Restoration of Community Sacred Forest to Enhance Socio Ecological Landscape in the Effutu Traditional Area, Ghana
Warrior group returning to the community with a live bushbuck after the hunting expedition
Replanting in the degraded hunting grounds
A Rocha Ghana
Community / field-based implementation
The Effutu traditional area has an age-old custom of two groups of traditional warriors catching a live bushbuck with their bare hands from a communal sacred hunting ground for their annual Aboakyir (“deer” hunting) festival. The festival is not only an embodiment of the culture and identity of the people, but also serves as a source of community cohesion. In the last three years, however, neither of the two groups have captured a live animal for the annual festival, indicating that the bushbuck population has plummeted and could soon become locally extinct. This has become a matter of great concern for the community, as the extinction of bushbuck signifies the dying-off of an age-old festival that unites the Effutu people. This project therefore sought to address direct and indirect threats to the Effutu sacred hunting ground.
- Existing customary laws were compiled and elaborated into a new by-law, through consultations with traditional authorities, local governments, Forestry Commission and community members. This empowered traditional authorities to enforce traditional laws and norms.
- Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) campaigns in ten schools and seven communities, as well as monthly radio broadcasts from two radio stations enhanced community support to conservation activities, including participation in tree planting along sacred forest borders.
- The hunting grounds were demarcated, in which 5.43 ha was planted with 4000 seedlings in collaboration with local warrior groups called “Asafo Company”. Ten individual community members were trained in nursery establishment and management.
- Communities that are well-informed and empowered can take steps to protect their environment.
- Institutional collaboration is essential to build synergies. Collaborative efforts through this project have broadened the opportunities to bridge the gaps between conservation and community development.
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A Rocha Ghana
- Non-governmental organisation
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