SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana (STF! Ghana), in collaboration with other members of the Coalition of NGOs against Mining in Atewa (CONAMA), has submitted a petition to Ghana’s Parliament as part of efforts to block the government’s imminent bauxite mining operations at Atewa Range Forest Reserve (Atewa). Our petition invokes the house’s supervisory and deliberative role to ensure that government is operating within the confines of local laws and internationally binding treaties such as the Convention on Biodiversity. Our petition was received by the majority leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who assured us that the contents of our petition would be carefully studied.
In early June 2019, news came in from local representatives that access roads were being constructed within Atewa, home to the last viable population of the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi) and several other endemic and threatened plant and animal species. This development led CONAMA to issue a joint press statement with a local group, Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape, calling on government to cease extractive operations in favor of greener businesses to secure ecosystem services such as the provisioning of water for +5 million Ghanaians. However, the government continues to conduct itself in secrecy, refusing to hold discussions with us, or take our better economic and environmentally friendlier suggestion for the creation of the Atewa National Park.
Save Atewa campaigners with Parliament members.
Protest to save the Atewa Hills from bauxite mining.
Calls on the government from several others (including the IUCN, the US Embassy and the Christian Council of Ghana) to reconsider the decision to mine have all failed to yield any positive results. This petition was thus taken to ensure that all available civil routes have been explored by us.
Atewa Hills campaigning receiving media publicity.
This cause is supported by a majority of local stakeholders including fringe communities, civil society organisations, students from SAVE THE FROGS! UCAES chapter and several celebrities including the President of Musicians Union of Ghana, Bice Osei Kuffour.
Bulldozing activity in Atewa, mid-2019.
Ghana Musicians Union President taking part in Atewa protest.