Environmental IssuesGhana Environmental Issues and NewsWildlife & Endangered Species

World Wildlife Day: Destruction of Wildlife threatening human survival

The wanton destruction of plants and animal species, through unsustainable development and economic activities, is alarming and threatening human survival, the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) has cautioned.

It says activities including irresponsible mining, illegal chainsaw operations, encroachment, indiscriminate land use, deforestation, bushfires, agriculture, and infrastructure developments are hurting the wildlife that supports food systems, medicine, cultural and socio-economic development.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency ahead of the celebration of World Wildlife Day, Madam Ernestina Anie, the Public Relations Officer of the Wildlife Division of the FC, said human activities continued to shrink the habitat of wildlife, making it inhabitable.

World Wildlife Day, which falls on March 3, is one of the significant annual events celebrated globally since 2013, as proclaimed by the Secretariat of Convention on International Madam Anie said despite efforts towards educating the public on conservation, the country’s 21 wildlife protected areas comprising seven national parks, six resource reserves, two wildlife sanctuaries, one strict nature reserve, and five coastal wetlands, continued to witness encroachment and poaching, with the two national zoos not exception. She urged the public not to thwart the efforts of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission in conserving wildlife, especially in the case of a recent staged video circulating on social media making a mockery of the work of wildlife officers.

The Division, she noted, needed the collaboration of all in recovering key wildlife species to appreciable levels for the current and next generations. Madam Edith Kabesiime, Wildlife Campaigns Manager at World Animal Protection, sharing perspective on one of the key drivers and economic benefits at a webinar, called for the redefinition of the concept of ecotourism by incorporating skills training and alternative
livelihood initiatives.

She proposed to the Government to undertake legal reforms to protect wildlife and make it unattractive to poachers and developers. “The sheer magnitude of wildlife interference is not only impacting animals, but also the people and our planet. Whether the trade is legal or illegal, it doesn’t matter. Either way, it is animal
exploitation and abuse,” she said.
It is estimated that about 1.6 trillion wild animals are killed and suffer through people’s actions
every year

CITES data (2011-2015) shows that around 1.5 million live animals were traded as exotic pets and 1.2 million skins were legally exported. This trade also poses public health risks. About 60 per cent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic and more than 70 per cent thought to originate from wildlife.
The international demand for Africa’s iconic wildlife is causing millions of animals immense suffering and putting their survival at risk. African grey parrots and ball pythons are captured from their natural habitats or born into
captivity, to be sold into the exotic wildlife trade; a growing multibillion-dollar industry that is
having a devastating impact on wildlife populations across the world.

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