Vice-President of Imani Africa, Bright Simons

Honorary Vice President of IMANI Africa, Bright Simons, has joined calls against the government’s decision to classify portions of the Achimota Forest as no longer reserved.

Taking to Twitter, he noted that “we believe that Accra -like Nairobi, Joburg & Kigali – too deserves at least 1 green retreat in its concrete jungle.”

'Accra too deserves at least 1 green retreat in its concrete jungle' - Bright Simons on reclassification of Achimota Forest
Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

“So our case against government’s new edict: Achimota Forest was abused even when it was a Legal Reserve. Removing the protection can only worsen the situation!” he tweeted.

The Achimota Forest Reserve on Tuesday trended on social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. This followed reports that government has, through an Executive Instrument (E.I), sold the very popular reserve.

Details of the E.I signed by the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, purportedly stated that the land is no longer required as a forest reserve. It further added that the cessation is effective May 1, 2022.

But the Ministry has been explaining that the government “intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

He, therefore, urged the public to disregard any reports about the sale of the forest.

Also, some portions of the Achimota Forest in Accra, in the southern periphery close to the N1 highway, handed over to the Owoo Family in 2013, is no longer a forest reserve.

This follows the coming into force of the Executive Instrument (E.I.) 144 gazetted on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on April 19, 2022, by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor.

Mr. Simons noted that “the argument that the land must be returned to the “original” family because it is ‘not being used as originally intended’ makes no sense,” stressing that “the ‘intended purpose’ of a forest reserve is to leave it as it is!

“Removing the protection because of real estate investors is bad,” he maintained.