From Conflict to Collaboration: Atewa Forest Governance
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Many countries are addressing the problem of deforestation through sustainable ecosystem management collaborations. Successful ones have recognized local participation as being essential to any conservation effort. In Ghana, forests and their ecotourism attributes have served as a pull to many international adventure and eco-tourists but unfortunately, the country’s forest cover has experienced significant exploitation over the years leading to the less desirability of these nature-based attractions. Despite its designation as a protected area for biodiversity and watershed services, the Atewa Forest in Ghana has been significantly impacted by humans. The problem of forest degradation has increased over the years. This is mainly due to the many tree and livelihood conflicts in most forest communities. The Government of Ghana has outlined its plans to mine the Atewa Range Forest Reserve as part of a national infrastructure development programme which has received a lot of opposition from many civil society groups, NGOs and professional institutions, stating that to mine the Atewa Range Forest Reserve, the entire forest would have to be removed. Despite strong opposition from local communities, state actors and international conservation organizations, the Ghanaian government is determined to proceed with a plans for bauxite mining in the Atewa Forest. To understand these dynamics, investigate the causes of forest degradation, and to recommend ecologically-based management approaches such as community-based ecotourism to facilitate win-win outcomes for all stakeholders, this study adopts the interactive governance model and the case study approach to finding answers to the research questions. Different groups of stakeholders at various scales and levels were engaged in interviews and focus group discussions for ecologically-based strategies that generate win-win outcomes for all. The study reveals that for forest governance to be effective, there is the need for a bottom-up, all-inclusive approach to the management of forest resources. It also emphasizes the importance of ecotourism’s ability to deliver greater sustainable returns than alternative land-use practices and highlight its potential as a conservation tool for forest lands for purposes of recreation and tourism in nature-based environments.
Cite this version of the work
Victor Mawutor Agbo (2019). From Conflict to Collaboration: Atewa Forest Governance. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15028