World Wildlife Day Celebration
On 3rd March 2020, Ghana 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 at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve.
The event was graced with dignitaries like Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Benito Owusu Bio, District Chief Executive Hon. Daniel Akuffo, Chief Executive for Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief of Manya Jorpaya Nene Dr Tei Djahene Korabo IV, Traditional authorities among others.
The UN in December 2013, adopted March 3rd, every year as World Wildlife Day to create awareness 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 (SDG’s), especially goals 12, 14, and 25. The commemoration coincided with the inauguration of a Museum and Wildlife Gallery project at the Shai Hills Resource Reserve in the Greater Accra Region.
Speaking at the event, the 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 further stated that ‘despite 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 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.
Mr Daniel Akuffo the District Chief Executive stated, ‘It is my firm believe that the Shai Hills Resort Reserve under the observance of this year’s wildlife celebration is to expose us once again to the beauty and the importance of the co-existence of man and other biodiversities of which side Shai is endowed with since time immemorial.’
He also said, ‘We have used wild plant and animals for our most basic needs from the air we breathe to the food we eat, to the materials we use for shelter and comfort. It is therefore important to draw attention to the disappearance of valuable plants and animal species from our planet at a very fast rate than nature can replenish all due to human activity for economic interest.’
He ‘therefore pledge to cooperate with the Forestry Commission and other State Agencies responsible for maintaining the integrity of our environment by ensuring that my Assembly will in cooperate Sustaining all Life on Earth in our development planning and implementation.’
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 bushmeat and rather preserve animals to boost tourism in the country.
He further said, ‘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.