Three global manufacturing companies; BMW Group, Tetra Pak and Schűco International have discouraged the mining of bauxite in the Atewa Forest by government.
The three institutions, which are members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) in a press statement registered their displeasure and decision to join several calls advocating against bauxite mining in Atewa.
Although the government seeks to develop the aluminium sector for economic development, the groups are of the opinion that the sustainability of the environment must not be compromised to achieve such goals.
According to BMW Group, mining of bauxite from Atewa should meet the Convention on Biological Diversity, the UNFCCC Paris Agreement on Climate Change and Ghana’s voluntary national contributions towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Anything contrary to that, Schűco and BMW Group disclosed that they will “refuse aluminium in its supply chains that originate bauxite from the Atewa Forest” and encourage other aluminium users to join in their commitment”.
Also, Tetra Park in its assessment stated that sourcing bauxite from Atewa leaves many residents in Kyebi at high risk levels.
No matter how high the environmental standards that are applied, any form of mining at this site will have an unavoidable destructive impact on the values inherent in such a natural habitat,” it stated.
Persons are likely to face water pollution, nervous system damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease due to heavy metal leach from the mines.
The companies’ letters concerning Atewa-sourced bauxite come after a resolution passed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to save Atewa from bauxite mining.
Several advocates and campaigners have stood against bauxite mining to protect the Atewa Forest. Communities around Atewa Forest have firmly resisted bauxite mining in the forest.
Meanwhile, the President of Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape (CCAL), Oteng Adjei has expressed gratitude to the three manufacturing institutions for joining the call to preserve the Atewa Forest.
Atewa Forest from mining should be an intergenerational priority, and we are happy and grateful that big businesses in the aluminium value chain understand the importance of a healthy forest and the environmental services it provides,” he said.
Atewa Forest, located in the Eastern Region forms part of the threatened Upper Guinea Forest, one of the world’s global biodiversity hotpots.
Again, Atewa Forest is a Protected Forest Reserve and a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) that meets the conditions for Alliance for Zero Extinction status.
The forest is home to many endangered, endemic and rare plants and animals, over 100 of which are threatened or near threatened with extinction.