Pressure Builds On Akufo-Addo Government Over Amanzule Conservation Mining

Pressure Builds On Akufo-Addo Government Over Amanzule Conservation Mining

  • The government's decision to give the Amanzule Conservation area to a mining company is being fought strongly
  • The Ghana Environment Advocacy is leading a group of like-minded NGOs to fight the mining in the conservation area located in Ellembelle and Nzema East districts
  • The NGOs say the Amanzule wetland is home to the largest remaining expanse of undisturbed swamp forest in Ghana
  • Elizabeth Allua Vaah, Executive Director, Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group, told that the group hopes that the Mineral Commission will withdraw the licence issued to the firm mining firm

A coalition of NGOs, led by Ghana Environment Advocacy, is preparing to submit a petition to the Minerals Commission regarding mining activities in the Amanzule Conservation Area.

Amanzule is situated in the Ellembelle and Nzema East districts of the Western Region.

The petition opposes the concession of this area to the Yellow Gold Mining Company and seeks to raise awareness about the potential environmental impacts.

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Pressure Builds On Akufo-Addo Government Over Amanzule Conservation Mining
Bird eye view of the Amanzule River (L) and Nana Akufo-Addo. Source: Facebook/@nakufoaddo, Instagram/@yaw_pare
Source: Facebook

Ghana's largest swamp forest under threat

Amanzule wetland, home to the largest remaining expanse of undisturbed swamp forest in Ghana, is facing a looming threat due to mining interests. This area, boasting rich biodiversity and distinct blackwater ecosystems, is of immense ecological importance.

The NGOs are calling for action to safeguard Amanzule's unique environment, emphasising the urgent need to protect it from degradation resulting from industrial activities.

Arocha Ghana, another environmental NGO opposing the move to mine in Amanzule, has pointed to the passage of LI 2462 on mining in Forest Reserves and says licenses have already been given for mining to take place in eight forest reserves.

Three of these reserves are globally significant biodiversity areas in Ghana, the NGO said.

A potential community nature reserve

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There are efforts underway to designate Amanzule as a Community Nature Reserve, and it is being considered for Ramsar designation.

The project, funded by the Netherlands Government and implemented by the Ghana Wildlife Society, aims to preserve this area's pristine nature and biodiversity.

Challenges ahead

Given the large catchment area and varying population density, establishing a zonation system becomes essential to prioritise conservation efforts in the most biologically significant and intact regions.

Furthermore, freshwater lagoons in the vicinity, such as those used by the Nzulenso community for fishing, face potential sustainability and pollution challenges that require effective regulation and enforcement.

These NGOs are committed to protecting the Amanzule Conservation Area and ensuring its preservation for future generations, aligning with international efforts to safeguard biodiversity and wetland ecosystems.

Elizabeth Allua Vaah, Executive Director, Ghana Environmental Advocacy Group told that they hope that the Mineral Commission will withdraw the mining licence issued to the firm.

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"A refusal of the Minerals Commission to withdraw the license would mean that the Commission has no regard for human life nor for the concerns of local communities. In that case, we will keep calling them out to whoever would listen. For the said company, we will use all legal means available to us to safeguard our land and our natural environment and resources," she vowed..

World-renowned actor calls on Ghana to save earth by keeping Atewa forest safe

In 2021, reported in a separate story that world-renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined calls for Ghana to keep the Atewa Forest safe as it is critical to the health of the entire planet Earth.

The forest in Ghana has 1,000 species of plants, 230 species of birds, 570 species of butterflies, and 50 species of mammals going extinct.

The Ghana government expressed great interest in mining bauxite in the forest, which will deplete the rich natural resources.

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Okyenhene destools chief over illegal mining

In a separate story, reported that the Okyenhene Amoatia Ofori Panin destooled one of his chiefs for engaging in illegal mining Benkumhene of Asamang-Tamfoe.

Nana Boakye Darkwa was destooled after a petition was brought against him by some concerned citizens.

After a series of proceedings by the Akyem Abuakwa Judicial Council that was chaired by the Okyenhene, the Benkumhene was stripped of his title.

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