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Akufo-Addo Assents Wildlife Bill Into Law

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has given his assent to the Wildlife Resources Management Act, 2024 (Act 1115), almost a year after it was passed by parliament.

The bill sponsored by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources witnessed a series of setbacks in Parliament before finally getting passed by the House on July 28, 2023.

In a statement, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources said President Akufo-Addo gave his assent to it on March 1, 2024.

Cause for New Law
According to the statement, the Wild Animals Preservation Act, 1961 (Act 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 685) and the Wildlife Reserves Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 710) which previously regulated wildlife and protected areas had outlived their relevance.

“These legislations, enacted over fifty (50) years ago, were not in tune with current international best practices for wildlife protection and management, and did not provide a proper legal framework for the implementation of the Forest and Wildlife Policy, 2012, the Forestry Development Master Plan (2016-2036) and other national and international frameworks that guide sustainable resource management, all of which were adopted years after these laws were passed.

“These previous legislation, also, did not clearly define the aims and objectives of wildlife management and the various categories of protected areas, and lacked deterrent sanctions for wildlife offences.”

New Law
The new regime, the Ministry indicated, conforms to existing policies in the sector and provides for the implementation of international conventions on wildlife to which Ghana is a signatory.

It explained that the law provides for a new management structure to give legal backing to the involvement of local communities in wildlife management through the creation of Community Resources Management Areas (CREMAs) and provide higher penalties and sanctions regime for wildlife offences, deterrent enough to protect our wildlife resources.

“The law also provides for the implementation of several international wildlife conventions to which Ghana is a signatory, such as the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitats (RAMSAR), 1971, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), 1973, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (BONN), 1979, as well as several indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”


Source: /Hajara Fuseini

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