Ecological changes and their implications for development planning: a case study of South Kwahu District Ghana.

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The study area, South - Kwahu District, is located in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The Kwahu Mountains, one of the most important watersheds of the country, are also located in this district. Potential and actual ecological degradations threaten the sustained development of the district. This study aims at identifying the major ecological changes that have been taking place, explaining factors accounting for such changes, assessing the implications of such changes for district development planning and recommending measures to address the problem. Community perception of the ecological changes and the causes for such changes is assessed. Such observed ecological changes as decline in amount of rainfall and the rise in temperatures are detailed. The extent of deforestation is estimated sources of energy are identified and the extent of conservation assessed. The existing agricultural practices are evaluated both in terms of farm productivity and impact on the ecosystem. The demographic variable is included in the analysis to estimate impact of population growth on ecosystem maintenance. How the preceding factors interlink with and reinforce each other is illustrated. The possibility of integrating ecological considerations in development planning and management within the existing policy and institutional set up is evaluated. The proposed District Functional Structure is also evaluated in terms of being conducive to incorporate ecological considerations, Community participation as a precondition for ecologically sound development is emphasized. The possible fora for such participation are also indicated. Finally the study concludes by commending measures to be taken at village and district lev1 to address the most pressing ecological problems.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1988