The Assistant Park Manager of the Mole National Park, Bona Keyiir has called on members of the Community Resource Management Areas(CREMA) and the general public to collaborate and network to promote community development and sustainable management of the natural resources.
At a two day exchange learning program of the Savannah Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (SIBCI) held at the conference room of the Mole National Park in Damongo, Savannah region,he said there has been a frantic efforts to recognized the rights of local communities in Natural Resource Management.
This he said was manifest in the Forestry Commission shifting focus of its management systems to ensure more dialogue with stakeholders particularly,local communities that rely on the forest.
According to him,the CREMA model provides a number of benefits to communities, including improving environment security and land use practices by farmers,a greater understanding of the importance of natural resources to community livelihood,the ability of communities to control access to resources by external user groups and individuals and the development of secondary and tertiary industries at the local level ( tourism and support services).
He lamented on the extreme logging, poaching activities in the park’s immediate vicinity,crop raiding, grazing by domestic animals,land conversation along the boundaries of the park,the inability of some communities to implement sustainable use of biological resource schemes and insufficient finances for the building infrastructure and other tourist sites as major challenges endangering the survival of the park.
The Assistant Park Manager called on community members to double up their efforts in preserving and regulating the park’s natural resources locally and internationally,adding that,”we must work together to keep our wild life species and our common resources”.
As part of the initiative, Community Resource Management Area(CREMA) members and participants went on a two-hour safari drive tour of the Mole National Park, allowing them to sight see and learn more about the wildlife environment they had been protecting for years.
The tour was led by the tour guides of the Mole National Park with a historical narration of the Mole National Park and the dynamics of each animal as well as some of the park’s distinctive trees.
Community members and participants were ecstatic and awed by the tour, which afforded them the opportunity to see species of animals they had never seen before.
Members expressed delight in the whole experience and extended gratitude to the European Union for funding SIBCI, which was implemented by the Nature and Development Foundation (NDF), Wildlife Society and the Mole National Park.
Some of the community members in an exclusive interview with this writer said the projects have benefited their livelihood in the village.
Madam Memuna for instance, indicated they have been able to pay their children’s school fees, meet household expenses, and improve the price of Shea nuts, resulting in increased revenue for the women in the community.
She urged community members to assist CREMA members in their duties.
Abubakari from Mognori recounted the numerous benefits the youth have derived from the initiative. He said through the factory and Cano tour savings, they are able to pay for their children’s printing fees, repair broken down boreholes, and repair their canoes, among other things.
Source: Ananpansah Bartholomew Abraham