World Wetlands Day 1999 in Ghana

23/11/1999

Activities reported for World Wetlands Day 1999

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To: Mr Anada Tiége

From: Mr David G. Kpelle, Wetlands Coordinator, Wildlife Department, Accra

Date: 14 April 1999

MESSAGE::

I wish to inform you that Ghana celebrated the World Wetlands Day on 2nd February, 1999, with a NEWS CONFERENCE, PHOTO-EXHIBITION and launching of a new MAGAZINE ON WETLANDS.

The News Conference was addressed by the Deputy Minister for Lands and Forestry, Hon. NAYON BILIJO. In his address he highlighted the socio-economic importance of wetlands. He especially emphasised that wetlands are the building blocks for our water supply systems and their destruction is leading to the looming global water crisis. He thus stressed the need for concerted efforts to maintain and use our wetlands in a way that would help sustain perennial water flow in our water bodies

The News Conference was attended by about 180 people including newsmen, representatives of Conservation International, Ghana Wildlife Society, the Green Earth organisation, the University of Ghana and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. Others were Water Resources Commission, Water Resources Institute and 60 school children from a number of Wetlands Conservation Groups in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister also used the opportunity to announce the discovery of the SITATUNGA (Tragelaphus spekei) in the Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site. This animal was thought to have been extinct in West Africa west of Togo and thus its discovery iliustrates the significant role of wetlands as an inaccessible wildlife habitat.

Another main feature of the Day was the launching of a new magazine WETLANDS NEIGHBOURS, as a mouthpiece to promote public awareness and education on wetlands. The printing of the magazine was made possible by the first financial support of US$30,0O0, provided to Ghana in 1997, by the Ramsar Bureau from the Ramsar Small Grants Programme to support a National Public Awareness and Education Programme in Ghana.

Please, find enclosed, pictures showing Ghana's Deputy Minister for Lands and Forestry, Hon. NAYON BILIJO, addressing the NEWS CONFERENCE during the WORLD WETLANDS DAY CELEBRATION ON 2nd FEBRUARY, 1999, at CELEBRITY GULF CLUB, located within the SAKUMO RAMSAR SITE, one of the five coastal Ramsar Sites being managed by the Wildlife Department. Also enclosed is the magazine.

KIND REGARDS

DAVID G. KPELLE
Wetlands Coordinator

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