While living in West Africa, serving in the Peace Corps enabled visits to several of the neighboring countries to Burkina Faso and provided insight into many varied environments – from the extreme dryness and heat of the world’s largest desert to the lush beauty of tropical rainforests. Just as varied were the cultures that depended on these ecosystems for their livelihood and well-being.
Running along much of the southern border of Burkina Faso, Ghana was one of those tropical countries. Prior to becoming an independent nation in 1957, Ghana was a British colony known as the Gold Coast.
This is NOT an post about Ghana. It IS a post about one of too many environmental issues that is occurring not just in Ghana but is also being replicated throughout the expansive, tropical rainforests of Africa and throughout the world. It is about the challenge between the demands placed upon the environment by companies wishing to exploit vast – and available – reserves of natural resources and the strategic importance of environmental sustainability. Sadly, we are finding that too often, the environment is the loser – and often by a very wide margin.
This post is about a petition to help save one of these important preserves – Atiwa Forest Reserve in Ghana. The link that follows will provide all of the details about the forest and its challenges for survival. I encourage you to read thoroughly, the website devoted to this effort. I hope also that you will consider signing the petition but only after reading about the Atiwa Reserve. Then, you will be better able tell why you support saving this important ecosystem from the longterm destruction that will likely come from extensive mining operations.
Just as many readers may enjoy reading this post or have the luxury of seeing documentaries about these endangered places around the world, there is a greater threat that will make these special places disappear forever – human exploitation. Like climate change, there seems to be little to correct its impact.
The United States has 59 protected areas known as National Parks. The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872. Today, many other countries recognize the importance of these set-aside areas. Many countries do not. I believe this petition will help to raise the level of awareness and importance of Atiwa.