Ghana's National Wetlands Conservation Strategy revised
Managing Ghana's wetlands: a National Wetlands Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2007-2016)
The Government of Ghana completed and adopted a National Wetlands Conservation Strategy in 1999 as one of the outputs of the GEF/World Bank funded Coastal Wetlands Management Project (1993-1999).
The Strategy was developed to provide opportunity for a more detailed expression of relevant actions for wetlands conservation. Six years on (1999 - 2006), the strategy has been revised in the light of new and emerging challenges, new government policy directions, lessons learnt and experiences gained over the period with a Swiss Government Grant of CHF 18,000 (about 13,820 USD) obtained through the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in February 2006.
The revision was carried out through a multi-stakeholder consultative and participatory process, which involved strategically selected resource persons from government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), institutions, district assemblies and civil society organizations, including NGOs and individual experts.
Further to the revision a detailed Action Plan with indicative budget was formulated to enhance its implementation. The exercise took into consideration the National Land Policy of 1999 (the parent reference policy document), Growth, and Poverty Reduction Strategy II, (GPRS II, 2015), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Draft Water Policy (2002), Forest and Wildlife Policy (1994), Environmental Assessment Regulations L.I. 1652 (1999), National Environment Policy, 1994 and Wetland related legal enactments. The outcome is the production of a document: "Managing Ghana's Wetlands: A National Wetlands Conservation Strategy and Action Plan" to be implemented over a period of ten years (2007 - 2016).
The Action Plan seeks to address nine inter-related priority issues, including:
- Participation in Wetlands Management;
- Legal Framework;
- Wetlands Inventory, Research and Monitoring;
- Wetlands Rehabilitation and Restoration;
- Long-term Sustainability;
- Contribution to Poverty Reduction;
- Communication, Education and Public Awareness;
- Networking and International Cooperation;
The total indicative amount needed to implement the Action Plan is $22,749,629 (USD) over the ten years.
The inter-related priority issues seek to fulfill the relevant objectives of the Ghana's National Land Policy (1999).
The National Wetlands Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2007-2016) was adopted by the sector Minister on 22nd May 2007 (see attached forward) . This is a testimony of government's commitment to firmly integrate wetlands issues into national land-use planning and decision making at all sectors of the Ghanaian society.
Implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan is expected to lead to a better management and wise-use of wetland resources. As more Ramsar Sites are designated the existing Ramsar Sites regulation L.I 1659 of 1999 will be amended accordingly to give them the appropriate legal cover.
The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, with the advisory support of the National Wetlands Committee will lead in the implementation of the Wetlands Strategy and Action Plan.
What is needed for implementation
- Adequate financial resources for implementation.
- Local government support in strengthening the local institutional arrangements for effective implementation.
A delegation of the National Wetlands Committee at the office of the Minister (seated middle) to
present a copy of the revised National Wetlands Conservation Strategy & Action Plan
The Wetlands Coordinator, Mr. Charles C. Amankwah (standing), explaining a point to the Minister (seated head of the table) after a power point presentation of the overview of the Wetlands Strategy and Action Plan (2007 - 2016).
Na Banamini Sandu II (R), Vice President of the National House of Chiefs and a member of the National Wetlands Committee, presenting the document to the Minister. Looking on are the Deputy Minister (L) and the Chief Director (in white shirt) of the Ministry of Lands, Forestry & Mines.
Prof. Chris Gordon, Zoology Dept., University of Ghana and a member of the National Wetlands Committee thanking the Minister and his Deputy for their assurance of support after receiving the document.