Civil Societies on Thursday called on Parliament to hasten the passage of the Wildlife Resource Management Bill to provide concerted efforts towards conserving the country’s wildlife resources.
At a media briefing in Accra, Mr Eric Lartey, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Society of Ghana said it had become necessary to pass the bill into law as various developments kept recurring over the years.
He said there was the need to pass the bill into law, since the law governing the management of the wildlife resources was out-dated, adding that the first law to preserve and conserve the wildlife was passed in 1961, while the latest was passed in 1981.
He said since the early 1980’s, the country had not paid enough attention to the laws by upgrading the laws meant to manage the wildlife resources, leading to poor management.
Mr Lartey said there was the need to pass the bill into law to consolidate and revise laws relating to wildlife and protected areas.
He noted that although Ghana had ratified enough international conventions on wildlife conservation, the country had not put down measures to implement them hence the need to pass the bill to give enough room for implementation.
He indicated that the passage of the bill would help to involve communities in the management of wildlife resources adding that although the Forestry Commission of Ghana had initiated the Community Resources Management Areas, its operations were not backed by law.
The private sector, he said would be engaged by the law when it was implemented to help in wildlife and biodiversity conservation as the laws would clearly define their roles in the processes.
Mr Nehemiah Odjer-Bio, the Project Coordinator of Friends of the Earth – Ghana indicated that the bill was at the office of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and therefore called on him to present the bill to the Parliament for consideration and further passage.
There was a call on the media to use their platform to support the passage of the bill, which would go a long way to conserve wildlife and biodiversity in the country.
A number of actions, used to deal with activities by persons in the form of intense encroachment and destructions by illegal settlements, farming, poaching, mining and chainsaw operations have achieved less results.
A more concrete approach prepared and still under consideration is the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2014 and is yet to be passed into law to deal with the situation.