Cabinet approves new wildlife management bill

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Cabinet approved the new Wildlife Management Bill 2021 at its 17th meeting.

The bill aims to revise and consolidate all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas, and to bring the new legislation into line with existing policies in the sector.

It will also ensure the implementation of international conventions on wildlife to which Ghana is a signatory.

This is in a statement released by the Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.

He stated that current legislation governing wildlife and protected areas, including the Wild Animals Preservation Act, 1961 (Bill 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulations, 1971 (LI 685) and the Wildlife Reserves Regulations, 1971 (LI 710 ) were enacted about 50 years ago. were not in line with current international best practices in wildlife protection and management.

“These laws do not provide an appropriate legal framework for the implementation of the forest and wildlife policy, 2012, the forest development master plan (2016-2036) and other national and international frameworks that guide the sustainable management of resources. , all of which were adopted years after the current legislation, ”the statement said.

Apart from the gaps, the laws did not clearly define the goals and objectives of wildlife management and the different categories of protected areas, and also lacked dissuasive penalties for wildlife offenses.

To address these gaps and shortcomings in current wildlife laws, he said a new wildlife management bill had been developed through a very extensive consultative process involving both state and non-state actors. .

The bill will provide for a new management structure to provide legal support to local communities in wildlife management through the creation of community resource management zones (CREMA) and ensure a higher sanctions and sanctions regime for wildlife offenses, which is a sufficient deterrent to protect wildlife resources. .

Once adopted, it will provide for the implementation of several international conventions on wildlife, to which Ghana is a signatory.

These include the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (RAMSAR) 1971, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) , 1973, the 1979 Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (BONN), as well as several indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Cabinet approval of the bill means it is now ready to go to Parliament for consideration and, hopefully, passage.

The statement said that the extensive consultation with relevant stakeholders in the review process garnered a lot of support, input and goodwill from all stakeholders and provided a good indication of successful implementation. of the bill when it is adopted by Parliament.

Source: GNA

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