A Study of Natural Resource Utilization in Ghana

December 23, 2016
Wild elephants in the african savannah

Wild elephants in the african savannah

We are happy to interview Nana Owusu-Ansah from the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana about the research he is conducting in the Gbele Resource Reserve in the Upper West Region of Ghana.  The study is on the exciting topic of natural resource utilization.

Hello Nana.  Thank you for letting the international community of ATLAS.ti users know about your work.  Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Park Manager of one of the protected areas in Ghana and a wildlife conservationist with interest in sustainable utilization of natural resources that improves livelihood of rural people. I hold Bachelor degree in natural resources management, a Master degree in environmental management and policy and I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the Swiss Management Center University in Zug-Switzerland.  I am researching into how ecological worldviews of conservation leaders influence their assessment of conservation project prioritization and risks. I work with the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana. I am a Park Manager of the Gbele Resource Reserve in the Upper West Region of Ghana.I have interest in research although it is not the core mandate of my organization. I research into sustainable utilization of natural resources and how rural livelihoods could be improved.

Tell us about the project in which you will be using ATLAS.ti
The demand for change in natural resources utilization has been accepted globally. Some policy changes that have occurred include devolution of complete governmental control over renewable natural resources utilization rights to communities in a collaborative resource management programmes. The new policy changes have in them the concept of benefit sharing that ensures equality and equity among the different stakeholders in natural resources management

Natural resources degradation has been blamed on central government agencies inability to properly regulate resources utilization due to limited resources to execute their mandate. Again centralized control policy alienates local people from utilizing the resources whereas external agents such as concessionaires are given the right of access. These management regimes and regulatory agencies’ inefficiencies have caused local community members in certain cases to flout centralized government regulations leading to abuses in natural resources utilization. These negative trends in natural resources governance and utilization have promoted policies that embrace collaboration among different stakeholders leading to establishment of Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).

CBNRM in Ghana seeks to involve local governance institutions (the district assemblies, traditional authorities) and other civil society organizations with the aim to make the governance processes participatory and transparent. However, the local level power play in these matters as to who get nominated to serve in the boards and the management committees of CBNRMs is a challenge that the conservationists need to draw their attention to. This is important not only because it promotes good governance in natural resources management but also it minimizes possible elite capture by the powerful in society.

However, some negative activities such as poaching, uncontrolled clearing of land for cultivation, nomadic cattle herding, illegal tree felling for fuel wood and lumber, intentional setting of wildfires and pollution of water bodies still occur in the CBNRMs. The illegal activities occurring in the CBNRMs could derail the conservation objectives of the projects set up. This study seeks to understand how some of these challenges in CBNRMs establishment are perceived to be risks by project leaders. This study’s contribution is to relate individuals’ ecological worldviews pattern to their risks assessment and its application could enhance conservation project planning and implementation success. The research is exploratory seeking to understand the CBNRMs management executives’ dominant ecological worldviews and how it relates to their assessment of the negative activities in their CBNRMs as risks that could impact negatively on sustainable development.

The study is designed on a qualitative hermeneutic phenomenological approach to collect data from management executives of three CBNRMs in northern Ghana (Sayinga-Kasena-Gavara-Kara, Wechau Hippopotamus Sanctuary and Zukpli Wildlife Sanctuary). The main research questions seek to understand: 1) how do the dominant ecological worldviews of CBNRMs leaders influence their conservation project objectives prioritization and risks assessment, and 2) how do the dominant ecological worldviews of conservation leaders influence their perspectives on the conservation-development dichotomy gap. Data analysis would be assisted by the Atlas.ti 7 software.

Please give us a summary of how you will use ATLAS.ti in this study
Data analysis will be done with assistance of ATLAS.ti 7.  Analysis will be done on participants’ responses of interviews. Conservation and development issues of the interviews will be coded using free coding. The codes will be grouped into families (themes) and network views that link dominant ecological worldviews of respondents to their assessment of risks and conservation objectives prioritization. Three zones of each of the CBNRMs will be purposively selected with global position system coordinates positions. An analysis and interpretation of vegetal cover of the study sites will be done to triangulate with interview data in ATLAS.ti 7.

Contact information

SAM_1337 (1)

Nana Owusu-Ansah

Gbele Resource Reserve, Post Office Box 35, Tumu
Upper West Region
[email protected]

Share this Article