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At the signing ceremony, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Nii Osah Mills, lamented on the state of deforestation and stated that the Achimota Forest Reserve which is the largest remaining urban green –belt in Ghana is under serious threat due to encroachment.

 

In the agreement, Aikan Capital Limited is expected to design, finance, develop and maintain the Eco-park and share the proceeds with government, he pointed out.

 

Hon. Nii Osah Mills expressed the hope that Aikan Capital would be fully committed to the tenets of the agreement and also provide the best services as required.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Samuel Afari   Dartey, said the project would lead to an improvement of the ecosystem of Accra and would be modified to accommodate all species of animals, as well as other species that are alien to Ghana.

 

Explaining the reason for undertaking the project, Mr. Afari   stated that the total size of the forest, which was 494.95 hectares in 1930; has currently been reduced to 360 hectares as a result of encroachment.

 

He said, apart from the huge revenue to be generated from the project it would also create employment.

 

In an opening statement, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Prof. Bruce Banoeng Yakubo, said many cities all over the world are developing parks and ecological gardens within their cities to provide excellent places for recreational and as tourist attractions.

 

Citing Kenya National Park as an example, he explained that such ecological parks provided good environment for absorbing Carbon Dioxide that is produced from industrial activities and from vehicles. He added that Ghana could also learn from such good examples to transform its remaining green forest in the city of Accra.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of Aikan Capital Limited, Mr. Oheneba Otchere, said the company has brought in expert partners from the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to help in the assessment and development of the Eco-park.

 

The project is expected to start by the third quart of this year.