Protected Areas in Ghana
Conservation of forests and wildlife has a long tradition, which has expressed itself in the creation of indigenous "law" and more comprehensive legislative instruments. Arising from a totemistic belief that people can have a mystical union with plants, animals or natural objects, local practices, customs and taboos have been developed to protect cultural and religious objects or natural areas with particular plant and animal species.
The mandate for wildlife conservation and protected areas management lies with the Department of Game and Wildlife, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
In Ghana there are 317 Forest reserves. Threats to forest reserves include: over-exploitation by concessionaires, particularly of the better-known species; illegal felling; extraction of fuel wood; uncontrolled bushfires, especially in the savanna and semi-deciduous zones.
*Reserve: Includes national park, game production reserve, strict nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary.
*Game production reserve (proposed definition): Area set aside by the state for the conservation, management and propagation of wildlife and its habitat. Other state controlled land use forms compatible with wildlife conservation may be practised. (This has traditionally included logging).
*Wildlife sanctuary (proposed definition): Area set aside by the state to protect characteristic wildlife, especially migratory bird communities, or to protect threatened animal or plant species. All forms of hunting, killing or capturing of wildlife are prohibited except for scientific research authorised by the minister.
Source: UNEP-WCMC, Forestry Commission of Ghana