A three-day West African conference on bushmeat dubbed “Taking the bushmeat crisis in West Africa” opened in Accra yesterday. Thirteen participants comprising bushmeat traders, traditional rulers, environmental groups and Government authorities are attending the meeting.
The conference is a result of a poorly managed and largely uncontrolled harvesting of wildlife, which is posing a threat to wildlife in the sub-region. In view of this, the stakeholders will, among other things, develop long term programmes to ensure effective implementation of wildlife strategies, enhance protection of endangered areas, reduce illegal hunting activities and sustainably manage wildlife harvest.
Prof. Dominic Fobih, lands and forestry minister, who disclosed this in his opening address, said that his ministry, through the Wildflife Division of the Forestry Commission, has introduced a new concept to promote community participation in the conservation of wildlife resource.
Known as the community resource management concept, it seeks to transfer ownership and management responsibility of wildlife back to rural community under the establishment of community resources management areas (CREMA). According to the minister, the aim is to encourage farmers to integrate wildlife management into farming and land management systems. It is also to enable them to have responsible ownership and authority for wildlife on their land.