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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13277

Title: The Use of Indigenous Cultural Practices by the Ashantis for the Conservation of Forests in Ghana
Authors: Asante, Eric Appau
Ababio, Stephen
Boadu, Kwadwo Boakye
Keywords: forest conservation
cultural practice
sustainable forest governance
traditional belief
Issue Date: Jan-2017
Publisher: SAGE Open
Citation: SAGE Open
Abstract: Indigenous cultural practices play a significant role in the conservation of forests. Most of the forests within traditional communities in the Ashanti region of Ghana were preserved centuries ago through traditional beliefs and practices. Yet, less attention has been given to them in modern forest management. In most communities, these traditional practices are gradually “dying out.” This work identified cultural practices that have been used to successfully conserve forests by four communities purposively selected from the Ashanti region of Ghana (i.e., Semanhyiakrom, Akegyesu, Kubease, and Jachie), their benefits, and the perceived reasons for their neglect in the management of public forests. Qualitative data were collected through semistructured interviews using stratified random sampling technique to select respondents. The study found that beliefs, taboos, myths, proverbs, and songs were vital traditional systems used by the Ashantis to effectively conserve their forests. The Ashantis believe that the neglect of cultural practices in the management of public forests has resulted in increasing rate of deforestation, destruction of water bodies, and disasters inflicted by the gods such as prolonged drought and loss of soil fertility. To avoid forest degradation, it is important for forest managers, decision makers, and governments to recognize various cultural practices and traditional beliefs as very useful tools and integrate them into current national and international forestry plans and programs.
Description: This article has been published in SAGE Open and is also available at https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244016687611
URI: 10.1177/2158244016687611
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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