Authors: Jesse Ayivor*, , Johnie Kodjo Nyametso, Central University, Ghana , Sandra Ayivor, University of West Florida, Pensacola, Fl., USA
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: Protected areas, management, community participation, local perceptions, local attitudes
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Roosevelt 0, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Globally, protected areas are faced with myriads of threats emanating principally from anthropogenic drivers. Local community involvement in protected areas management is of critical importance to the conservation community. Using the ecosystems management framework, this study explored the extent to which relevant stakeholder had collaborated in Ghana’s protected area management and how effective such collaborations have brought about "win-win-win" outcomes. Data for the study were collected through stakeholder interviews, focus group discussions and engagement of individual participants at focus group discussion for their perceptions and responses to certain key issues. A total of 51 focus group discussions were held in 45 communities involving 630 participants. The analysis was done using qualitative methods and simple descriptive statistics notably bar graphs and percentages to explain levels of acceptance or dislike of issues. The results showed that local participation in protected area management is fraught with problems and ambiguity as management objectives of some of the PA categories tend exclude humans. More so, human-wildlife conflicts, non-payment of compensation and high handedness by wildlife officials on offenders, negated prospects of effective local community collaboration. The study concluded that for local participation to succeed there should be dialogue among the various stakeholders and a focus on ecologically sensitive livelihoods, equitable distribution of costs and benefits, and creation of joint management committees.