Clean and accessible water is a vital life supporting element for all living things. It is projected that, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water. The need for the protection of watersheds is very important in securing water availability and supply for the present and future generations. In line with Goal 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals which seeks to “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all”, the Atewa Forest reserve is one important ecosystem that serves as the source for three river basins in Ghana; providing water to over 5 million Ghanaians.
"Clearly, we simply cannot continue doing business as usual and to this I reiterate the commitment of the Government of Ghana to designate Atewa Range Forest Reserve as a National Park”.
Hon. Nii Osah Mills – Minister for Lands and Natural Resources
In order to understand the economic value of ecosystem services provided by the Atewa Forest reserve, A TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) report was launched on November 9, 2016 by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osah Mills at the Netherlands Embassy. The Atewa TEEB study demonstrates in economic terms, the costs and benefits of current developments within the Atewa forest landscape. The study leading to this report was commissioned by IUCN NL and A Rocha Ghana as part of the ‘Living Water from the mountain – Protecting Atewa water resources’ project. The study received support from the Forestry Commission, the Water Resource Commission and the NGO Coalition against Mining Atewa (CONAMA) and financial assistance of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the Ghana – Netherlands WASH Program (GNWP).
Significance of the Report
The findings of the report shall inform the Government of Ghana in deciding the most optimal and long term sustainable forest management option that yields high economic benefits for the Atewa range and associated river basins.