Multiple approaches were used to collect data for the census which estimates that the elephant population was about 436 and buffalos, about 1,392. There were about 126 warthogs, 253 water bucks, 337 kobs, 82 bush bucks and 2,813 hartebeests.
The Namibian consortium of Bushskies Photography and the Namibian University of Science and Technology, with funding from the European Union and in partnership with the Forestry Commission’s Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, presented the results of the wildlife census which took place from January to April of this year at the Mole Park, in the Savannah region of Ghana.
With its 4.577 sq. km of surface the Mole Park is the largest wildlife protected area in Ghana. The census, which combined aerial surveys, foot and car transacts, camera trapping and local knowledge, gave account of an healthy and growing population of elephants, buffalos, bush bucks, warthogs, kobs, water bucks, hartebeests and baboons as compared to the last census of 2006.
The outcomes of the census will constitute the backbone of a formal request to get the Mole National Park enlisted as one of UNESCO’s Global Heritage sites, which the Forestry Commission will soon file; the census activities opened up to south-south cooperation opportunities between Namibia and Ghana, and between the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. The UNESCO World Heritage status is an international recognition that is given to sites of outstanding universal value which meet at least one out of six cultural and four natural criteria.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, acknowledged the broad partnership between the Forestry Commission and the EU, including on Protected Areas Development (PADP), on the World Development Support (WDSP), and on the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) to support forest law enforcement. He added also that Forestry Commission will prioritise partnerships with private investors to improve the Mole National Park because of its touristic potential.
The EU Ambassador, Ms Diana Acconcia underscored the need for Ghana to be more committed to preserving its wildlife and forest resources, and added that environmental conservation at Mole National Park and in all natural reserves of the country was key to creating sustainable jobs and boosting the economy through tourism and the hospitality industry, in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of government.
Ms Acconcia stressed that the EU will continue to mainstream climate change and environment into its cooperation with Ghana, facilitate the respect of Ghana Nationally Determined Contributions for 2030, and that the EU was committed to deepening cooperation with Ghana using development initiatives, trade and diplomacy.
Take a look at the video Mole Park Census: Every Animal Counts