The Atewa forest is the source of three rivers, that provide water t over 5 million people

Government of Ghana clears protected forest towards bauxite mining

On May 30, the Ghanaian government began creating access roads into Atewa Forest Reserve to begin prospecting and exploration of bauxite. This action goes against the advice of the US Forestry Commission to not proceed with mining Atewa until a Strategic Environmental Assessment and relevant Environmental Impact Assessments are done. IUCN NL and its partner organisations are concerned as bauxite winning in Atewa will cause major biodiversity loss and is like to comprise the water provision of over 5 million Ghanaians.

Header photo: © A Rocha Ghana, Waterval in Atewa bos

A bulldozer has entered the forest reserve only days after the US Forestry Commission advised that the government take appropriate time to assess the likely impact of their bauxite plans through and not proceed with mining Atewa until these are done. National and international NGOs and civil society organisations express their concerns on this development.

The Atewa forest is an internationally recognized unique piece of nature and it provides water to more than five million people in Ghana. The Atewa forest has an extremely rare vegetation that harbours a high diversity of species. The area contains more than 860 species of plants and more than 570 species of butterflies. The forest is also home to several threatened and near-threatened species, among which the white-naped Mangabey, one of the 25 most threatened species of ape worldwide.

Petition to save Atewa forest

Along with other nature organisations, IUCN NL and its local partner organisation A Rocha are still fighting to save this unique forest. Help us by signing the petition.

Learn more?

Sander van Andel
Senior Expert Nature Conservation
Maartje Hilterman
Project Leader – Forests for a Just Future
Jan Kamstra
no longer working at IUCN NL