercise.

The YAAG also congratulated Ghanaians for the support and cooperation demonstrated on National Tree Planting Day, marked on 11th June 2021.

A statement signed by Mr Kenneth Agyir, National Coordinator of YAAG and copied to the media on Monday said as young people devoted and committed to ensuring a Green Ghana, they find the support given the initiative, a pure testament of the responsiveness of the Ghanaian people to the cause of achieving environmental sustainability.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, on the Green Ghana Day, explained the guiding principles of the initiative, which included planting a minimum of five (5) million trees, to ensure that the logistics, resources, funding, manpower and participation in the tree planting exercise were national, broad-based, non-partisan, based on citizen ownership, and anchored on the collective action of the Ghanaian people.

The statement said as youth groups, they were dedicated to environmental conservation and a sustainable green economic development of the country.

They found it fulfilling to have participated in the tree planting exercise, especially on the national scale.

“Likewise, we join in the host of citizens who are keen to contribute our might and will, as admonished us by our national anthem, to safeguard the sustainable realization of the goals of the initiative.”

They further appealed to Ghanaians, especially the youth, to commit to preserving and judicious use of the environment for collective benefit.

Protection of Atewa

“On the back of this praise and admiration for the government’s display of its commitment to a Green Ghana, we find an opportune occasion to remind the government to take the right action by securing Atewa Forest against all forms of mining activities,” the group said.

The release explained that the Atewa Forest and its geological architecture was a hydrological gem of the country, providing invaluable water services to over 5 million Ghanaians.

Despite all the lapses in protecting the place over the years, the forest remains one of the most biologically rich habitats globally, with so many species found nowhere else.

Over 100 species are categorized as endangered on the global Red List of species.

The group further noted that scientists describe the Atewa Forest as providing the last buffering areas to help maintain a suitable climate for food security and wellbeing in the face of global warming and that by all standards, Atewa Forest was not a place to be traded by any government or corporation for its bauxite resources.

“We appeal to the government and the people of Ghana to desist from any mining activities in the forest and all other forests reserved for ecological purposes in the country.

“Now, as the world faces a climate and environmental emergency with its countless uncertainties, let us remain the beacon of hope. Let us continue to symbolize our legacy, of an ecologically accountable society for future generations,” the release concluded.

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