The Savannah Integrated Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (SIBC) project has been launched in the Savannah Regional capital of Damongo.
The project was initiated by the Ghana Wildlife Society in collaboration with partners to support the implementation of sustainable management of the Mole National Park and peripheral areas, implemented under the European Union PAPBio program aimed at sound management of large landscape of high biodiversity value.
The SIBC project is aimed at bringing together green economic activities towards improvement of livelihoods of some selected communities surrounding the Mole National Park and conservation of biodiversity within and around the park and also contributes to ensuring sustainable financing mechanism for the management of the Mole National Park.
Speaking at the launch, an executive officer of the forestry commission and former Manager of the Mole National Park, Mr. Farouk Umaru Dubiure in a speech said rosewood in Savannah Region is gradually finishing as a result of logging activities in the region which the loggers will definitely identify other trees which also be another big issue for the forestry commission to battle with.
He further spoke about human conflicts with wildlife siting elephants going into farms and destroying acres of land which needs to be looked into.
He, however, reminded the SIBC project to be mindful of the core values the Mole National Park that has been in place since the inception of the park.
He said the program will go a long way to help the park and pleaded for the support of the traditional authorities in the Savannah Region to help SIBC project succeed.
A representative of the European Union delegation said during the launch the SIBC project will go a long way to provide jobs for the inhabitants of the communities around the park which will better their lives and further avoid the human-wildlife conflict that has been going on over the years.
He reiterated that the SIBC project will safeguard the Savannah ecosystem for it’s prosperity.
The Overlord of the Gonja Traditional area, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa (I) in a speech read on his behalf by the registrar of the Gonja traditional council, Mr Abutu Kapori said the Yagbonwura has fully supported and endorsed the implementation of the SIBC project and urged the communities around the park to help in the full success of the program to help them benefit from the project.
The SIBC project is expected to last for a total of 36 months beginning from 1st January 2020- 31st December 2022.
The total cost of the project is € 1,551745.80 with financial contributions of 74% from the European Union,12% from the Ghana Wildlife Society,8% from other project partners and 6% from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
The SIBC project is targeted at the youth groups, poachers/ hunters, farmers, charcoal producers, nomads etc with the forestry commission/wildlife division, government of Ghana and district assemblies being the major beneficiaries of the project.
The Ghana Wildlife Society leads in the project activities with partnership from the University for Development Studies (UDS) Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) and others.