The US Government has announced its readiness to support government’s efforts to protect the Atiwa Forest reserve and improve the quality of life of residents who depend on the resource.
The Forestry Commission is expected to present its plan on converting the Atiwa forest reserve into a national park to cabinet soon.
The plan when completed is expected to create employment while protecting the environment.
The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson Ambassador disclosed his country’s commitment to Citi Business News after a tour to ascertain the opportunities for his country’s support.
“My goal is really to promote awareness of this reserve and to ensure that people see the potential that it offers as a national park…my intention will be to continue to push for the creation of a national park in this forest reserve area,” he explained.
Though Mr. Jackson would not disclose exactly how much would be committed, he indicated that his country will draw from other experiences to support Ghana.
“I intend to engage the President and the Vice in the first instance but I think we can also provide some technical expertise. We’ve had people from our national park service provide expertise and USAID was responsible for the creation of Kakum and so we will look at that model and see if that could be adopted.”
Forestry Commission to cease illegal mining around Atiwa forest
Meanwhile the Forestry Commission has served notice it will cease all mining activities along the Atiwa forest reserve in the Eastern region in the short to medium term.
It follows threats of loss of aquatic and forest lives due to the unbridled activities of the illegal miners.
The forest currently serves as a source for three rivers namely; the Densu, Birim and Ayensu which supplies the Weija Water Dam in Accra.
The CEO of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie gave the indication when he spoke to Citi Business News on the matter.
“…I believe that it makes sense to preserve the forest and make it a national park if we are not very careful, so many of us could die as a result of loss of rivers which take their sources from the forest.”
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana