From proponent to opponent: this man became part of a civil movement to safeguard Atewa forest

Header photo: The group visiting Ghana’s only functioning bauxite mine at Awaso town © A Rocha Ghana

The government of Ghana intends to exploit the Atewa forest for bauxite. Proponents of the plan expect economic prosperity. Nana Ampem Darko-Amponsah was one of them. Until our partner A Rocha Ghana invited him to visit an operational bauxite mine elsewhere in the country.

Ghana’s Atewa forest is the catchment area of three major rivers that provide clean water for 5 million people. The Forest presents one of remnants belt of significant forest cover for climate mitigation in Ghana. The Atewa forest is internationally renowned for its extraordinary biodiversity.

Still, the Ghanaian government intends to mine bauxite in this protected forest reserve.

Our local partner organisation A Rocha Ghana has been committed to preserving the Atewa forest for years. In 2018, A Rocha invited stakeholders on a field visit to Ghana’s only functioning bauxite mine at Awaso town. One of the participants was Nana Ampem Darko-Amponsah.

Like many others, he believed bauxite mining would bring economic prosperity. The visit to Awaso changed his mind. Now he is one of the people leading the local advocacy movement “Concerned Citizens of the Atewa Landscape”. Together with representatives of the 48 forest dependent communities around Atewa he is campaigning to save Atewa forest.

In this video, produced by A Rocha Ghana, Nana Ampem Darko-Amponsah shares his story.

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Jan Kamstra
no longer working at IUCN NL