The West Gonja Protected Area Management Advisory Unit of the Mole National Park on Thursday, 20th April, 2023 held their first meeting of the year at Mole.
The Protected Area Management Advisory Unit (PAMAU) is a collaborative resource management and governance structure that involves various stakeholders.
It is a smaller unit of the management advisory board (PAMAB) and serves as a platform for discussion of wildlife resources and related issues on and off reserve.
The aim of the Protected Area Management Advisory Unit is to provide a focal platform where the management of the protected Area and its most important stakeholders will come together to stimulate and exchange ideas on natural resources management in the protected Area and on lands owned and used by the surrounding communities.
The Deputy Park Manager, Mr. Bona Kyiire said as part of the policy objectives of the Wildlife Division to ensure that Protected Areas develop better relationships with communities, it has put in place two strategies, one of which is the Protected Area Management Advisory Unit, which has been established in all five districts within the mole landscape.
He called on members to continue to advocate on PAMAU issues such as the protection of the environment and the natural resources by giving it the needed attention to ensure the landscape is sustained and well managed.
He explained that various stakeholder institutions as well as some of the fringe communities are added on the board to stimulate discussion on issues about the management of the Mole park in order to conserve it and also address conflict issues that may arise between the park and communities, citing farms that were destroyed by elephants in Larabanga and the role PAMAU played in resolving such issues.
He also indicated that, the meeting was to enable the Park update PAMAU members about the activities that have been carried out since it’s reactivation especially the sensitization of communities on conflict management issues and other related matters.
Mr. Kyiire expressed his excitement with the successes chalked by the West Gonja PAMAU and the positive acceptance of communities within the park when it comes to conservation, protecting the park, and conflict issues.
“It helps bring the communities and the park together, we also realized that certain threats made by community members to kill the animals have been put aside following PAMAU’s mediation efforts” he said
Speaking on the main duties of the protected Area Management Advisory Unit, he said the PAMAU helped in their community entry engagements which led to the establishment of CREMAs, it has also helped in identifying and integrating the concerns of local communities in the management of the park and it’s surroundings.
The vice chair of PAMAU, chief Tolodompewura Abdallah Ahmed stated that, PAMAU has existed for long and noted that their works in conflict resolutions and the continuous public education paves way for related matters to be resolved.
He added that, engaging various stakeholders for them to understand the need to work as a collaborative body to make the system grow is a mile stone chalked.
“The Mole National Park is an ecological area and everybody has a role and responsibility in protecting the park” he admonished.
Adding to that, chief Tolodompewura Abdullah said communities should be aware of a body like PAMAU which is an independent body in resolving conflict issues between the park and communities and should not resort to killing animals or taking the law into their hands.
“When a conflict comes let them know that there is a body that can deal with it, PAMAU is not going to say the park or the farmer is right or wrong but will act as an independent body” chief stated.
He highlighted that representation for PAMAU is drawn from the district assembly, traditional authorities, fringe communities of the park, non governmental organizations and governmental institutions and encouraged continuous collaboration in order to sustain the gains that PAMAU is making in the Mole landscape.
Source: Padfm.com.gh/Gogu Edwin/0555588660