The District Chief Executive for Amenfi West, Mr. George Agyiri has stressed the need to protect the natural environment and its resources to give hope to future generations.
He said resources such as water bodies and forests were the mainstay of humankind and must be protected, preserved and reclaim lands destroyed by illegal mining activities.
Mr. Agyiri was speaking at the inauguration of the Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) Executive Committee.
The Committee aims at protecting natural resources such as water bodies, forests and its species, animals and amongst others in Amenfi West and Central districts.
The CREMA is in more than 28 communities such as Achichire, Sureso, Pebaseman, Donkorkrom, Kamaso, Essandokrom, Aboagyekrom, Sikanti, Supanspo, Akakpokrom, Adobeakrom,Kamaboi, amongst others.
The DCE commended Codesult, a local non-governmental organization operating in the Amenfi West district for partnering other agencies and organizations such as the forestry commission (wildlife division), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),BUSAC, Ministry of Foreign Affair of Denmark (DANIDA) in bringing CREMA to both Amenfi West and Central districts.
The Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission, Dr. Andrew Kyei Agyare said Achichire, Sureso, Pebaseman Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) covered about 28 communities that host rich and diverse biodiversity that formed the basis of the social -cultural and economic prospects of the local communities.
He noted that in the process of utilising the resource to meet a range of social-cultural and economic needs of the people, the natural resources had been severely depleted.
"This raises serious concern for future economic development and sustained livelihood of the local communities. Its upon this that Achichire, Sureso, Pebaseman CREMA have been adopted by the international Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)as part of a larger landscape for enhance governance and management of biodiversity and efforts to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD +)"
Dr. Kyei Agyare said, the decline in natural resources, wildlife for instance was partly due to factors such as anthropogenic drivers, bush fires, shifting cultivation with short fallow periods leading to loss of soil fertility and hence clearing of more land leading to diminution of wildlife habitat.
He said CREMA has great potential as a good governance mechanism for natural resources management and climate change mitigation which could generate livelihood benefits for small -holder farmers and forest users.
Speaking on promoting citizens' involvement in governance and sustainable management of natural resources in Wassa Amenfi, Madam Dorcas Gyimah Owusu chairperson of CREMA said the committee would continue to influence, encourage and assist societies to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that the use of natural resources was equitable and ecologically sustainable.
She said CREMA presented a key mechanism for fostering local community engagement in natural resources management, reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation(REDD+) especially in the off-reserve areas.
The divisional chief of Achichire, Nana Okofo Asafo Agyei II said natural resource management deals with managing the way in which people and natural landscapes interacted.
'This brings together land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation and the future sustainability of industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, fisheries and forestry', he added.
By Mildred Siabi-Mensah GNA