Development Institute Ghana building capacity to enhance territorial governance, sea turtle conservation and sustainable livelihood

The Development Institute Ghana organised a three-day training workshop for stakeholders within the Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site in the Volta Region of Ghana from the 29th to the 31st of July, 2020. The main goal of this workshop was to enhance the capacity of stakeholders in three main areas: the CREMA (Community Resource Management Areas) model, laws governing sea turtle conservation (both national and international), and fisheries development as an alternative livelihood.

Participants for the programme comprised representatives from five project communities (rangers, women, chief fishermen and traditional authorities); representatives from the law enforcement agencies (navy and police force); representatives from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, the judiciary and the District Assembly.The training was part of activities under the project dubbed:“Enhancing Territorial Governance, Sea Turtle Conservation and Sustainable livelihood”. The venue for the programme was the Assembly hall of the Anloga District Assembly in the Volta Region of Ghana.

The programme commenced with insights and sessions on the CREMA model. The CREMA model which was developed by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission ensures a win-win situation where communities are given the right to manage their natural resources in a sustainable way. Participants were taken through the different stages involved in the process. For day two, the focus was on equipping participants especially the law enforcement agencies with knowledge on the laws governing sea turtle protection in Ghana. This session served as an eye opener for the participants because most of them were unaware that such laws even existed. The programme was crowned with an intensive session on sustainable fisheries development as an alternative source of livelihood with focus on pen culture as a fish farming method. The programme ended on a very good note with all objectives achieved.

Participants considered the programme as an eye opener and expressed their appreciation. For the way forward, they suggested deeper collaborations between Wildlife and the law enforcement agencies to ensure enforcement of the laws at all levels.

About the Project

Turtles are important for many reasons; for instance, turtles feed on jellyfish and jellyfish feed on fish eggs so turtles are needed to sustain fish stocks. Realising the need to conserve turtles and also manage natural resources sustainably, the Development Institute has embarked on the above project. The project seeks to improve community-led governance of the Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site (KLCRS) to catalyse long-lasting conservation of local biodiversity. The project is being implemented within the Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site in the Volta Region with focus on five communities: Akplorwotorkor, Agbledomi, Atiteti, Fuveme, and Dzita.

This article was first published in the Global Buzz, August 2020.