President signs Wildlife Bill into law

President signs Wildlife Bill into law

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has signed into law the Wildlife Resources Management Act, 2024 (Act 1115), with the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, describing it as a boost to effective management of the country’s wildlife resources.


The Act, which was sponsored by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and passed by Parliament on July 28, 2023, was assented to by the President on March 1, this year.
In his reaction, Mr Jinapor said apart from being a key milestone in the management of the country’s wildlife, the presidential assent to Act 1115 had ensured the consolidation of all laws relating to wildlife and protected areas. 

“The previous legislation, enacted over 50 years ago, was not in tune with current international best practices for wildlife protection and management, and did not provide a proper legal framework for the implementation of the Forest and Wildlife Policy, 2012, the Forestry Development Master Plan (2016-2036), and other national and international frameworks that guide sustainable resource management, all of which were adopted years after these laws were passed,” he explained.


Wildlife and protected areas were previously regulated by the Wild Animals Preservation Act, 1961 (Act 43), the Wildlife Conservation Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 685), and the Wildlife Reserves Regulations, 1971 (L.I. 710).

Meanwhile, the Wildlife Resources Management Bill has been pending for over 15 years as it was previously laid before the fifth, sixth and seventh Parliaments until it was eventually passed by the Eighth Parliament on July 28, 2023.

New Dawn

The Damongo Member of Parliament (MP) further described the assent to Act 1115 as a new dawn for the effective management of wildlife and protected areas in the country.

He said the current act had addressed loopholes in the previous laws on wildlife management and also captured the emerging trends in the sector. He stressed that those previous legislations did not clearly define the aims and objectives of wildlife management and the various categories of protected areas, aside lacking deterrent sanctions for wildlife offences.

Mr Jinapor explained that, among other things, Act 1115 had brought the country’s wildlife law in conformity with existing policies in the sector and provided for the implementation of international conventions on wildlife to which Ghana was a signatory.

Better still, he said the new law had provided a new management structure to give legal backing to the involvement of local communities in wildlife management through the creation of Community Resources Management Areas (CREMAs).

The minister also said the new law was significant to wildlife management because it had provided higher penalties and sanctions regime for offences, “deterrent enough to protect our wildlife resources.” 

“The law also provides for the implementation of several international wildlife conventions to which Ghana is a signatory, such as the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitats (RAMSAR), 1971, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), 1973, the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (BONN), 1979, as well as several indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” he added.


Mr Jinapor assured members of the public that the Lands and Natural Resources ministry was committed to the effective implementation of Act 1115. He said a strict compliance with the new law would ensure the efficient and progressive preservation and management of the wildlife resources of the country.

“This will be done in the spirit of transparency, anchored on integrity and utmost good faith for the benefit of the Ghanaian people,” he said.  

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