District Assemblies urged to enforce wildlife laws

Dr Andrew Kyei Agyare, Operations Manager of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission has urged District Assemblies to be proactive and enforce wildlife laws to ensure their sustainability.

He suggested that any individual found culpable of going contrary to the laws governing the operations of wildlife in the country must be made to face the law to serve as deterrent to others.

Mr Agyare was speaking during a panel discussion in Accra on the Ghana Journalists Association programme dubbed: “Business Advocate” on Ghana Television. The programme is supported by BUSAC Fund, Denmark Embassy and the United States Agency for International Development.

Speaking on the topic: “Local Participation in the Governance and Management of the country’s Wildlife sector”, Mr Agyare said wildlife played an important role in other facets of life in terms of economics and recreation.

He said wildlife helped to maintain the ecological ‘balance of nature’ and maintain the food chain and natural cycles, adding that many wild plants provided useful substances like timber, paper and gum, as well as provide aesthetic value to man.

He noted that it behooved on all and sundry to protect animals from destruction since a large percentage of them were losing their habitats which were increasingly being taken over by human activities such as agriculture, and hunting.

Mr Agyare said it was imperative to sustain the ecosystem, and that there was the need for a balance between human and wildlife existence that would promotes fruitful coexistence.

He indicated that a mechanism known as ‘’Community Resource Management Area” (CREMA) had been advocated by conservationists as the solution to ensure the sustainability of wildlife, and that it served as a community based organization to guide and regulate wildlife activities.

Mr Agyare said the establishment of the CREMA was timely because it would help integrate wildlife in the community to promote the sustainability of wildlife in the country.

Mr Abubakar Mahama, Secretary of Murugu Mognori CREMA Association Limited, said the Association was established in the West Gonja District in the Northern Region to ensure the conservation of natural resources in the community.

He commended the efforts of district assemblies in collaborating with the Association in developing a by-law to govern its operations, protect and sustain the wildlife in the community.

Mr John Naada Majam, Northern Regional Manager of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, said their outfit had made progress in public-private partnership to ensure the realization of the CREMA concept.

He said government had given its utmost support to the concept through technical assistance in advancing an effective plan to manage the activities of wildlife across the country.

Mr Majam explained that the CREMA concept when fully implemented, would protect the environment and help mitigate the effects of climate change. GNA

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