The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) has received little attention over the years as far as the development of the sector is concerned, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FC, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, has said.
He indicated that the division could do more to enhance the national economy, if the government could channel enough resources to the sector.
Mr Dartey was speaking at the World Wildlife Day celebration in Accra.
According to him, the country only concentrated on the exploitation of the natural resources of the sector, instead of developing them to attract tourists to enhance the contribution of the sector to the national economy.
“Where we haven’t done well as a country is the development of wildlife to generate the needed income for the country. A lot of countries have earned enormous revenue to enhance their national economies and Ghana must learn from that,” he emphasised.
He further called on Ghanaians to be committed to the development of the sector, adding that it was the responsibility of everyone to do so. Forest reserves to be developed.
Mr Dartey added that the division had rolled out plans to develop some reserves in the country.
He mentioned the Ankasa Game Reserve in the Western Region, the Achimota Forest Reserve in the Greater Accra Region, the Kakum National Park in the Central Region, among others, as some of the tourist attraction in the country yet to be developed.
Wildlife Day celebration
Explaining the importance of the celebration, the Executive Director of the Wildlife Division, Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, said it was to raise awareness of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which had economic, environmental and social impact.
He added that the celebration would also remind people how much they relied on the natural world.
He said wildlife was suffering from habitat loss, as well as major threats from illegal trade.
The Regional Environmental Officer of the US Embassy in Ghana, Mr Sam Kent Healy, noted that the US government was committed to reducing wildlife trafficking.
According to him, wildlife trafficking posed a lot of threat to the national economy adding that Ghana depended on wildlife to increase its national economy.