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Ghana Wildlife Society Organizes Workshop to Review the Mole National Park Management Plan under the EU-funded SIBCI

Over the years, major steps have been taken in the quest to update the protected area management plan of the Mole National Park. Three previous management plans have been developed so far to guide the management of the Mole National Park. The first management plan for Mole National Park was completed in March, 1994, after a series of studies and surveys by the then Wildlife Department staff, supported by a team of IUCN technical staff. The second was later updated in 2005 after a series of workshops and reviews of draft plans, facilitated by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana.

The most recent management plan for Mole National Park was consultatively developed in 2011 by the staff of the Wildlife Division, non-governmental organizations, District Assemblies and selected Protected Area Management Advisory Units of the Mole National Park. The 2011 management plan was to be implemented over a five-year period to the end of 2016. While this plan may have several aspects that are valid and relevant, some pieces of information may have outlived their usefulness and relevance hence the need to review the implementation of the management plan to ascertain any gaps.

Breakout Session: Identifying the gaps of the expired management plan and discussing the way forward to updating the plan.

It is on this premise that the Ghana Wildlife Society in collaboration with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and Nature and Development Foundation, facilitated a two-day stakeholders’ workshop to review the successes and challenges encountered in the implementation of the 2011 management plan. This effort forms part of the implementation of the Savannah Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (SIBCI), a project initiated by the Ghana Wildlife Society in collaboration with partners. The project is funded by the European Union and is implemented under the framework of the IUCN’s PAPBio Programme seeking to ensure sound management of large landscapes of high biodiversity value.

The workshop was organized at the Forest Hotel Dodowa on the 5th – 6th August, 2020 with the participation of key stakeholders. The main objectives of the workshop were to identify gaps that could serve as the basis to update the management plan and come up with recommendations, and next steps to addressing the gaps leading to the formulation of a new management plan. The workshop hinged on known protected area management frameworks such as the IUCN World Heritage Evaluation Matrix, IUCN WCPA Best Practice Guidelines for Protected Areas and many others to help standardize the review process. The workshop further took stock of the 2017 Mole Evaluation Report, on the nominations of natural and mixed properties to the world heritage list.

Following the workshop, a drafting team was constituted to address the identified gaps of the expired plan conduct a comprehensive ecological inventory of entomofauna, herpetofauna, avifauna and flora species of the Mole Nation Park as well as the socio-economic profiling of the landscape that will lead to the promulgation of an updated management plan for Mole National Park.

A group photograph of all participants of the review workshop at the Dodowa Forest Hotel in Accra.