Monday, 22 May 2017

The Right Leader Is Now In Place To Protect The Remainder Of Ghana's Natural Heritage

God must love Ghanaians very much to have given them a new president who is actually determined to save what is left of our nation's natural heritage - whatever the political cost to his administration.

It so happens that the remainder of our natural heritage could anchor an ecotourism industry in Ghana that could employ millions of young people and earn our nation  at least a quarter of the tens of  billions of dollars that Thailand earns annually from its tourism sector.

According to Lonely Planet: "The Tourism Authority of Thailand made the announcement this week, stating that the country had received 32.59 million foreign visitors last year, with the tourism industry earning 2.52 trillion baht ($71.4 billion), up 11% from 2015. Projections for this year are also promising, with the country expected to bring in 733 billion baht ($20.7 billion) in the first quarter, exceeding initial predications.  A report released by the World Tourism Organisation ranked Thailand as the eleventh most visited country in the world based on figures from 2015, showing consistently high numbers of arrivals from diverse countries all around the world." 

In light of that, is it not amazing that God made the nation wait for 8 years to bring President Akufo-Addo to power, at the particular juncture of our nation's history when a determined and brave leader like him was required to save the remainder of our country's natural heritage, so that it could be utilised for ecotourism as an alternative to illegal gold mining and illegal logging?

And is it  not also  a miracle that God gave President Akufo-Addo the wisdom to pick the right person to be his minister for lands and natural resources: in the person of John Peter Amewu?

May God bless, protect and guide the dynamic and fearless minister - and the bold and wise president who appointed him - always. Amen.

And who would have thought that a nation full of fence-sitting moral cowards and hypocrites would have the courage to rise as one man against the ruthless criminal syndicates behind most of the illegal gold mining and its handmaiden-in-crime, illegal logging, across our homeland Ghana? Amazing.

And, wonder of wonders, Ghanaian journalists have actually come together to fight what the whole nation now accepts and recognises is indeed an existential threat to our nation and its citizenry. God really does love Mother Ghana indeed. Hallelujah.

Moreover, no one who owns land anywhere in Ghana, and has been at the receiving end of the unlawful activities of the ruthless criminals who engage in illegal gold mining, will ever agree with those who support the arrogant demands being made by the association of small-scale miners that they ought to be allowed to resume their operations.

The question is: If Ghanaians can make money and create millions of jobs on a sustainable basis till the very end of time, from ecotourism, by protecting the lands those selfish and greedy small-scale gold miners want to be allowed to continue destroying in their quest to amass  wealth even at society's expense, why should we not ban all surface gold mining? Food for thought.

The truth of the matter, is that if the operations of all the legally sanctioned small-scale gold mining companies (and that of even the large-scale multinational gold mining companies that are a law unto themselves in this nation of moral cowards) are inspected by incorruptible and honest officials from the  regulatory bodies, not a single small-scale (and large-scale) gold mining company will be allowed to operate anywhere in Ghana.

Furthermore, every single small-scale and large-scale gold mining company inspected by those incorruptible and honest officials from the regulatory bodies, will be issued with urgent notices demanding that they stop working their concessions immediately. That is a fact.

To prove that assertion, if approached by Hon  John Peter Amewu, I shall take him straight  to  part of a freehold 14-square mile upland evergreen rainforest property  belonging to the estate of the late P. E. Thompson, Esq., in the Akyem Juaso section of the Atewa Range, to patiently explain to him (using solid evidence on the ground so to speak), why the Republic of Ghana would be wise to end open cast surface gold mining in Ghana permanently and pass draconian laws to back that new policy.

Whiles there, I shall prove to Hon. John Peter Amewu why if the government of Ghana  bans surface gold mining in Ghana immediately, it will  save us all from a future environmental catastrophe that is literally  just round the corner, and which will create avoidable misery on an apocalyptic scale for present and future generations of  the Ghanaian people.

And such is the beauty of the area - an area of forest that is without question one of the most beautiful places on the surface of the planet Earth - that when what  will be the world's longest forest  canopy walkway (1000 metres with 19 bridges)  is completed, tens of thousands of visitors will flock to the area every month to traverse it and commune with nature.

I have absolutely no doubt that by recounting the harrowing story of how Hagnella Mining Company, a legally registered small-scale gold mining company with a concession in the Atewa Range, invaded part of our family's freehold 14-square mile upland evergreen rainforest property, in what is part of a designated  Globally Significant Biodiversity Area (GSBA) in the Atewa Range,  Hon Peter Amewu will immediately understand how by corrupting officialdom, documents issued by regulatory bodies for a concession elsewhere, were then used by Hagnela Mining Company and its assigns, as legal cover, to cloak the illegal gold mining they were actually engaged in on our family's private freehold forest property - a deceitful strategy used by all small-scale gold miners in Ghana without exception. That is a fact.

Only a nation full of 25 million fools will sit unconcerned and allow a few greedy and dishonest gold miners numbering  less than a tiny fraction of the total population to destroy their collective future. Thank God that that is not the kind of nation the Republic of Ghana is. Yesu mo. Onyame tiase ampah.

It is precisely because Ghanaians are not fools that they will back a total ban on all surface gold mining to protect what is left of their nation's natural heritage.

And best of all, just when we needed one, God has finally put the right leader in place to ensure that the remainder of Ghana's natural heritage is protected effectively - so that it can underpin a resurgent ecotourism industry in our homeland Ghana: that will provide wealth that spreads and stays  in our country and provides decent jobs for millions of our teeming youth. Fantastic. Case closed.

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