FOE-Ghana: Warns China Development Bank not to destroy ‘Atewa Forest’ through its funding

Atewa Forest
Atewa Forest

As a matter of urgency the government of Ghana has been cautioned to stop all mining and prospecting activities in Ghana’s forest reserves especially in the Atewa forest.

Bauxite mining in the Atewa Forest would have a very damaging impact on biodiversity, wildlife, climate, water resources, and the people (present and future)
Dr Theo Anderson, Director Friends of the Earth-Ghana(, made this remark at a press conference organised by Friends of the Earth-Ghana, A Rocha-Ghana, and Tropenbos Ghana, in Accra to brief the media on some crucial issues relating to China Development Bank (CDB) and Bauxite Mining in Ghana.

According to Dr Theo Anderson, In July 2017, the Senior Minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo disclosed that Ghana had signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Development Bank to loan US$10 billion to Ghana’s alumina project.

This he said, Vice President, HE Dr Bawumia also mentioned that Bauxite mining will be a major source of GOG revenue to fund “Ghana’s beyond Aid Programme.”
“We want to remind the Chinese Development Bank that funding the destruction of the Atewa Forest violates the Bank’s own environmental principles and has a consequence for the bank’s reputation and public image.

We are also calling on the Chinese Banking Regulatory Authority to apply all the necessary sanctions on the CDB should they go ahead to fund the bauxite mining in the Atewa forest,” he stressed.

Funding bauxite mining in the Atewa Forest is completely inconsistent with:

• the Bank’s stated Green Growth core values

• the Bank’s claims of support for environmental protection, resource conservation and social responsibilities

• the Bank’s own guidance that projects benefiting from its loans should be managed according to international ecological protection principles and regulations

• the obligations of the China Banking Regulatory Commission’s Green Credit Directive

• And the principles of the UN Global Compact and the UNEP Finance Initiative.

We requested that, to properly fulfil these many commitments of the China Development Bank, the bank should:

• Officially commit to not fund any bauxite mining within the fully protected Atewa Forest.

• And that it should urge the Governments of Ghana and the People’s Republic of China to completely remove Atewa Forest from the bauxite mining agreement.

Adding that over the years, successive Governments in Ghana have received tens of millions of dollars in aid for the purpose of sustainably managing and conserving the forests resources. Therefore destroying forests through mining will be an affront to those whose taxes are given to us in development aid for the purpose of sustainably managing our forests.

The Atewa forest range is a unique upland forest surrounded by a mixture of farms, small scale gold mines and villages. It lies about 90km north of Accra in Ghana. It provides water to over 5 million people in Ghana.

By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/

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