Okyenhene parries bauxite mining in Atewa Forest opts for Ecotourism Okyenhene parries bauxite mining in Atewa Forest opts for Ecotourism
Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has stated that Akyem Abuakwa area has the potential to become ecotourism destination in Ghana. According to the Overload... Okyenhene parries bauxite mining in Atewa Forest opts for Ecotourism
Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin has stated that Akyem Abuakwa area has the potential to become ecotourism destination in Ghana.
According to the Overload of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional area ,the ecotourism potential of the Atewa rainforest and its ability to save  the world from debilitating effect of climate change has attracted international attention hence the need to conserve the forest reserve to make it ecotourism center .
“there is no doubt that ecotourism has a great potential in Akyem .The Equatorial rainforest is the cynosure of the Western World and,now,the focus of considerable environmental attention for its real and perceived ability to save the globe from self-destruction .Some of you may know of my role in this regard and the fact that I sat on the Advisory Board of the Princes Rainforest Project (PRP) ,an initiative by Prince Charles of Great Britain to protect the World’s rainforest ,ie the fraction that is left of it. Associated with it possibility of creating geological parks showing nature’s wondrous features “.He said .
Okyenhene said this Saturday during a durbar to climax the  Ohum festival under the theme” Taking Charge of Our Environment ” ,at Kyebi in the Eastern region .
According to Okyenhene,he is not against mining  but rather against over exploitation of natural resources and its  associated negative environmental impact on the environment .
“While we vehemently condemn galamsey.Let me get this Straight ,there is talk that I am against mining .It is not mining I am against its exploitation and unchecked abuses of poor people’s drinking water ,I’m against companies whose only motive is profits and fail to build new communities, yes I’m against destruction of pristine forest and degradation of indigenous people’s farm without paying adequate compensation
and I still believe in butterflies” .
He further explained that, he is also against “the slave wages multinational firms pay our miners for doing the same job other miners do elsewhere. The proponents of mining both locally and internationally would want you to believe that these pronouncements will drive away investors. our answer to that is ,let us engage mining that is responsible and sustainable “.
He blamed previous governments for failing to enter into agreements with multinational mining firms that  benefit mining communities .
Government of Ghana has entered into $15 billion mortgage with Chinese government to mine bauxite deposits in the country including bauxite in the Atewa Forest Reserve .The move has attracted huge outcry from environmentalists in Ghana given that the three major river bodies has its watersheds in the Atewa Forest reserve ,not undermining the species richness of the forest .
Government decision to mine the bauxite aim at creating jobs and develop the country.However according to Okyenhene ,Agriculture remains the main economic activity with the potential of providing jobs and contribute positively to the economy therefore government must make effort to aggressively diversify the single -family farm activity to include animal husbandry if it want to provide jobs for the youth instead of targeting natural resources .
” Several on-ongoing activities in the name of economic development are indeed leading to resource depletion and causing environmental degradation. As if that were not enough these activities ,frequently authorized from outside Akyem are now disrupting the daily farming activities of the citizens and destroying water bodies ,including watersheds.”
Story by Kojo Ansah
Source:enaghana.com