On 18th and 19th November 2013, the Coalition of NGOs against the Mining of Atewa (CONAMA) will hold an international summit on Atewa at the Coconut Grove Hotel, Accra. The summit will be on the theme “Atewa Forest, a Heritage at a Crossroad. What Future?” In collaboration with international conservation groups such as IUCN, A Rocha International and SAVE THE FROGS! USA, this summit will produce resolutions and proceedings to ensure the Atewa Forest is converted to Atewa Hills National Park. There will also be petition signings to push for this course and seek Government’s commitment towards banning the mining of this biodiverse area (please visit http://www.saveatiwa.com.gh/petition.php#.Uoi3Yvn8FQ4 or to sign). This summit is open to all interested groups and individuals from both Ghana and overseas. SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, a key member of CONAMA will be represented and will mount up a stand to showcase our good works done so far to promote the cause of Atewa.
The Atewa Hills is the only home of the Critically Endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi). It is also Ghana’s most biodiverse area listed as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International. Unfortunately, it has become a hub for many destructive activities such as illegal mining, logging and farming. There are also insurmountable pressures from government to mine it for its large bauxite deposits making it the most threatened wilderness area in Ghana. Atewa Hills being the headwaters for Rivers Densu, Ayensu and Birim that supply clean water to about 5 million Ghanaians will forever be degraded and destroyed if mined, preventing it from carrying out its ecosystem services. There is however a wide consensus among scientists and NGOs that the Atewa Hills should be permanently protected as Ghana’s 6th National Park for long term gains for the greater good of all. For this purpose, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana has been working with international organizations and CONAMA members. The group CONAMA is made up of nine (9) local NGOs (SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, A Rocha Ghana, FOREST WATCH GHANA, WACAM, CEIA (Centre for Environmental Impact Analysis) – IWWA, Conservation Alliance, HERP Ghana and Rainforest Friends Ghana, RAFFS/G).
Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi is the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Campaigns Coordinator.