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14.11.2005 Regional News

Natural resource Management workshop opens in Volta Region

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Ho, Nov. 14, GNA - The Forestry Commission in collaboration with the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), Ghana Wildlife Society and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission on Monday organized a workshop for fifty-four participants from 35 communities around the Kalakpa Forest Reserve in the Adaklu-Anyigbe District in the Volta Region.

The workshop is to give the participants an insight into the issue of natural resource management and sustainable livelihood. It is also to deliberate on the way forward for their various communities.

The participants would be taken through wildlife legislation in Ghana, the protection of wildlife, conservation of natural diversity and the protection of vulnerable areas and lands and the benefits they would gain by protecting the area.

Mr Frederick Buer, Volta Regional Coordinator of Ghana Wildlife Society called on communities around the Kalakpa resource reserve and the Volta Region, as a whole to conserve their natural resources to enable them creates wealth.

He advised them to emulate the communities in the Gbledi Traditional Area in the Hohoe District, where there has been no bushfire for the past five years.

Mr Buer said the protection of the forest by communities in the traditional area has imparted positively on the socio-economic activities of the people.

Mr George Asamoah, Park Manager of the Kalakpa Resource Reserve advised the participants on the need to protect the forest. He said the Forest and Wildlife policy was developed in 1994 by the government to provide a set of principles, objectives and strategies to guide the sustainable development of the sub-sector.

Mr Asamoah said the policy however, recognized the important role of local communities in sustainable management of Wildlife resources, both in Wildlife protected areas and outside them.

He said the concept provided the mechanism by which, Wildlife Division could transfer authority with its concomitant rights and responsibilities from Wildlife to rural communities. Mr Asamoah said the aim of the approach was to encourage local people to integrate Wildlife management into their farming and land management systems, as a legitimate land use option. He therefore, charged the participants to embrace the concept to improve their living standard.

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