tree species Participants infront of the museum after the commissioning
Participants infront of the museum after the commissioning

 The Council for Scientific and Industrial Re­search (CSIR) has inaugurated its Wildlife Museum at the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (CSIR-FORIG), at Fumesua.

It is well equipped with the required resources both human and equipment to carry out its functions, such as enhancing the discovery and description of new species in the country and im­prove educational opportunities for students at all levels.

Among other benefits, the museum would contribute to the preservation of local wildlife through scientific knowledge, ex­hibitions, education, research and collaboration with stakeholders.

At the commissioning of the facility, Director-General of the CSIR, Prof. Paul Bosu noted the “museum has come at the right time especially in these times where our (Ghana’s) biodiversity is being wantonly depleted.”

The ceremony coincided with the unveiling of a 100KVA solar power for the (CSIR-FORIG), at Fumesua.

Prof. Bosu indicated that 69 per cent of the global wildlife has been lost in less than 50 years.

The alarming rate of loss of the global wildlife population, he mentioned, has resulted from various land-use practices that re­sulted in habitat degradation and the fragmentation of forests in tropical regions including Ghana.

“Such human activities have impacted negatively on wildlife, putting many species at risk of extinction,” he emphasised.

On the solar power, he ob­served that governments were increasingly turning to that (solar power) to reduce carbon foot­print and mitigate the impact of traditional energy sources on the environment due to concerns about climate change and envi­ronmental sustainability growth.

He gave the assurance that the facilities would be well main­tained to carry out their func­tions.

Prof. Daniel A. Ofori, Direc­tor, CSIR-FORIG, mentioned the importance of effective manage­ment of biodiversity for preser­vation due to its decline.

The forests in Ghana, he said have deteriorated into quasi-open access areas with widespread encroachment and illegal forests activities including logging, hunt­ing, mining and wildfires leading to wildlife habitat destruction, species migration, biodiversity loss and even extinction of spe­cies in extreme cases.

He viewed that the museum would play a crucial role in the preservation and documentation of biodiversity, encompassing living organisms, their habitats and their genetic makeup.

“It will be a repository of high quality knowledge and informa­tion on our biodiversity to inform decision making in environmen­tal planning and conservation management… this is linked to SDG15, to protect, restore and promote sustainable use terrestri­al ecosystems, sustainable manage forests, combat desertification, and halt degradation and biodi­versity loss,” he explained.

Touching on the solar power, he said a huge electricity bill re­ceived a few years ago, “motivat­ed us to explore for an alternative power supply which led to the selection of solar power as it is a renewable energy source.”

He mentioned that the energy source was linked to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

He said the solar power was grid-tied that could also feed into the national grid and was happy the facilities would help improve delivery to support Ghana’s economy to grow and develop.

Chairman of the CSIR Coun­cil, Prof. Robert Kingsford Ad­aboh urged CSIR-FORIG’s man­agement to either hire or provide training for staff specifically to ensure the museum was managed at the highest standard.

Similarly, he called on the gov­ernment to leverage solar power to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change while also addressing energy securi­ty and economic development priorities

 FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, FUMESUA