Digya National Park inaugurates Protected Area Advisory Unit
The Management of Digya National Park under the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission on Thursday, inaugurated the Protected Area Management Advisory Unit (PAMAU), in the Sene East and Sene West Districts of the Bono East region.
The unit was part of the implementation of the Ghana Landscape Restoration and Small Scale Mining Project (GLR – SMP) of the Forestry Commission, under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR).
PAMAU was a collaborative resource management and governance structure that involves various stakeholders, which served as a platform for discussion of wildlife resources and related issues.
Dr Richard Gyimah, the Director for Stakeholder Engagement and Ecotourism, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, in his inaugural remarks at Kwame – Danso, said Ghana Wildlife Protected Areas (WPAs) guarded a variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, vascular plants and butterflies.
He indicated that protected areas have many benefits including safeguarding biodiversity from mass extinction, preventing the spread of diseases, provision of local economic successes and building resilience against climate change.
The Director noted that protected areas helped to maintain key habitats, provided refuge, allow for species migration and movement, and ensure the maintenance of natural processes across the landscape.
Dr Gyimah stated that threats to protected areas including the Digya National Park were logging, poaching of protected animals, mining, agricultural activities, sand winning, and encroachment by human settlements.
“I urge members of the newly constituted unit to work assiduously to complement the efforts of Digya National Park. Protect the facility through the prevention of encroachment and other activities” he added.
The Area Manager, Digya National Park, Eric Kusi, indicated that the park, which occupied 3,743 square kilometres area, located in the Sene East and West districts of the Bono East region, was created in 1900 and was given a national park status in 1971.
Mr Eric Kusi noted that the Digya National Park is home to primate species and elephants, antelopes, manatees, clawless otters, and more than 236 species of birds among others.
“protecting this national asset to create jobs, conserve natural environment and resources, and to raise money for national development was a shared responsibility. Let us all come onboard to make this vision happen” he appealed.
The Chairman of PAMAU,Nana Owusu Sakyi III, the Paramount Chief of Bassa Traditional Area (BTA), expressed gratitude to the wildlife division of the Forestry Commission for their effort of preserving the Digya National Park.
He pledged the relentless support of members of PAMAU in the enclave to protect the forest reserves including the various species of animals, in order to attract domestic and international tourists, and holiday – makers.
By Emmanuel Adu Gyamfi, Kwame – Danso.
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