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Published on : Saturday, November 16, 2013
Government is developing the Achimota forest into a major Ecotourism destination, as part of efforts to save the forest from further destruction, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has announced.
Alhaji Fuseini said as part of the project proposal to develop the Achimota forest into the Accra Eco-Park in 2011, there would be facilities like, Safari walks, Eco-lodges, Game viewing points, Religious Enclaves and Cultural village as well as Aboretum, Orchards and visitors reception.
He gave the assurance that the project would create job opportunities, provide major destination for Ecotourism within the city of Accra and save the forest from further encroachment.
Addressing the media in Accra, yesterday, Alhaji Fuseini, in response to a publication in the Daily Heritage newspaper of Monday, November 11, 2013 captioned:’ “Mr. President, Stop the Destruction of the Achimota Forest,” said recent discussions in sections of the media to create the impression that the National Democratic Congress Government was taking steps to destroy the Achimota forest Reserve were false.
He refuted allegations that government was making efforts to sell the Achimota forest to private developers and expressed regret that both social commentators and political leaders had failed to approach the sector ministry or the Forestry Commission for clarification or explanation of such technical project, but rather went to the media creating false impression and misrepresenting government’s good intention.
He said the Achimota Forest Reserve which was established in 1930 to serve as a woodlot of neem trees to provide fuel wood for the Achimota School, also served as green belt to buffer the school against the development of the city of Accra.
In addition, he said, the Reserve was also to provide a place for recreation, education and scientific research for students.
Alhaji Fuseini said since its establishment, no developmental agenda had been put in place hence, about 135 out of the 500 hectares of the forest, particularly in the Abelemkpe|Dworwulu area, had been lost to urban development, building encroachments, dumping of refuse and other unauthorised developments.
He explained that the NDC party, as stated on page 50 of their manifesto to protect and manage national parks, forest and other wildlife protected areas, to sustain biodiversity research, education, recreation and Eco-tourism, was committed to ensure a balance between the long-term conservation and sustainable use of the forest and wildlife resources and the pressures to maximize profit, hence would not do anything to destroy its promises.