IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fem/femwpa/2010.87.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Traditional Representations of the Natural Environment and Biodiversity Conservation: Sacred Groves in Ghana

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Sarfo-Mensah

    (Bureau of Integrated Rural Development, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST))

  • William Oduro

    (Wildlife and Range Management, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, CANR, KNUST)

  • Fredrick Antoh Fredua

    (Bureau of Integrated Rural Development, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST))

  • Stephen Amisah

    (Wildlife and Range Management, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, CANR, KNUST)

Abstract

Local cosmologies and traditional perceptions of the natural environment, especially forests, have been a major influence in the management of the natural resources and biodiversity amongst rural communities in the transitional zone of Ghana. Sacred groves, which are typical outputs of traditional conservation practices, derive from indigenous religious beliefs and perceptions of forest. Sacred groves are believed to be the abode of local gods, ancestral spirits and other super natural beings. These beliefs and perceptions have in the past strongly supported the conservation of biodiversity. However, changes in local cosmologies threaten the protection of rare species, habitats and ecological processes. Data from the study confirm evidence from several studies in Ghana and elsewhere in West Africa that the tremendous ecological, social, institutional, religious and economic changes in communities that have protected sacred groves threaten the survival of these cultural artefacts. The paper demonstrates that in contemporary natural resources management, the sacred grove model may still be used as a means of restoring and protecting landscapes in indigenous communities. Even in communities where population explosion and economic pressures have reached thresholds that undermine the natural landscape, the model may still be useful to keep pockets of forests within the landscape.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Sarfo-Mensah & William Oduro & Fredrick Antoh Fredua & Stephen Amisah, 2010. "Traditional Representations of the Natural Environment and Biodiversity Conservation: Sacred Groves in Ghana," Working Papers 2010.87, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.87
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.feem.it/userfiles/attach/201079928594NDL2010-087.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dybvig, Philip H. & Spatt, Chester S., 1983. "Adoption externalities as public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-247, March.
    2. Henrik Andersson & Nicolas Treich, 2011. "The Value of a Statistical Life," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Jim Engle-Warnick & Javier Escobal & Sonia Laszlo, 2007. "Ambiguity Aversion as a Predictor of Technology Choice: Experimental Evidence from Peru," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-01, CIRANO.
    4. Bochet, Olivier & Page, Talbot & Putterman, Louis, 2006. "Communication and punishment in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 11-26, May.
    5. Cooper, Russell, et al, 1990. "Selection Criteria in Coordination Games: Some Experimental Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 218-233, March.
    6. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1009-1055.
    7. Craig R. Fox & Amos Tversky, 1995. "Ambiguity Aversion and Comparative Ignorance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 585-603.
    8. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    9. Gajdos, T. & Hayashi, T. & Tallon, J.-M. & Vergnaud, J.-C., 2008. "Attitude toward imprecise information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 27-65.
    10. Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2008. "Mad cows, terrorism and junk food: Should public policy reflect perceived or objective risks?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 234-248, March.
    11. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
    12. Treich, Nicolas, 2010. "The value of a statistical life under ambiguity aversion," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 15-26, January.
    13. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-771, September.
    14. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    15. Wolfram Schlenker & W. Michael Hanemann & Anthony C. Fisher, 2005. "Will U.S. Agriculture Really Benefit from Global Warming? Accounting for Irrigation in the Hedonic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 395-406, March.
    16. Mette Wik & Tewodros Aragie Kebede & Olvar Bergland & Stein Holden, 2004. "On the measurement of risk aversion from experimental data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(21), pages 2443-2451.
    17. Buchan, Nancy R. & Johnson, Eric J. & Croson, Rachel T.A., 2006. "Let's get personal: An international examination of the influence of communication, culture and social distance on other regarding preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 373-398, July.
    18. Chavas, Jean-Paul & Holt, Matthew T, 1996. "Economic Behavior under Uncertainty: A Joint Analysis of Risk Preferences and Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 329-335, May.
    19. Besley, Timothy & Case, Anne, 1993. "Modeling Technology Adoption in Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 396-402, May.
    20. James T. Hamilton & W. Kip Viscusi, 1999. "Are Risk Regulators Rational? Evidence from Hazardous Waste Cleanup Decisions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1010-1027, September.
    21. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2005. "A Smooth Model of Decision Making under Ambiguity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1849-1892, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sacred Grove; Cultural Artefact; Communal Resource; Degradation; Sustainability and Biodiversity;

    JEL classification:

    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2010.87. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (barbara racah). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/feemmit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.