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Regional News of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Source: GNA

Bia Conservation Area Management Advisory Board inaugurated

Kunkumso(WR), Feb. 28, GNA - Mr Andrews Adjei-Yeboah, Deputy Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, on Tuesday inaugurated a 10-member Bia Conservation Area Management Advisory Board at Kunkumso in Bia District of the Western Region.

This is the fourth to be inaugurated after Mole, Kyabobo and Ankasa National Parks. Bia National Park is about 306 square kilometres.

The Boards would oversee the development and protection of sacred, cultural and other sites that are important or treasured by the people, assist to allocate licence rights to the people for agreed upon harvestable resources.

They would also establish channels of communication to educate people in fringe communities about the benefit of protection and conservation of natural resources to the communities and nation as a whole.

Mr Adjei-Yeboah called on key stakeholders to use the Boards to exchange ideas on natural resource management because it was imperative on all and sundry to support them to bring about the desired environmental, socio-economic and cultural benefits.

He asked the Boards to facilitate healthy collaboration between the Wildlife Division and local communities towards the implementation of conservation projects in eligible communities.

Mr Adjei-Yeboah urged members of Bia District Assembly to assist the Board to generate funds to enhance its activities and although their service was voluntary they should act with satisfaction to the expectation of the people.

Mr Anthony Evans Amoah, Western Regional Minister, said it was significant that conservation of forest and wildlife resources and associated ecosystems, which formed the basis for the existence of life was supported by all and sundry.

He said the eco-tourism potential of Bia Conservation Area and Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve was enormous and should be developed to protect flora and fauna.

Mr Amoah said with the gradual improvement in the region's road network, the fortunes of conservation areas as far as tourism was concerned would change for the better.

He said to enhance conservation of nature and natural resources successfully, there was the need to address the link between the needs of the people and forest and wildlife management strategies. Professor Nii Ashie Kotey, Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission, announced the roles natural resources played in the nation's cultural, historic and socio-economic well-being especially in livelihood support in rural communities and appealed to the people to support the Board to discharge its obligations.

Nana Afro Kwao, Chief of Debiso and Chairman of the Board, pledged their determination to work hard to make the conservation area one of the best in the country.

He said the Board would help to educate people on the dangers associated with poaching and other illegal activities within the area.

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