The Wildlife Division is one of the three divisions of the reconstituted Forestry Commission. It began as a branch of the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Agriculture responsible for wildlife issues. In 1965, it became a full-fledged line agency of the Ministry of Forestry known as the Department of Game and Wildlife, which later changed to Wildlife Department after the adoption of the Forestry and Wildlife Policy of 1994. In the intervening, the Department moved from the Ministry of Forestry to the Ministry of Lands & Mineral Resources, Lands & Natural resources to the present Ministry of Lands & Forestry. It is responsible for all wildlife in the country and administers 16 Wildlife-Protected Areas (PAs), 5 coastal Ramsar Sites and the Accra and Kumasi Zoos. It also assists with the running of 2 community owned Wildlife Sanctuaries.
To ensure conservation, sustainable management and development of Ghana’s wildlife resources for socio-economic benefit to all segments of society.
To conserve wildlife in Ghana in general and manage wildlife protected areas in particular within representative ecological zones of the country.
Objectives and Strategies
The Division has thus adopted the following strategies: –
- Protect and develop Ghana’s permanent estate of wildlife-Protected Areas (PAs).
- Promote management and development of wildlife outside wildlife-Protected Areas.
- Develop Eco- tourism potentials of the PAs.
- Promote the development of wildlife – based enterprises.
- Develop linkages with other agencies and NGOs whose activities impact on wildlife.
- Assist local communities to develop and manage own reserves e.g. Boabeng Fiema and Agumatsa Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- Foster closer collaboration with communities closer to PAs through the promotion of community resource management areas (CREMA).
- Promote public awareness and education on wildlife management issues.
WD manages 13,489km (6.2 ) of Ghana’s total land surface area through a system of protected areas, in which the land is acquired and given legal recognition. The 16 PAs are grouped as follows: –
- 7 National Parks
- 6 Resource Reserves
- 2 Wildlife Sanctuaries
- 1 Strict Nature Reserves
In addition, it manages 5 coastal Ramsar Sites, 2 Zoos in Accra and Kumasi.
Though our PAs cannot boast of the spectacular large numbers and diverse species of wildlife associated with some eastern and southern Africa countries, it has a variety of species some of, which are endemic to the country.
Some PAs have been developed into key eco-tourism sites within the last few years.