A domestic NGO is urging the Ghanaian aluminium authority to pursue certification by the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) in order to ensure that its efforts at extracting and marketing its wealth of bauxite ore is done in a safe and responsible manner.
Abu Karimu, director of Settle Ghana, urged the Ghana Integrated Bauxite and Aluminium Authority earlier this week to reach out to the ASI after hearing concerns from locals about Chinese firm Sinohydro’s plans to mine ore in the Atewa forest.
Karimu said the arrangement would be a win for all parties, as the government’s best course of action is to avail itself to the checks and balances of the greater bauxite trade. In addition, pursuit of ASI certification would be proof positive of bauxite miners’ commitment to ethical and sustainable practices in their everyday operations.
Bauxite mining has the potential to make significant negative impacts upon the environment if not done properly, which his organization believes requires diligent adherence to standards and mitigation efforts.
The Atewa forest is the largest of two upland evergreen forests in Ghana and is considered a globally significant biodiversity area. Encompassed by a state-declared reserve, the area contains a number of rare and endangered species and serves as the headwaters of the Birim, Densu and Ayensu rivers, which provide potable water for over 5 million Ghanaians.