The role of sacred groves and shrines in the Bongo District of Ghana

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Environmental Earth Sciences, May 2016 75: 916
Aniah, Philip and Augustine Yelfaanibe
Citing the importance of sacred natural sites, including groves and shrines, the authors look at the local practices that have allowed these sites to continue to be protected in today’s society in the Bongo District of Ghana.  Since the continued management of these sacred natural sites is linked to both cultural and natural biodiversity, the results of this study have far-reaching implications for nature-culture management.
Usually referred to as Tinkogre or Tingaani, eight sites were studied in four communities in the region.  The paper evaluates the local practices that have kept them intact through focus group discussions at the community and district levels, and interviews with natural resource managers.  Even those sites which have managed to survive have “lost more than 85% of their original area due to years of human encroachment and other environmental stresses which continue to intensify even today.” (5)
According to the authors, while the extant sites continue to provide traditional cultural functions, they have sustained losses in their ecological diversity.  Some of this diversity, such as large mammal species cannot be addressed in the patch size of these sacred sites.  In this regard, the authors developed a comprehensive table listing the conservation potentials for the 8 sites, as well as a summary of their potentials and constraints in a SWOT analysis format.
To access the paper, CLICK HERE.
Photo credit: Ignatov, Anatoli, 2012, “of earth and roots: tales from Northern Ghana.”

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