The Community Resource Management Areas (CREMA) concept is a viable approach to conserving forest reserves for community empowerment, Mr Joseph Binlinla, Upper East Regional Wild Life Manager, has observed.
Under the CREMA concept, community members with formation of executives, are empowered to manage the natural resources within their geographical areas to help preserve and conserve biodiversity.
This, he noted, once the executive members have been granted the mandate and power by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to operate, their operations would be backed by higher authority to help manage natural resources in their jurisdiction.
“With this granted power, you have the authority to stop politicians or anybody or groups of people who would want to abuse the natural resources such as the forest reserves and biodiversity”, he stressed.
The Regional Manager made the observation during the swearing in of new executives of the “Sanyiga Kasena Gavara Kara CREMA” into office at Nakong in the Kassena-Nankana West District.
The programme was organised by Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and sustainability (ORGIIS Ghana), an Environmental NGO through Noé, ECONOBIO with funding support from Agency Franciase de Development (AFD).
The programme which attracted stakeholders including traditional and opinion leaders, Assembly members among others was aimed developing green value chains for the benefit of local population living on the outskirts of biodiversity-rich areas with the support of the private sector and civil society organisation.
The occasion was also used to present three tricycles worth GH₵33,600.00 to Sanyiga Kasena Gavara Kara CREAMA to facilitate their operations.
Mr Julius Awaregye, Executive Director of ORGIIS-Ghana, stressed that as local stakeholders, there was an urgent need to strengthen the CREMA, provide them with adequate trainings and equipment to patrol and decrease harmful activities.
He said sustainable economic activities such as the establishment of shea nut ware houses, grinding mills for shea butter needed to also develop to provide alternative livelihoods for residents of the CREMA operational areas.
He said over the years, his outfit with funding support from AFD and other donors had established a number of facilities such as shea nuts and baobab warehouses, grinding mills as well as empowered the group particularly women to go into small scale enterprises in the CREMAs.
He noted that as result of the CREMAs some people who were engaged in the destruction of the natural resources had been arrested and served a deterrent to others and reducing the canker.
Mr Clifford Adagnera Amoah, Programmes Manager of ORGIIS-Ghana, mentioned that one of the activities of the CREMA initiated by his outfit was the development of economic activities such as shea butter, honey and beeswax and baobab value chains.
He mentioned some of the beneficiary communities as Wuru,Kwapun, Kunchogu, Banu, Pudo,, Basisan, Nkong, Katiu, Kyoro all within the western wildlife corridor in Sissala East District of the Upper West Region, and Kong, Katiu and Kayoro traditional areas and and Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
He added that the Western Wildlife Corridor was part of Mole Landscape linking the Mole National Park and the Nazinga Game Ranch were undergoing accelerated degradation at the expense of the poor rural population directly depending on natural resources.