Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM) is the largest youth-led movement in Ghana that campaigns for environmental/climate justice and sustainability. We wish to add our voice to the numerous calls by concerned Ghanaians for the Government and its affiliated institutions and agencies to re-plant tress cut down from the Aburi Forest Reserve where the Aburi Botanical Gardens is positioned.
Our visit to the place and further investigations revealed that a top government official, Mr Kwadjo Afari Gyan, DCE of Akuapem South, sought permission from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and deforested two (2) acres of the Aburi Forest Reserve early March this year to site an Assembly complex. The forest would have endured the sharp edges of construction machines if not for officials of the Gardens who intervened to stop the further damage to Mother Nature.
We believe this move is inconsiderate and runs contrary to the second guiding principle of the Ghana Forest and Wildlife Policy 2011 which aims at “maintaining the ecological integrity of the forest and savannah ecosystems”. We believe this action will rather exacerbate the demise of our already whittled down forest reserves and destroy its ecological integrity. We have grave doubts that turning a portion of this beautiful, fascinating and unique national treasure into an Assembly complex is in the best interest of the natural heritage of citizens of Ghana.
When the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Julius Debrah took a tour of the Gardens as reported by Daily Graphic Online on Thursday May 29, he gave the assurance that “his outfit is committed to preserving the ecology of the Aburi Botanical Gardens and its adjoining undeveloped forest”.
Tomorrow June 5 is World Environmental Day and there is no opportune and appropriate time for the Government and its affiliated Ministries and institutions such as the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Forestry Commission and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take the needed actions and steps towards the restoration of the reserve.
We also call on Government to immediately halt all attempts to destroy all important national reserves and reclaim all encroached portions of these natural resources and rather protect them for posterity.
To support the #ReplantAburiGardens campaign by GYEM, click this link>>http://on.fb.me/1ouKuqE>>
By Steering Group (GYEM)
Tel: 0264 760 399 / 0572 127 993
Cc: Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development
Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
All Media Houses