The Parliament of Ghana has passed the Wildlife Resources Management Bill 2022, after it’s third reading on Friday, July 28, 2023.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, who moved the motion on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, revealed that the bill seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to Wildlife and Protected Areas, and bring it in conformity with existing policies and emerging trends in the natural resources sector.
The new legislation will also ensure the effective implementation of International Conventions on Wildlife, of which Ghana is a signatory.
Additionally, the legislation will give legal backing to local communities in wildlife management through the creation of Community Resource Management Areas (CREMAs) and also introduces higher penalties and sanction regimes for wildlife offences, which is deterrent enough to protect wildlife resources.
Following the passage, the ministry in a statement expressed its gratitude to all stakeholders involved in the passage of the bill in parliament.
“Government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources also wishes to extend its appreciation and commendation to all its stakeholders and key actors for their inputs and support throughout the review process and final passage of the Bill into a new legislation.”Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources
Review meeting on Wildlife Resources Management bill
Prior to this, the lands ministry and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry undertook a three-day review meeting on the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, 2022.
During the working session, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, in a brief statement on behalf of the Sector Minister, Samuel A Jinapor, stated that the Ministry “expects that the three-day review meeting will help provide a wildlife resources management bill that can confidently be presented to the August House of Parliament for passage into law”.
Furthermore, Mr Allotey noted that the move will pave way for an effective wildlife resources management systems for the country. He explained that the Wildlife Resources Management bill will provide the legal framework for the implementation of the policy on wildlife and make provision for international agreements and convention that Ghana has signed.
Additionally, he stated that it will also provide legal backing for community engagements like the Community Resources Management Areas (CREMA).
On his part, the Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry noted that the Wildlife Bill will ensure effective management of the country’s wildlife resources in accordance with international best-practice and also promote private sector investment in the sector.
He was also of the view that the CREMA concept, which has solid legal backing and community participation in resources management will be enhanced.
Furthermore, Mr Owusu-Bio made it known that the sanction regimes have also been significantly enhanced and this he said will deter perpetrators of forest and wildlife crimes from engaging in such activities.
At the final review meeting, which was held in the Eastern regional capital, Koforidua, stakeholders reckoned that it will bring to an end the review processes especially after receiving inputs at the recently held stakeholder forum by the Select Committee. Present at the review meeting were the Technical Director, Forestry, Mr. Joseph Osiakwan, Technical Advisor on Forestry, Mr. Abu Juam, representatives from the Attorney General’s office and Officials from the Forestry Commission.