Community Participation and Sustainable Forest Resource Management in Ghana: A Case of the Kakum National Park in the Central Region of Ghana.

Ayaakor Dela Enuameh-Agbolosoo


The paper examined the extent of the community participation concept in the management of the forest resources of the Kakum National Park (KNP). Opinion leaders made up of chiefs, assembly men, queen mothers, and district chief executives from five forest communities (Abrafo Odumase, Mfuom, Kruwa, Mesomagor and Antwikwaa) were consulted for the study. Interviews were conducted among the management and the staff of the park. Majority (70%) of the management staff indicated that the opinion leaders of the communities did not participate in the management of the forest resources of the park, whereas the remaining 30% of the management staff indicated opinion leaders participated in the management of the park. An explanation to these responses show that the members of the community participated in the park management as community tour guides (5.5%) and anti-poaching team members (3.0%), with about 6.5% as restaurant managers /waiters. The remaining (15%) could not give any explanation in relation to their participation in the management of the park. The study results indicate that two factors were significant in determining local community participation in management of the park. A person should be educated and must believe in the conservation of forest resources. The variables, education and believe in the conservation of forest resources were significant at 10% and 1% level of significance respectively. Other factors such as age, marital status and the migrant status had no significant relationship with community participation. On the whole a little over 80% of the respondents confirmed that the forest resources of the KNP were of economic and social importance whereas 18% of them thought otherwise. In general, most communities considered employment and income generation as the main socio-economic benefits provided by the park, followed by socialization, and infrastructural development. This shows the value of forest resources to communities that surround such ‘nature given’ resources, and the more reason why these communities must be involved in the management of these forest resources such as timber, wildlife, medicinal plants, bamboo and snails.

Keywords: Community participation, park management, forest resources, forest communities.

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