The momentous decision by the Akyem Abuakwa State Council (AASC), presided over by the Okyenhene, to reject the destruction of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest, just to mine bauxite for an integrated aluminium industry (that will never ever be globally competitive, incidentally), in favour of working towards the creation of an eco-tourism destination business for Akyem Abuakwa, is one of the wisest decisions made by any traditional council, since Ghana gained its independence in 1957.
The Okyenhene and all those who work with him in the AASC, deserve to be commended for opting for a sustainable and green economic model, for Akyem Abuakwa.
However, the Okyenhene and the Akyem Abuakwa State Council must go a step further, and also reject surface gold mining in the area too - for, as last year's floods prove beyond any doubt, it is equally destructive. They must rid themselves of Ambassador Budu Saaka's bankrupt Kibi Goldfields - by divesting of their 10 percent interest in it.
With respect, when that is done, it will enable those of us who count ourselves as their fellow environmental activists, to place our overseas contacts at the disposal of the Akyem Abuakwa State Council - so that together, the AASC and those lovers of nature from America and Canada, all of who believe that investing in nature is one of the smartest investment decisions anyone can make, in an era of global climate change - can work together to make Akyem Abuakwa one of Africa's leading eco-tourism destinations.
Unbeknown to the AASC, dear reader, as we speak, plans are afoot - as centrepiece attractions for a community-based eco-toursim destination business - to install ziplines and later add a forest canopy walkway, as well as eco-lodges, in the P. E. Thompson Estate's 14 square mile freehold landholding at the Akyem Abuakwa Juaso section, of the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest.
It is the P. E. Thompson Estate's hope that our sustainable green economic initiative, using community-based eco-tourism as a tool for conservation, will serve as a model for all those who want to create wealth from the preservation of what is left of our natural heritage in Akyem Abuakwa.
Indeed, before the commencement of our project, we would be happy to introduce our (the P. E. Thompson Estate and the Chief and people of the fringe-forest community of Akim Abuakwa Juaso, ie ) partners, Greenheart Conservation and Carbon Trading & Trust, as well as the individual investors they are bringing on board, to the AASC.
Finally, once again, one must congratulate the AASC, for making the right choice, in rejecting the destruction of the unique Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA), which the Atewa Range upland evergreen rain forest has been designated, merely for the dubious short-term goal of mining bauxite.
After all, Ghana could always collaborate with Guinea to develop an Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) regional
integrated aluminium industry, which utilises Guinea's abundant bauxite deposits, could it not? Bravo to the AASC - who, in this instance, are definitely on the right side of history!
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