The Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) is a non-governmental, non-political and non-profit making conservation organization located at the Accra Conservation Education Centre near the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park. Our mission is to conserve wildlife in all its forms to ensure a better environment and for improved quality of life for all people. We belong to BirdLife International, the world’s largest nature conservation partnership of 120 autonomous NGOs around the world. Our vision is to promote the conservation (protection, management and wise-use) of wildlife in all its forms (plants, animals and their habitats). We operate based on the model that stipulates that conservation actions must hinge on credible scientific evidence.
GWS was first formed in the early 1970s but functioned for few years and became dormant. It was not until 1991, when it was revived by the ‘Save the Seashore Birds Project – Ghana’ (SSBP-G) supported by the UK based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), a project that aimed at protecting the sea shore birds and their coastal wetland habitats in Ghana. When the SSBP-G ended in June 1994, the Society was incorporated on 19th May 1995 and subsequently took over and continued the conservation activities initiated by the project.
What drives us to work
Weak governance, economic growth and infrastructure expansion, increased consumption and poor public support for conservation, illegal mining and logging, human population growth triggering domestic demand and unsustainable agriculture patterns are some of the eminent conservation challenges that drive us to use our power to act.
Our response to some of these challenges is to research into threatened species, facilitate interactions between people and biodiversity in different landscapes, impacts of development on biodiversity, and how land use changes affect patterns of migration of birds along their migratory routes. To contribute to ease the growing global pressure on the corporate world to enhance ecological footprints, we currently work in partnership with several private sector players to fashion out business models that safeguard biodiversity. Our activities (research, policy work and site interventions) focus on conservation of species, sites and landscapes which span different ecosystem realms (terrestrial, marine, wetlands, freshwater, mangroves and tropical forests).
We work closely with government, the private sector and civil society organizations to find solutions to local, national and regional conservation problems. We tackle these challenges by initiating projects with the support of international foundations, corporate bodies, members, supporters and individuals.
Our achievements over the years
Our activities over the years have led to the ban on trade in Grey Parrots and provided models for community conservation actions. This is demonstrated by two of our flagship projects: Amazuri Conservation and Integrated Development (ACID) Programme which led to establishment of the Nzulezu Tourists Centre and our long-term monitoring scheme on marine turtles and marine mammals. Our science work on Important Bird Areas (IBA’s) has several national programmes and policies.
We believe that businesses have a role to play and must be supported to reduce their own footprints to conserve biodiversity. Our current corporate engagement spans mining (Goldfields, GHACEM), oil and gas (ENI Ghana exploration Ltd), forestry and agriculture (LUSH and GOPDC), Transport (Ghana Airport Company Ltd, China Harbour and Engineering Ghana Ltd) and the renewable energy sector (NEK(Ghana) Ltd -Ayitepa and Konikablo).
We solely rely on our scientific evidence through research projects to engage businesses and decision makers to influence business practices and national policies, respectively. We have developed long-term conservation partnerships with GHACEM, Toyota Ghana, Movenpic Ambassador Hotel, Royal Senchi Hotel and the State Insurance Company (SIC). Ghana Wildlife Society also serves on the national MABS Committee. We raise awareness and work with the youth through the Wildlife Clubs of Ghana (WCG) – a junior wing of the Society.