A Rocha Ghana, an environmental protection pressure group in concert with other NGOs and individuals, has issued a civil action against government over the planned exploitation of the Atewa Range Forest for bauxite.

The notice which was filed on Monday, January 13, 2020 is in pursuant to Section 10 of the
State Proceeding Act 1998, Act 555.

The group contends that inasmuch as it supports government’s quest to develop Ghana, by raising funds through various endeavours including exploiting the country’s resources, it said Ghana does not need to exploit the Atewa Forest bauxite reserves since there are far richer bauxite reserves elsewhere to consider.

A statement issued by the group on the alleged lawsuit said “considering the critical importance of the Atewa Forest Range to Ghana’s water supply system, biodiversity and natural climate change adaptation, it would be best not to exploit the Atewa Range Forest.

According to them, the notice has been served bearing in mind several constitutional actions to draw government’s attention to the fact that mining in the Atewa Forest would be very detrimental.

The group claimed they will go ahead with a class action should government fail to exclude Atewa Range Forest from the bauxite mining project.

The intended Reliefs of the notice include:
1. Declaration that the right to life and dignity as enshrined in the Constitution of
Ghana, 1992 which includes (a) the right to a clean and healthy environment and (b)
the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future
generations.

2. A declaration that mining bauxite in the Atewa Forest violates the right to life and
dignity enshrined under articles 13 and 15 of the Constitution.

3. An order, compelling the Government of Ghana and its agents to take the necessary
steps to protect Atewa Forest Range in accordance with constitutional obligations as
contained under article 36(9) of the constitution.

4. An order, restraining the Government of Ghana, its assigns and agents, servants,
workmen, allottees and guarantees whatsoever and howsoever described from
undertaking mining and its related activities in the Atewa Forest Range.

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