The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio on Tuesday August 1, 2023 launched the 2023 Closed Season for Wildlife Observation on the theme: “Effects of Climate Change on Forest & Wildlife Resources” in Accra.
According to him, a ban will be placed on hunting, capturing and destroying of wildlife animals from August 1st to 1st December, 2023 as specified in the Wildlife Conservation Regulations.
“The only animal that could be hunted during this period is the grasscutter but this can only be done with a valid license issued by Wildlife Division”, he stated.
The indicated that climate plays a key role in the makeup and proper functioning of forests and wildlife resources and therefore, a change in climate such as temperature and precipitation (rainfall) can directly affect the health of forests and its resources.
Hon Owusu-Bio who is Member of Parliament for Atwima-Nwabiagya North in the Ashanti region announced the passage of the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2022 by the Parliament of Ghana on Friday, July 28, 2023.
The bill he said seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to Wildlife and Protected Areas which will be in conformity with existing policies and emerging trends in the natural resources sector.
He continued that the new legislation will also give legal backing to local communities in wildlife management through the creation of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) and also introduce higher penalties and sanction regimes for wildlife offences, to serve as a deterrent to other perpetrators.
The Deputy Minister urged all citizens to observe the closed season while supporting Government’s efforts to address illegality in the forests and wildlife sectors for the collective benefit of all Ghanaians.
In an interview with the media, he noted that through government interventions and partners, wildlife rangers and forest guards are being given the necessary training and adequate equipments to effectively protect all natural resources which includes wildlife.
Deputy Chief Executive for Forestry Commission, Sulemana Nyadia emphacised the importance of preserving wildlife and the impact of climate change on human lives and environment.
He noted that the implementation of the the closed season will regulate the utilization and curb the decline of wildlife resources in the country which will ensure sustainable use of the resources for animals during their critical breeding periods.
Awareness creation, he believes is very important in driving change and should inspire everyone to take up new lifestyle that will help the conservation of nature and the environment.
” We will enhance public campaigns to highlight the importance of our forests and wildlife emphasizing their role mitigating climate change and nurturing a vibrant ecosystem “.
A member of the Forestry Commission Board, Nana Akosua Konadu Agyeman Prempeh on her part, explained that the closed season is a period of no hunting and capturing activities of all wildlife including antelopes, porcupine , elephants among others.
Certifcates were presented to some basic schools for their participation in Wildlife Club activities as well as awards to best students in the Wildlife Conservation Education Drawing Competition held.