The recent concerns raised by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the public regarding an application by High Street Mining Company Limited to mine in Kakum National Park in the Central Region have been addressed by the Minerals Commission.
In an official statement, the commission clarified that they have rejected the application and have taken immediate action to remove it from the online mining cadaster.
The Minerals Commission, in a statement signed by Chief Executive Officer Martin Kwaku Ayisi, emphasized that Kakum National Park is strictly off-limits for any mining activities. This renowned tourist site in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa will not be considered for any mineral rights, whether it be for prospecting or mining.
The Kakum National Park, situated in the coastal environs of the Central Region, is a highly popular tourist destination in Ghana.
However, there is now a concerning development as a mining company called High Street Ltd. has submitted an application to the Minerals Commission for a mining license. The company intends to mine 24% of the park’s reserve.
According to information obtained from the Minerals Commission’s website, the application is currently being reviewed and has not yet been approved. During a stakeholder engagement on the policy implications of L.I. 2462 held in Accra yesterday, Mr Mustapha Seidu, the Director of the Nature and Development Foundation, expressed his astonishment at the idea of mining within the cherished Kakum National Park.
Kakum National Park
Kakum National Park covers an area of 375 square kilometres (145 sq mi). Established in 1931 as a reserve, it was gazetted as a national park only in 1992 after an initial survey of avifauna was conducted. The area is covered with tropical forest.
The uniqueness of this park lies in the fact that it was established at the initiative of the local people and not by the State Department of Wildlife, which is responsible for wildlife preservation in Ghana. It is one of few locations in Africa with a canopy walkway, which is 350 metres (1,150 ft) long and connects seven tree tops that provide access to the forest.
The most notable endangered species of fauna in the park are the Diana monkey, giant bongo antelope, yellow-backed duiker and African elephant. It is also an Important Bird Area recognized by BirdLife International, with the bird area fully overlapping the park area.
The bird inventory confirmed 266 species in the park, including eight species of global conservation concern. One of these species of concern is the white-breasted guineafowl Nine species of hornbill and the grey parrot have been recorded. It also has more than 600 butterflies, and a new species was discovered in 1993. As of 2012, the densest population of forest elephants in Ghana is located in Kakum.
The Museums and Monuments Board of the Republic of Ghana has proposed that UNESCO declare the park a natural World Heritage Site under criteria vii and x. The submission made in 2000 is listed under the tentative List of World Heritage Sites. According to the Ghana Tourism Survey, more than 100,000 tourists across the globe visited the park last year, making it the second highest in the country after the Abugri Botanical Gardens.