Prez Akufo-Addo Assents Wildlife Resources Management Act Into Law

President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assented into law an Act of Parliament which seeks to revise and consolidate all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas known as The wildlife Resource Management Act, 2024 (Act 1115).

The Wildlife Resources Management Act, 2024 (Act 1115), which was sponsored by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, was passed by Parliament on 28th July, 2023, and assented to by the President on 1 March 2024.

The Wildlife Resources Management Bill, which had been pending for over 15 years, was previously laid before the fifth, sixth and seventh Parliaments, until it was eventually passed by the Eighth Parliament, on 28th July, 2023.

The news of the new law is contained in a press release dated 8th April, signed by the Minister in Charge of Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel Abu Jinapor.

“Among others, the new law brings Ghana’s wildlife law in conformity with existing policies in the sector and provides for the implementation of international conventions on wildlife to which Ghana is a signatory. It 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).”

He added that the Wildlife and Protected areas were previously regulated by the Wild Animals Preservation Act 1961, (Act 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulation 1971 (L.I. 685) and the Wildlife reserve Regulations 1971 (L. I. 710).

According to the sector minister, these legislation which was passed over 50 years ago do not meet the current international best practices for wildlife protection and management, and did not provide a legal framework for the implementation for 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 made.

Mr Jinapor said his ministry was committed to the effective implementation of this important piece of legislation for the efficient and progressive preservation and management of the wildlife resources of our country, in the spirit of transparency, anchored on integrity and utmost good faith, for the benefit of the Ghanaians.