PDF An Overview of Biodiversity Conservation in Ghana: Challenges and Prospects

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Upload date 16 Oct 2018
Contributor Sandra Frempong
Keywords overview, strategies, challenges, Biodiversity, Conservation
Release date 16/10/2018
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The Convention on Biological Diversity  (CBD),  to which  Ghana became  a signatory  in  1992,  and other Multilateral International Environmental Agreements enjoin signatory  Parties to develop  strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In this regard, there has been a Biodiversity Country  Study for Ghana. a National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) and a National  Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. Both in situ (use of both traditional and scientific  methods - sacred groves and protected areas), and ex situ (gene banks. zoological and botanical  gardens) approaches have been used in biodiversity conservation in Ghana. The effectiveness ofthe former has, however, diminished in recenttimes because ofrapid population growth, urbanization, human migration and resettlement, influence of western technology, foreign religions and beliefs, human encroachment, deforestation, poaching, etc. Ghana's environmental conservation initiatives hold quite promising prospects, especially with the current collaboration between local traditional authorities, NGOs,  government institutions, academic  and research  institutions, and the realization that more flexible multidisciplinary and holistic approaches to biodiversity conservation are more likely to yield betterresults. The main objective of biodiversity conservation is to ensure that the use of biological resources  does not diminish  the variety  of genes and species,  or destroy  important habitats and ecosystems worldwide.  The major problem facing biodiversity conservation  in Ghana today is the rapid population growth and its resultant urbanization, over-exploitation of forests, need for more agricultural land, etc. The current situation needs a  serious  appraisal of national  population  programmes,  especially  in  the  areas  of implementation  and censusing, as well as initiation ofenvironmental awareness campaigns involving stakeholders like environmental NG Os, governmental organizations, District Assemblies, traditional authorities,  and the mass media. Poverty alleviation programmes targeted  especially at rural communities are also steps in the right direction.