Promoting biodiversity and climate-friendly economic opportunity that creates decent jobs

EU-funded Savannah Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (SIBCI) Launched in Damongo

The project which was initiated by the Ghana Wildlife Society in collaboration with partners the University for Development Studies (UDS), Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) and Coorperazione Per Lo Sviluppo Dei Paesi Emergenti Onlus (COSPE). The project seeks an integrated sustainable management of the Mole National Park (MNP) and its fringe communities. It is noteworthy that the project is implemented under the auspices of the European Union’s PAPBio programme aiming at sound management of large landscapes of high biodiversity and conservation value.

The event was attended by all major stakeholders including the representatives from the European Union Delegation to Ghana, the Yagbonwura, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, the Northern Development Authority (NDA), Centre for Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies (CECOTAPS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), representatives from project implementing partners and communities.

The representative of the European Union’s delegation to Ghana, Mr. Christopher Ackon, addressing audience at the event.

Delivering his welcome speech at the launch, the Executive Director of the Ghana Wildlife Society, Mr. Eric Lartey reiterated what the SIBCI project seeks to achieve – improving the livelihoods and health of communities in the northern savannah zone of Ghana. He further stated that, “SIBCI is not to compete or duplicate what other interventions have done or doing but to build on the lessons from other projects”.

Mr. Farouk Umaru Dubuire, the Operations Manager (Protected Areas) of the Wildlife Division of Forestry Commission and a former manager of the MNP in his speech at the launch, cautioned implementers of the SIBCI project not to compromise on the core values of MNP.

Mr. Christopher Ackon, representative of the European Union’s delegation to Ghana lauded the significance of the project as it tends to provide decent jobs for the inhabitants of the communities around MNP which will improve their livelihoods and further bring to the barest minimum human-wildlife conflict that has persisted for years.

Furthermore, he raised an alarm on the trafficking of rosewood (Pterocarpus erinaceus) in the Mole landscape admonishing loggers to desist from the illicit act. In his concluding remarks, he stated that the Forestry Commission will throw its weight behind the project in ensuring successful implementation, and also implored for support from the traditional authorities in the region to help the project to succeed.

On behalf of the Overlord of the Gonja Traditional Area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I, the registrar of the Gonja Traditional Council, Mr. Abutu Kapori indicated that the Yagbonwura pledges his utmost support for the implementation of the SIBCI project and urged peripheral communities of MNP to cooperate and reap benefits from the project. He then officially launched the SIBCI project.
The Project Coordinator, Mr Raymond Agyepong Antwi delivered a presentation on the project, explaining the rationale, objectives, beneficiaries and target groups, activities to be undertaken, funds involved and duration of the project.
A plenary session followed the presentation by the project coordinator. Divergent opinions were shared and suggestions and recommendations were proffered.

A group photograph of all attendees of the SIBCI project launch at the Eco Clubhouse in Damongo.

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