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21.04.2007 General News

Lack of alternative livelihoods cause of environmental degradation


A feasibility study conducted by the Northern Savannah Biodiversity Conservation Project (NSBCP) on Wildlife Migration Corridors in the Volta River and Sissili basins in northern Ghana shows that one of the major causes of environmental degradation in the area is the lack of alternative sources of livelihood.

According to the study, communities in the corridor areas derive their main sources of livelihood from agriculture and that apart from the Sissili river basin, suitable land for farming is a major constraint to agriculture and for that matter livelihood.

"As a result game hunting and charcoal burning, have become important sources of livelihood to the people in the area", the study stated.

Consequently, the destruction of wildlife habitat, particularly elephants, is a frequent occurrence in the area.

The study proposed that the creation of income generating activities was important for preventing the illicit exploitation of natural resources within the corridors and their adjacent areas.

"Sensitisation, information dissemination and the training of local communities on the need to protect the corridors are very paramount."

"Farmers need to be sensitised to see very clearly the tangible benefits that could be gained from corridor development."

The NSBCP, in collaboration with International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are vigorously pursuing an agenda on corridor development and so far had held stakeholders' workshops on issues including Corridor Participation Analysis, Situation Corridor Analysis and Management Option Analysis.

Source: GNA