T R A C K       P A P E R

World Journal of Research and Review

( A Unit of Nextgen Research Publication)

Forest Reserve Policies and Indigenous Natural Resource Management Practices of a Forest Fringe Farming Community in Wassa East District of Ghana

( Volume 5 Issue 3,September 2017 ) OPEN ACCESS

Henrietta Abane


Ghana’s forest cover is diminishing at an alarming rate, a situation that has been blamed on fringe communities’ use of farm land, logging and illegal mining. This situation has prompted pre and post- independence governments to enact policies to protect the country’s forests from further degradation. Ghana’s forest policy has prevented fringe communities that have culturally owned access, use and management rights to forests resources, from exercising such rights and this has had implications for sustained livelihoods. This study explores a forest fringe community’s use of indigenous knowledge based on community cosmovisions and belief systems to protect and regenerate secondary forest cover in an effort to ensure that farming activities and therefore livelihoods are sustained. It uses a qualitative research design to generate and analyze data. In particular indepth interviews were held with community elders and leaders and focus group discussions were held with some community members. The study found that the community’s land tenurial arrangements and farming system buttressed with religious beliefs and taboos help members to interact positively with their environment. I argue therefore that the success of the country’s western based forest protection policies will depend on the extent to which indigenous knowledge systems of protecting and regenerating forest cover are incorporated.

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