Ghana on Tuesday (March 3, 2020) joined the rest of the world to commemorate this year’s World Wildlife Day in recognition of the importance of nature to socio-economic development.
The UN, in December 2013, adopted March 3, every year as World Wildlife Day to create awareness of and draw attention to the decline in the populations of wild animals as a result of over-exploitation, particularly in the last three decades.
The global theme for the commemoration was: “Sustaining all life on Earth”, chosen to highlight the importance of the sustainable use of natural resources to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goals 12, 14 and 15.
The commemoration coincided with the inauguration of a Museum and Wildlife Gallery Project at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve in the Greater Accra Region.
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at Shai Hills
A Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu Bio, said wildlife played a critical role in the tourism sector of the economy, as well as the country’s culture.
He said in spite of the numerous benefits that wildlife resources provided for human survival, the actions and inaction of people had led to the massive destruction of Ghana’s wildlife estates.
That, he said, had put most wildlife and their habitats in great danger, adding that illegal chainsaw operations, as well as unlawful mining, poaching and pollution of water bodies, had also contributed to the current ill-state of Ghana’s wildlife resources.
The Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, appealed to the public to change their attitude towards wildlife and the excessive consumption of ‘bush’ meat and rather preserve animals to boost tourism in the country.
The acting Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, Mr Bernard Asamoah Boateng, also called for the review of existing wildlife laws to protect the dynamic natural resources of the country.
According to him, the wanton destruction of tree species had caused a sharp decline in the population of many wildlife species, with serious implications for humans, such as climate change.
Writer’s email: benjamin.graphic.com.gh