The Wildlife Division (WD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) has held its Annual Performance Review Meeting to review activities for 2023, and again initiate plans for the 2024 at the Forestry Commission Training Centre (FCTC), Ejisu at Akyawkrom in the Ashanti Region.

The two-day meeting was graced by the FC Chief Executive, Mr. John Allotey; Director, Human Resource (HR), Mrs. Anne Brown; Head of Wildlife Programs and Business Planning of the Forestry Commission Training Centre (FCTC), Nana Owusu Ansah, who represented the FCTC Director; and Director, Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC) Representative, Mr Emmanuel Adu Sarpong.

The FCTC Head of Wildlife Programs and Business Planning, Nana Owusu Ansah, in a welcome address said that short courses offered by the Centre is ongoing for both FC staff and outsiders, to equip students in high performance skills for their work places. He said some of the courses were Report Writing, Business Communication and Competencies in Presentation Skills, among others.

He also hinted that FCTC has demarcated a portion of their land for zoo establishment, with the aim to help educate schools close by, and the general public about wildlife conservation, and inculcate the habit of protecting animals for the good of all.

The Human Resource Director, Mrs Anne Brown, said that HR is working on staff welfare, especially with promotion and training for staff’s improved performance and development. She explained the Tier 2 processes and procedures, and stressed that staff should be vigilant by always checking their records and deductions for the Tier 2 Pension Scheme.

The Chief Executive (CE) of FC, Mr John Allotey, mentioned that the construction of the two state zoos in Koforidua and Takoradi will soon commence, as the Koforidua project has been accepted by the District and Region and a land has also been acquired.

The CE also talked about the purchasing of uniforms for staff. He also mentioned that, more staff will be trained and recruited into the Rapid Response Unit to make their work easier and efficient. He also emphasised that facilitating the mobile training for WD staff will improve their performance and minimise illegalities at the work setting.

Another thing the CE mentioned was that it is important that WD staff come to understand what the Climate Change Department (CCD) does, and recommended that workshops, conferences or meetings be conducted to explain climate change and other areas of FC in plain language, to the understanding of staff.

Mr Allotey urged the Wildlife Division to seek for more investments to develop the tourist attractions within the PAs, and work hard to generate revenue into FC’s coffers, to indeed establish the fact that WD is the future of the Commission.

The WD Executive Director, Dr Joseph Boakye Esq., during the review session emphasised that Regional and Park Managers must have the ‘do it yourself initiative’ by upholding a maintenance culture in their areas of work with the logistics they are given, instead of depending all the time on WD General Services Manager (GSM) for assistance.

He encouraged staff of PAs to change their attitude towards work, and advised managers to groom and empower their subordinates, in order to establish a good succession plan. He again stressed that staff lateness to work must not be entertained.

Dr Boakye continued that managers must again find innovative ways of implementing the many ideas they have, than always waiting for funds, since these ideas may not indeed need much money to implement, and could be done within a limited time frame.

Again, the ED was that there should be a tour guide training periodically, to improve tour guiding in the Protected Areas (PAs). That would promote good customer service, and increase visitations to the PAs.

He admonished staff to shun illegal activities and rather improve collaborations with both internal and external stakeholders, to enhance work.

The Executive Director again in his submissions, expressed the intention to have a research, development and technology unit within the Division, and further pointed out that it would be good to leverage on the ICT Department for the development of most of the systems.

He noted that there was the need to improve infrastructure in all PAs, and promised to try as much as possible on this, since his visits to the PAs have been an eye opener to what pertain at the Parks.

The ED pointed out that internal training was necessary “because we must know what kinds of projects, programs and activities that are ongoing in the various departments or units, to equip ourselves, and emulate them in our various PAs”.

As part of the review program, presentations were made on Forest Investment Project (FIP) by Operations Manager (Stakeholder), Mr Christian Fumey-Nassah; Ghana Tourism Development Projects (GTDP) by Dr Richard Gyimah; and Ghana Landscape and Small-Scale Mining Project (GLSSMP) by Mr Farouk Umaru Dubiure.

Afterwards, managers of the PAs and Regions gave reports on their performance for 2023 and enumerated their challenges, outlook and activities for 2024, after which discussions ensued.