Science Target Conference Systems, Ajman 4th International Environment Conference 2016

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Citizen Science as a Tool for Reversing Decline in Migrant Birds Species
Felix Kwabena Donkor

Last modified: 2015-09-26


The debate for linking conservation with the enhanced livelihood and culture of people has gained global momentum in contemporary times. The cultural aspect as a conservation helps explain conservation in terms that makes most meaning to local peoples and hence enhances impact of conservation education.   A qualitative research methodology was employed for the project based in the West Gonja District of Ghana, site of the Mole National Park to help produce a wealth of culturally specific and contextually rich data crucial to devising holistic social interventions. Data collection on the park was based on literature review of current park management report, juxtaposed with   independent reports from the EU’s Africa Protected Areas Assessment; guided by the sustainable livelihood theory.  These were studied against the backdrop of the Millennium Ecosystems Assessment and the UNEP-CMS Migratory Birds Flyways publications, coupled with key informant interviews.   Results indicate the park is of historical and socio-cultural significance to the fringe communities as they trace their history to this site which encloses traditional shrines and other sacred sites of the locales. Local culture is replete with significance of birds in religion, medicine and other traditional rites. However there is low level of knowledge on the need for conserving birds and for that matter biodiversity to reap its ecosystem services which the rural agriculture depends on. This calls for conservation education to exploit the significance of birds in local lore and link it with the importance of biodiversity. This helps also to develop local ecotourism.