Accra, May 24, GNA- The OccupyGhana, a pressure group, has called for a full public inquiry into the matters surrounding the declassification of portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The group has also demanded a similar inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic.

“The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands,” it said in a letter addressed to Mr Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, dated May 23, 2022.

OccupyGhana had earlier written to the Lands Minister to express their misgivings about plans by the Government to return portions of the Achimota Forest to its former owners.

In a follow-up letter to the Minister, the Group made reference to “evidence of how some of these lands have been quietly sold to government and party officials.”

“Since sending that letter to you, we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent.

“We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands,” it said.

The Group asked the Minister to revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.

There has been widespread criticisms and condemnation particularly by environmental activists following the signing of an Executive Instrument by the President to declassify portions of the Achimota Forest as no longer a forest reserve.

The E.I. 144 gazetted on April 19, 2022, indicates that the area ceases to be recognised as a forest reserve from May 1, 2022.

Civil society organisations operating in the environment and climate change sectors have expressed fear that the move could open the forest to all forms of development, which could affect the integrity of the area as a forest reserve.

The Minority in Parliament has also spoken out strongly against the E.I. and called for its revocation.

Meanwhile, the Government has explained that its intention was to reforest and develop the Achimota Forest into a true forest reserve to serve Accra and the people of Ghana.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Previous post Hitachi launches Lumada Inspection Insights and strengthens digital and green portfolio
Next post A LeddarTech anuncia a grande inauguração do Sensor Fusion and Perception Development Center (Centro de Desenvolvimento de Fusão e Percepção de Sensores) em Tel Aviv, Israel, no dia 9 de junho de 2022