I AM SHARING THIS LETTER AS SENT TO ME BY THE LEAD ADVOCATE:
Pic credit: Yaw Pare
Letter By Concerned Environmentally-Conscious Ghanaians And Pan-Africanists Handed To Attorney-General
May 2 2019
At a time when the focus is on Ghana for losing its rainforest faster than any other country in the world, Awula Serwah, secretary of London-based pan-African civil society organisation Africans For and the Accra-based East La Environmental Group, is spearheading a campaign to raise awareness of what she describes as “environmental vandalism” taking place in the country’s capital Accra.
An Africans For letter, co-signed by several concerned Ghanaian citizens and pan-Africanists at home and abroad, including a former principal state attorney, an honorary consul general, traditional pressure group, and environmental and gardening advocates, has been delivered to the Attorney-General.
The letter raises concerns over several trees being felled at Parks & Gardens head office at Cantonments, to make room for the building of a multi-purpose office complex. As the matter has been referred to the Attorney-General (A-G), the letter asks the A-G to use her good offices to stop the land grab, save Parks & Gardens land in particular, and open spaces in general. It states that “Environmental vandalism and the speed at which Accra is becoming a concrete jungle is of concern”.
It was after Parks & Gardens workers protested, after discovering a large part of its land cleared of its trees, that the matter was referred to the Attorney-General.
The letter, which has since received additional co-signatories including the Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, Archbishop of Cape Coast, points to the reason Parks & Gardens was created. It was set up in 1961 for the development of the nation’s landscape and the preservation and beautification of the environment. Its functions include acquiring lands to establish public parks and promote ecotourism to generate revenue for Assemblies and jobs for the youth, and pursuing actions to combat the effects of global warming by promoting a national tree planting campaign involving all stakeholders.
“It is astonishing that although Parks & Gardens’ functions include ‘pursuing actions to combat the effects of global warming by promoting a national tree planting campaign involving all stakeholders’, our information is that over 140 trees were cut on Parks & Gardens land to make room for an office complex.”
There can be no justification for hiving off Parks & Gardens lands to add more concrete structures. Instead, the Ministry of Local Government ought to be looking to resource its department to make it a botanical garden that can attract people in a city, that hardly has any parks, for studying and appreciating nature. For more information or to join the campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org.
East La Environmental Group