Why 44 environmental CSOs, individuals oppose application to change Tse Ado mangrove area into estate

Forty-four (44) environmental Civil Society Organizations and individuals have joined forces to oppose an application to change the status of a mangrove (protected coastal / water-front zone at Tse Ado in Accra to a mixed-use site.

The 3.22 acre-mangrove site is located behind the Ghana Trade Fair Centre, along the Lagoon bypass.

In a notice published on August 7, 2020, in the Ghanaian Times newspaper, the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly said the conversion of the protected area was to “pave way for the construction of an 18-unit Residential Estate and a Recreational centre”.

But the group made up of CSO and individuals said the move is a slap in the face of efforts targeted at preserving the environment.

“In the name of sustainable development, we say NO to the application to turn Tse Ado protected mangrove area into a “mixed-use” site,” it said.

“The application is coming at a time when all over the world, there is increased awareness of the priceless value of ecological diversity and citizens are doing their utmost to preserve the environment,” a letter to LADMA  sighted by theghanareport.com said.

The group is made up of environmental advocacy groups such as Eco-Conscious Citizens, A Rocha Ghana, Ghana Youth Environmental Movement, Ghana Wildlife Society, and other concerned citizens from different fields of profession.

Stating its reason for opposing the move, the group listed several benefits of mangroves to biodiversity.

“Mangroves are vital for biodiversity. They are the first level of defence for coastal communities and protect shorelines. They maintain water quality with their dense network of roots and surrounding vegetation, and filter and trap sediments, heavy metals, and other pollutants.

It added that “This ability to retain sediments flowing from upstream prevents contamination of downstream waterways and protects sensitive habitat like coral reefs and seagrass beds”.

In the letter signed by Co-ordinator of the Eco-Conscious Citizens and co-signed by the 43 others, the group said “Mangroves are vital for sustainable development and to combat climate change. According to the World Economic Forum, Senegal planted 79 million mangrove trees to fight deforestation.

“It is not by accident that two successive Ghanaian Presidents were appointed Co-Chairperson of the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocates, and our President Nana Akufo-Addo is the current Co-Chairperson”.

Along the coastal areas of Ghana, mangroves are harvested and transported across the country for firewood.

Harvested mangroves, Photo credit, Daryl Bosu

But the group contends that Ghana must show commitment to protecting its biodiversity hotspots and forests.

In July 2020, the group reignited its fight against the government’s decision to convert the Parks and Gardens head office at Cantonment in Accra into an office complex.

Tree felling at the Parks and Gardens Head Office, Accra

Despite earlier opposition to the move, the group said some environmental protection officers had been sighted on the land conducting a survey.

The coordinator of the group, Awula Serwah, wondered why so much effort was being made to build on the Parks and Gardens land when the focus should be on planting, developing the green economy and raising awareness of the importance of green spaces.

The group has described recent happenings in the Environmental sector as ” relentless attacks on the environment” which “fly in the face of
sustainable development and are sending the wrong signals”.

“Perhaps it is time for the Government to seriously consider moving the capital from Accra, as the relentless assault on the environment is partly driven by the desire to own property in the capital. If not checked, the endless pressure on green spaces will make us all extinct. Moving the capital to the centre of Ghana would not only provide jobs and skills but would be an opportunity to create a world class green city,” the letter added.



  1. Daryl Bosu says

    We cannot continue with business-as-usual development agenda in the face of worsening environmental Safeguard indicators. We need our mangroves to address flash floods and green spaces to maintain body and soul together. These plans to convert these sensitive areas into concrete jungles must be halted ASAP.

  2. Nana Asante says

    It is time we moved the capital and developed a green, sustainable, world class city in the geographic centre of the country with transport links and other facilities. Accra cannot take anymore of this continuous assault with no care for air quality. The stress of traffic and flooding caused by unsustainable development can be addressed systematically once Government, Ministries etc are moved. The people of Accra need care and attention paid to sanitation, green spaces and sustainable housing.

  3. Anonymous says

    We are fighting Covid-19 and the destruction of the environment – green spaces, green belts mangroves and forest reserves. It is encouraging that concerned citizens and environmental groups are working together to restore sanity.

  4. Anonymous says

    Thanks for bringing this important information to the general public’s attention.

    For those who prefer to stand by and do nothing, please don’t complain when you experience the detrimental effects of the on-going environmental vandalism by statutory bodies who are charged with protecting the environment!

    Seems like all the talk of Sustainable Development goals by our political leaders is just that – talk!

    If you wish to do something, support the petition at

    But more importantly – RESPOND to LaDMA’s application by posting your opposition to the ‘APPLICATION FOR CHANGE OF USE OF SITE FROM MANGROVE (PROTECTED COASTAL WATER FRONT ZONE) TO MIXED USE’ to:
    Physical Planning Department, La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly, P O Box 395, La-Accra

    Also keep an eye of Parks And Gardens HQ in Cantonments, Accra, where the Ministry Of Local Government is hell-bent on building an office complex on the Parks And Gardens land! This must be stopped. See this Citi TV coverage with Eco-Conscious Citizens’ co-ordinator Awula Serwah at

  5. Anonymous says

    The a real challenge to Peace Council if indeed they care about the people and environment.

  6. Dedo Mate-Kodjo says

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. This is a call to action for all a Ghanaians!
    We shouldn’t tolerate this reckless destruction of eco systems.

  7. Edwin Gyamfi says

    A new capital and seat of government is due. It’s a win win situation. A project of such magnitude will enhance the infrastructure of the country, create jobs, encourage the redistribution of capital and wealth, will garner the support of the international community and add significantly to the modernisation of our economy and increase GDP. Essentially, Accra’s Eco balance could be restored and maximise its tourism industry.

  8. Anonymous says

    Thank you so so much for your article and the significant concern shown about the environments particularly in Accra. The capital is choking with people and jungle of physical structures, some are so unneccssary and unwanted in the infra-structure.
    If governments after governments believe that turning Accra into a concrete jungle is what is needed in the capital city, we say that will not wash well with the health and devopmdnt of the people living in the city. As you suggested in your article and reiterated by
    contributors in response, they should move the city elsewhere there is the space to put up all those business/commercial structures therefore creating jobs and expanding Ghana’s economic base to other parts of the country. Accra requires its own development of the environments not with more and more buildings. Leave the Cty of Accra and its natural enviroments to develop its eco infrastructure.

  9. Anonymous says

    Paa-C Quaye contributory article immediately above.

  10. Martha Fillastre says

    Do we really need more concrete structures in Accra? After concreting areas like Ridge, Airport and Cantonments, why attack this natural site that is beneficial to the environment and the people of Accra. While other countries are preserving their mangroves, we want to destroy them for the benefit of just a few people. Our government’s stance on the environment seems to be just lip service

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