Off Reserve Areas
Describes the rich biodiversity in the non-reserve land mass, which is open to free access.
The portion of non-reserved land mass of Ghana, classified as off-reserve areas and therefore open to free access, contains important components of biological diversity. These areas include the wetlands, farmlands, water bodies and urban forests. The biodiversity of these areas is diminishing rapidly as a result of the unsustainable farming methods and practices, human settlement development, bush fires, fuelwood harvesting, gathering of minor forest products and overexploitation of timber.
- adopt and implement modern agronomic practices such as mixed cropping and agroforestry, rotations and cover cropping;
- promote minimal use of agricultural chemicals and adopt integrated pest management practices, as well as other agriculturally sound practices;
- create green belts in towns and cities and also tree belts around farms, settlements, dams as refugia for various life forms in areas such as cemeteries, residential areas, sewage sites, etc.;
- restore aquatic systems by reclamation of sites and re-stocking with preferably indigenous species;
- undertake basic and applied research into the socio-economic and cultural importance and opportunities as well as the ecology and the dynamics of ecological process and how they affect the various systems and biodiversity;
- study the impact of inter - and intra-specific interactions as well as alien species introductions on biodiversity;
- educate and create public awareness about the importance of off-reserve areas for the sustainable use of biological resources and the conservation of biodiversity;
- develop policies to encourage the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of biological and genetic resources on stool, skin and private lands;
- minimize the conversion of forested off-reserve areas into non-forest land uses, such as crop production, grazing, etc;
- Biodiversity Implementation/Compliance Units should liaise with other agencies/stakeholders to demarcate sensitive and fragile areas, such as slopes, fringe forests and wetlands and protect these;
- empower grassroot (local level) administrative structures to enact bye-laws for the management, use and protection of biological resources and biodiversity;
- inventorize the biodiversity and biological resources status and prepare a National Red Data List;