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01.11.2004 Regional News

Volta Region Wildlife Day Marked at Keta

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Keta (V/R), Nov. 1, GNA - Stakeholders in environmental protection and hundreds of students from first and second cycle schools in the Volta Region climaxed the Region's Wildlife Clubs Day Celebrations for this year at the weekend with a durbar at Keta. Highlights of the five-day celebrations under the theme:

"Creating Awareness on Wildlife Laws in Ghana", included radio talk shows and cleanup exercises by students in their communities, stakeholders' meetings and film shows.

It was a platform for reiterating the need for environmental conservation; preparing the youth for advocacy work in environmental protection in their areas and for creating awareness on the conservation of the environment and bio-diversity.

Mr Kpante Najombe Lantam of the Volta Region Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said as an important component of the environment, wildlife needed to be protected so that complete bio-diversity and ecosystem could be sustained.

He said the level of destruction to the environment by way of bush burning, inappropriate fishing and farming methods, mining, poor waste management and deforestation, disturbed the life sustaining resources of wildlife which man urgently needed for his survival.

"Those human activities pose all forms of danger to wildlife with some becoming vulnerable, threatened, endangered or even extinct", Mr Lantam said.

He reiterated the benefit of the environment including wildlife in socio-economic development and called on other stakeholders and the youth to help protect it.

Mr Lantam appealed to all, particularly the youth to denounce and expose those whose activities degraded the environment.

Mr Fredrick Buer, Volta Regional Coordinator of Ghana Wildlife Society, who dwelt mainly on the protection of sea turtles, said the feeding habits of the turtle promoted effective cycling of nutrients from which other species benefited as it controlled the population of jellyfish and crayfish, which fed on fingerlings, thereby protecting the fishing industry.

Mr Buer condemned the activities of man such as the destruction of the feeding, nesting and resting places as well as pollution of the oceans, which continued to affect the growth in population of the turtle, making it an endangered specie.

He said The Netherlands Government was supporting 42 communities in the country, under the Amansuri Marine Turtle Conservation Project stretching from the Amansuri Estuary to Newton on the Ghana - Cote d'Ivoire border.

Mr Buer said apart from the Amansuri Project, Wildlife clubs carried out researches, monitoring and education on the turtle along the shores of Kokrobite and Ada in the Greater Accra Region.

Miss Dela Amegayibor, Keta District Wildlife Coordinator, said a Turtle Hatchery, Mangrove Cultivation along the Keta Lagoon and the planting of avenue trees in the New Vodza Community were some of the projects drawn up to help protect the environment in the area. There were drama sketches, songs and poetry recitals highlighting the need to conserve the environment.

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