Ghana Celebrates World Wetlands Day Today
The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission yesterday appealed to the public to support conserve the country’s wetlands.
It said: “Well preserved wetlands provide great opportunity for leisure and tourism that can contribute to Ghana’s natural wealth, poverty reduction, economic growth and development.” The appeal was in a statement issued in Accra by Nana Kofi Adu-Nisah, Executive Director, Wildlife Division to commemorate World Wetland Day today, February 2.
The second day of February each year is celebrated globally as “World Wetland Day”.
The day is marked by countries that are party to the International Treaty on wetlands, commonly called the Ramsar Convention to raise public awareness on wetland values and benefits and to promote their conservation.
This year’s celebration marks the 41st anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar.
The global theme for 2012 World Wetlands Day is: “Wetlands and Tourism,” and seeks to highlight on the importance of how a well preserved wetlands, with their natural beauty and biodiversity, provide ideal locations for recreation and tourism.
The statement said: “As a country, we are encouraged by our ratification of the Ramsar Convention, and most importantly by this year’s theme, to use the occasion to create public awareness on the importance of wetlands, and to appraise the current state of our wetlands regarding their value as locations for leisure and tourism.”
Wetlands are valuable ecosystems that occupy about six per cent of the world’s surface. They provide numerous goods and services, not only to the local people living around them but also to communities living outside wetland areas. They indirectly provide important services and are prime locations for tourism.
In other parts of the world, especially, in developing countries tourism has expanded relatively recently. In these countries, tourism is increasingly recognised by governments as an opportunity for economic growth, and also as an instrument for poverty reduction.
Wetlands provide a whole range of recreational and tourism opportunities that can generate income locally and nationally, from boating and other water sports to hunting, watching wildlife and even art and literature.
In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, direct non-consumptive use of the Moremi Game Reserve (also a Ramsar Site), by tourists was estimated as being worth up to $16 million in 2003.
“Ghana has beautiful coastal and inland wetlands with rich biodiversity that make ideal locations for tourism. The income from these wetlands, if well preserved, can be significant and support livelihoods locally and nationally”, the statement continued.