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Authors: Yelfaanibe, A.
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: The influences of modernity throughout Africa and the developing world have seriously contributed to the negation of ongoing efforts to ensure sustainable management of natural resources especially in resource poor environments. One reason for this outcome has been the lost of indigenous African values and the dwindling of traditional modes of transmitting those knowledge forms that link human life as part of a totality of life in the natural environment through intricate relationships. This thesis was set out to investigate the problem of biocultural diversity and Natural Resource Management within the context of indigenous people’s worldviews across three cultural-linguistic groups, namely, Dagara/Dagaaba, Sissala and Waala, in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The process employed largely qualitative methods using of multiple case studies and field surveys to collect data in order to assess both traditional informal as well as state and NGO led type of institutions and how they function together to ensure sustainable practices in natural resource management within the contemporary set up. Emphasis was laid on how culture and spirituality are normally incorporated into natural resource management practices with traditional or informal system and that of the formal system. Therefore, this thesis sought to collect culture specific information on the processes, perceptions and management strategies for natural resources from specialized groups and/or individuals that co-exist at the community level. The research found that although spirituality influences the way natural resources are managed, it is difficult to isolate and deal with it. Formal institutions also pay lip service to the incorporation of most indigenous knowledge systems within a biocultural context as these do not often reflect in policy and only little of it is highly found in practice. It therefore concludes that efforts should be geared towards a functional integration of formal and informal knowledge worlds and recommends that such integration must be forged along lines of more sustained biocultural diversity and value systems within different contexts of endogenous development processes.
Description: Master of Philosophy in Development Studies
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Integrated Development Studies

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