Ghana’s and Wildlife Resources are under intense threat from activities such as illegal mining, settlement, encroachment, farming, poaching, and mining and chainsaw operations.
It obvious that, if the situation is not properly checked, it will lead to the extinction of some wild life species. The menace will also lead to huge revenue loss for the economy.
Already a number of actions been used as a means of dealings with the situation , some of which include the use of Rapid Response Teams within the forestry Commission to augment the operations of the Military and Police Tasks Force. Yet there is nothing to write home about since the situation continues unabated.
It is in this regard, Friends of The Earth (FOE) Ghana, an environmental non-governmental organization and its partners are calling on government and other policy makers in the county to pass the Wildlife Resources and Management Bill as soon as possible.
The purpose of the Bill is to consolidate and revise the laws relating to wildlife and protected areas.
More concrete approach that was prepared and still under consideration is the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2014.
The Bill further aims at involving in the management of wildlife resources the rural communities that are host to Ghana’s Wildlife.
The Bill, which was first presented to parliament in March 2015 and was read for a second time in October 2016, was not passed into law before the dissolution of the 6th Parliament on the midnight of Friday, the 6th of January, 2017.
It is already three years since it was first presented to parliament and, considering its importance to sustainable management of the Wildlife resources of the country, it is important to advocate for its passage by garnering the needed support from various stakeholders in for in order to put pressure on government to ensure its passage.
This is to incorporate the provisions of various International Conventions relating to wildlife, which has ratified into domestic legislation.
It also seek seeks to bring wildlife administration abreast of current management structures and best practices.
A critical concept captured in the wildlife Resources Management Bill, and which is very relevant to the management of wildlife and forest resources by host communities, is the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA).
As well as being highly beneficial for forest -dependent local communities and indigenous people, community management of forests is an effective and economically viable alternative to destructive logging.
The process of resubmission of the Wildlife Resources Management Bill to the 7th Parliament by the Ministry of lands and Natural Resources appears to be the only way forward now since nothing has been said on the Bill.
To contribute to the realisation of this dream, FoF – Ghana through the GLA project and funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands under the policy framework ” Dialogue and Dissent ” organised a press conference to engage journalists on the state of Ghana Resources Management Bill and what the media can do to ensure its passage.
In an interview with the Executive Director of Wildlife Society Mr. Eric Lartey, he blamed successive governments and policy makers for their lack of interest in the bill.
This he said, government is deliberately delaying the process to satisfy it personal interest.
According to him, Ghana’s environment and wild life are being decimated by unsustainable human activities such as illegal and unsustainable logging off Ghana’s primary forests, illegal hunting and trapping.
Stressing that, there is the need to pass the Bill in order to ensure the protection of the forest and wildlife resources in the best interest of the nation.
By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh