www.padfm.com.gh / Damongo / July 14, 2021.
The savannah integrated biodiversity conservation initiative (SIBCI) and the Faculty of planning and land management (UDS), has organized a workshop for planning officers within some selected districts in the savannah region and Wa east district of the upper west region.
SIBCI was initiated by the Ghana wildlife society in collaboration with partners to support the implementation of sustainable management of the Mole National park and peripheral areas.
The project long-term goal is to contribute to the achievement of endogenous, sustainable and inclusive economic development that responds to the challenges of climate change.
The planning workshop was organised in a bid to deliberate on mainstreaming sustainable management of the Mole National park.
Speaking at the forum, Mr. Raymond Antwi of SIBCI/GWS proffered to participants a brief overview of SIBCI projects in its catchment areas or enclave. According to him, SIBCI since its inception has been in the forefront of working assiduously towards promoting biodiversity and climate friendly economic opportunities that create descent jobs.
Mr. Raymond also stated that, his outfit (SIBCI) has over the period established participatory process towards adoption of best practices in protected area management and mainstreaming of sustainable management of conservation areas into district/municipal Development plans.
The SIBCI project is expected to end by December 31, 2022, with 74% of it’s funding coming from the European union, 12% from the Ghana wildlife society, 8% from other project partners and 6% from the royal society for the protection of birds.
SIBCI has as well conducted training on bee keeping for some members of communities under its operational settings, and has in addition distributed gloves and valentin boots to them, Mr Raymond of SIBCI/GWS said.
The initiative also identified poachers in some selected communities and has therein trained them on livestock production and provided them with some breeds of livestock for onwards production.
Dr Asaah S. Simon of the university for development studies(UDS), highlighted on the purpose of the forum and tasked participants to come out with a flamboyant, but effective planning layout that will suit well with the original motive and objective of the Mole park.
Dr Fauster Agbenyo of the university for development studies recounted a brief history on the establishment of the Mole National park and as well spelled out some achievements of the Mole National park and it’s challenges.
He said the Mole National park has over the years served as a tourist attraction site, increased household incomes, job creation, access to infrastructure and community empowerment and participation.
Dr Agbenyo was however quick to add that, there are challenges confronting the adjoining communities through the establishment of the Mole National park. Some of which he said include restriction from forest resources, safety issues ( attacks from wildlife, crop raiding and human wildlife conflicts.
He further recounted challenges external agents such as the civil society organisations and the private sector operatives go through in same regard.
He said inadequacy of financial resources, climate change, technical expertise, bush fires and land degradation due to over grazing and farming activities that are affecting the microclimate of the park remains a major source of worry to this institutions.
Dr Agbenyo has therefore admonished funding agents and partners and as well as government to be committed to their financial obligations.
Secondly “climate change measures must be rolled out as well as the formation of bush fire management volunteers”. He add.
He said continous education of adjoining communities will play a critical roll in the salvaging the exponential degradation of the ecosystem.
The two day planning event saw participants mostly, planning officers from some five selected districts; west Gonja, north Gonja, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba, Bole and Wa east districts, with some traditional representatives.
The various planning officers after the forum were tasked to come out with a proper monitoring and evaluation concept, peculiar to their various respective stations and are to be delivered before end of July, 2021.
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