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10.12.2005 Regional News

District Assemblies schooled in conservation issues

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Tamale, Dec. 10, GNA - Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Northern Regional Minister, has asked District Assemblies to respond positively to biodiversity conservation. He explained that the safety of biodiversity "determines the existence of mankind".

The Minister made the call in a speech read for him at a two-day sensitisation workshop on the Northern Savanna Biodiversity Conservation Project (NSBCP) for District Assemblies in the region on Friday. The forum was to promote trans-border ecosystem management and how District Assemblies could help fight the indiscriminate hunting of wildlife, as well as evolve sound management to reduce poverty among local communities.

The NSBCP is a six-year Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project that seeks to conserve the region's biodiversity resources and sustain the use of plant medicine through the building of local capacity in conservation and best practices in dry land resource use. Some 40 participants, including District Chief Executives, District Coordinating Directors and community leaders are attending the workshop. Alhaji Boniface advised the NSBCP to collaborate with chiefs, opinion leaders and the District Assemblies to foster a cordial relationship to be able to develop the Northern Savanna Zone of the biodiversity conservation.

He said the Northern Regional Coordinating Council would continue to dialogue and coordinate with the NSBCP to ensure that biodiversity issues were adequately addressed.

Mr. Musah Abu-Juam, Programme Coordinator of the NSBCP said the Project had funded 25 communities to cultivate 10 acres of mango plantation as part of efforts to conserve the environment and improve the nutritional status of the people. He said the Project was providing the local communities with income generating opportunities to help reduce the conflict between them and wildlife.