Examining the Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade and Crisis in Ghana

Examining the Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade and Crisis in Ghana
Examining the Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade and Crisis in Ghana


The paper examines contributory components facilitating the Bushmeat commerce in Ghana, reveals the multiplicity and complicated nature of the commerce, some conservation measures tried to management the commerce and disaster and suggests avenues for future analysis and coverage makeovers.

Key phrases: Bushmeat, Ghana, Crisis, Wildlife, Trade

1 Introduction:

The unsustainable and unlawful harvest of bushmeat occurring at a business scale is a major risk going through many wildlife species in Ghana right now. Bushmeat, the meat of untamed animals, is a extremely precious wildlife commodity in Ghana and has gone from conventional, subsistence to primarily business commerce. By some estimate, Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998, discovered that the as soon as conventional lifestyle, has developed right into a $350 million greenback business in Ghana that threatens endangered animals driving a number of primate species in the Higher Guinea forest to the brink of extinction. This has come at an infinite value to a rustic that lacks the assets to guarantee sustainable administration of their pure useful resource potential. Distinctive amongst the species is the Miss Waldron’s Crimson Colobus Monkey (Procolobus Badius Waldroni), a primate taxon endemic to the forest areas of Ghana and enlisted as extinct by IUCN Crimson Record 2006.

Clearly the present unsustainable sample seems to be the final result of overexploitation evidenced by the in depth outtake of species. The multiplicity and complicated nature of the commerce recommend numerous contributing components facilitating the bushmeat disaster. I study these components, reveal some avenues for coverage makeovers and recommend alternatives for future analysis.

2 Common Background

The ‘bushmeat disaster’ is a time period with out succinct definition. A a lot basic definition could be the unsustainable exploitation of wildlife for human consumption main to widespread lack of wildlife populations, additional endangerment of species, and diminished livelihoods for present and future generations of wildlife-dependent communities. It’s an agonizing matter for anybody involved for wildlife. In a distant previous, massive areas of Ghana’s forest and savanna lands supported vital and numerous populations of untamed animals and have been the fundamental supply of animal protein, biogenetic assets, a logo of cultural id and ethnic origin. (Conservation Worldwide, Ghana, 2005).

Immediately in Ghana a somewhat brutal slaughter is happening, solely this time, as a substitute of arable cattle the victims are the monkeys, porcupines, and duikers and many others, regionally known as ‘nwuramunam’ . Bushmeat commerce, in the method presently operated is equal not solely to the unlawful commerce in unique wildlife however the unlawful drug commerce which emphasize extra on income of commerce. The multibillion-dollar commerce in bushmeat in accordance to Brashares et al., 2004, is amongst the most instant threats to the persistence of tropical vertebrates, with minimal empirical information and understanding on the underlying drivers and results on human welfare.

Little or no consideration is paid to wildlife habitats however assembly the calls for of the burgeoning center class both in the city centres or in worldwide cities, who contemplate consuming bushmeat a delicacy. To some, the drawback is lack of ample legal guidelines and their enforcement. Others declare it’s poverty. Nevertheless on shut examination, the commerce reveals contributing components both than the common poverty maxim. It’s hoped that this exploratory report would reveal these many issues contributing to this ecological predicament in Ghana.

2.1.1 A Transient Description of Ghana and the Bushmeat Trade

Many students have indicated the existence of the bushmeat commerce from of outdated. Grubb et al., 1998, indicated that the bushmeat commerce has an extended historical past in Ghana. Clark, 1994 commented that commerce in smoked sport in Ghana has been in existence since the fifteenth century. Some estimates by Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998 point out that yearly 385 million kg of bushmeat are harvested (estimated at US$350 million) and 92 million kg are marketed (US$83 million). A current analysis by Cowlishaw et al., 2003 revealed a basic development with the main animal teams being rodents (59% of whole mass), duikers (25%), and invertebrates (15%) and a lower than one p.c being primates. A possible implication of the latter possibly the results of primates extirpations or a change of client style has occurred or most likely commerce in meat of primates might have been attracted into some sought of black market.

A research by Tutu et al., 1993 revealed the Kantamanto market in Accra, Atwemonom market in Kumasi and the Tarkoradi market in Tarkoradi as notable bushmeat market facilities in Ghana. The town of Kumasi alone has three vibrant bushmeat market facilities, Atwemonom, Kejetia and Central markets. These markets are extremely organized as small household companies handed on from one technology to the subsequent.

Evaluating the quantity, weights and costs of the animals getting into the Kantamanto market in 1974, 1985 and 1993, an FAO report 1993 revealed that while the composition and quantity of particular person species marketed different from 12 months to 12 months the worth per head of all species had elevated a number of occasions fold and there was no indication of decreases in the sizes of animals being hunted. This is able to recommend that though the populations of most wild animal species are believed to be declining in the West African sub-region, hunters proceed to put enough effort into searching to keep provide ranges.

2.1.2 Actors in the Bushmeat Trade

In accordance to Falconer, 1992, there are 5 fundamental varieties of actors collaborating in the bushmeat commodity chain in Ghana and come in distinctive divisions amongst teams. These are business hunters, farmer hunters, wholesalers, market merchants and native eating places operators generally referred to as ‘chopbars ‘. ‘Chopbars’ are native eating places that specialize in the preparation of conventional meals recipes containing ‘nwuramunam’. Falconer additional reveals that business and farmer hunters are largely males, working in rural areas while the wholesalers, market merchants and chopbar homeowners are all ladies. Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998, commented that business hunters are full-time hunters who rely upon the commerce in bushmeat as their major supply of revenue. Farmer hunters on the hand are part-time hunters who hunt bushmeat in order to complement their revenue from the seasonal agricultural produce. Though retailers declare the exercise is seasonal, analysis has revealed extra fulltime operators than half time. Out of 300 bushmeat retailers interviewed in 2001 by way of a Conservational Worldwide Examine in 2002, 61.4% have been discovered to be full-time bushmeat merchants’ whiles 38.6% respondents said that they interact in the commerce solely throughout occasions of the 12 months after they can not discover any revenue producing alternate options. This implies {that a} better portion of the sampled retailers rely upon the commerce at full time foundation. Under is a recommended sample of interplay recommended by Cowlishaw et al. 2003.

Fig 1: Sample of Bushmeat Commodity Chain in Ghana. Supply: Cowlishaw et al.

Fig 2. Patterns of Bushmeat Commodity Chain.

Supply: Cowlishaw et al. 2003

Notably unrevealing is proof on the funding behaviour of the ‘capitalist’ bushmeat entrepreneurs. What ranges of income do they make and the place do they make investments them? Again into the sub-sector or elsewhere? Most significantly, commentaries are silent on the unlawful rogue financial actors who in my opinion are the most energetic and damaging. Details about them will not be forth coming however they exist to maintain the disaster.

3 Contributing Factors to the Bushmeat Trade

An important significance of this situation is the complicated nature of its contributing components.

Virtually actually, the key facilitating cause for the sudden enhance in the bushmeat commerce is logging. [Ape Alliance, 1998]. Ghana is a significant producer of tropical timber in an African business dominated by worldwide logging firms. As they plow into the forests, they not solely destroy and fragment African wildlife habitats, however additionally they expedite the bushmeat commerce. Logging roads are utilized by bushmeat hunters to acquire entry to the deep forest and to transport the bushmeat out of the forest to markets, usually with logging vans . As a lot as the native individuals needs to be held accountable for the commerce, worldwide loggers should equally be held accountable too.

The emergence of intensified searching methods continues to contribute immensely to this wildlife demise. In accordance to the Conservation Worldwide research in 2002, six strategies of searching have been recognized in Ghana. Strategies embrace weapons (60%), chemical compounds (32.5%), hearth (3.2%), canine (2.8%), cutlasses/golf equipment (1.3%) and traps (0.2%) as depicted in Fig 2. It’s nonetheless fascinating that amongst these six strategies solely weapons and traps are accepted legally by the LI 685 of 1971 underneath the Ghana Wildlife Regulation. [GWD, 1999]. The excessive use of weapons as a searching technique continues to be of concern to conservationist in Ghana. Molade, 2000 have indicated that almost all skilled hunters use rifles and different licensed automated weapons. It’s fairly unlucky how trapping, with time has been uncared for. Trapping although non-selective it’s much less damaging. The survey revealed solely about 0.2% use of traps and it is the solely sanctioned technique underneath the wildlife regulation while the use of canine, hearth and cutlasses haven’t any authorized backing the Ghana Wildlife Regulation [GWD, 1998].

The widespread use of chemical compounds in searching stays one other essential contributing issue that wants to be urgently addressed. Chemical use will not be selective and kills indiscriminately. Consumption of the affected meat poses deleterious well being dangers to shoppers. Two varieties of chemical compounds recognized by the Conservation Worldwide Ghana research have been organophosphates and organochlorine. A regionally ready concoctions referred to as ‘tangen or native poison’ was additionally recognized by the research. Tangen is ready by grinding the roots and bark of an indigenous tree known as ‘Nkradadua ‘ and damaged bottles, blended with some urine and stored for 2 weeks. Mixing it with any meal would kill immediately. [Oral Source].

The usage of hearth in searching is somewhat prevalent in the grassland savannah areas of Ghana. That is normally finished in teams regionally termed as ‘floater ‘ with the indication of scattering the animals with the use of fireside. Members of the group are positioned strategically while hearth is about round wildlife habitats. Animals are chased with canine and cutlasses as they struggle to escape from the hearth.

A maxim propagated by way of time as cause for this hideous commerce is poverty. Some say that the exacerbations of poverty have fuelled bushmeat commerce while others debunk that concept due to its unsustainable paucity. [Ntiamoa-Baidu, 1998]. In accordance to Robinson and Bennett (2002), the twin imperatives of addressing individuals’s wants and conserving the world’s species, has recommended the assuaging poverty as an antidote to remedy the bushmeat disaster. The angle repeatedly being contested is the onerous view if assuaging poverty can cease the disaster. Though the significance of bushmeat searching as a element of livelihoods is widely known, its implications haven’t been extensively analyzed. Bowen-Jones et al., 2002, in their evaluation for resolution oriented analysis to promote a extra sustainable bushmeat commerce indicated that bushmeat use is primarily pushed by dietary want for animal protein and as a livelihood. Nevertheless this view could also be significantly deceptive. It encourages the view that bushmeat extraction for commerce will readily be decreased by way of the provision of different protein meals. Onerous proof on the extent to which the bushmeat commerce is sustainable as a livelihood is troublesome to come by. Most obtainable information are qualitative and based mostly on researchers’ perceptions. There’s subsequently the want for higher baseline and long term monitoring info to inform the sustenance of the commerce and its influence on wildlife if any thought of livelihood could possibly be nurtured. Wildlife populations, dynamics and fee of extinction by off-takes have to be accessed underneath the obtainable greatest follow to present info to overcome the usually assumed impacts of the commerce. One must also watch out in nurturing the commerce of bushmeat as a livelihood in market pushed indigenous economies. This appears somewhat unsure. There isn’t any assure that the commerce will usually assure beneficial outcomes for poor individuals and there isn’t any justification that its long-term sustainability could also be an goal of those that could also be concerned in the commerce. Doubtlessly the personal sector might seize the market somewhat than by these marginalized rural poor peasant. The onerous software of demand and provide might have untold penalties on bushmeat as a commodity of commerce.

It’s also fascinating how indigenous individuals continues to be accused worldwide due to their efforts to maintain the commerce whiles little, if not nothing, is being finished to deal with the worldwide demand for wildlife useful resource. It’s apparent that sustained demand instantly motivates provide. It’s time the authorities to have a look at its tourism promotion drive vis a vis the bushmeat commerce. Ghana in 1985 moved up from the seventeenth place to eighth in 1998 amongst the high 20 main tourism revenue-earners in Africa [WTO, 1999]. In accordance to World Tourism Group, Worldwide vacationer arrivals in Ghana has elevated steadily from practically 114,000 in 1988 to about 348,000 in 1998, at an annual common development fee of about 20 p.c. With respect to vacationer’s expenditure, worldwide tourism receipts grew at a median annual fee of 41.3 p.c from about $55.3 million in 1988 to about $285 million in 1998. This makes tourism the third largest earner of overseas change presently, rating behind mineral and cocoa exports in Ghana. It subsequently doesn’t comply with logic for the authorities to sacrifice this achievement for commerce in bushmeat. The problem somewhat is to discover methods of harnessing this vital potential for wildlife-based development to be certain that it advantages poor individuals.

Latest research have additionally recognized rising infectious wildlife transference illnesses and its threat to human well being. Research of SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses) an infection have revealed the threat for buying SIV an infection which is predicted to be highest in individuals who hunt primates, put together their meat for consumption or maintain them as pets. [Peeters et al., 2002]. The dealing with of freshly butchered bushmeat, in specific primates, brings a couple of threat of transmission of latest zoonoses the report reveals. This threat, although can’t be adequately assessed as a result of the prevalence, range, and geographic distribution of SIV infections in wild primate populations are unknown, it nonetheless clearly implies a most likely potential well being hazard which ought to discourage the consumption and commerce of wildlife meat particularly primates.

It’s also vital to point out that pure resource-related laws in Ghana as in most a part of Africa has been lengthy based mostly on the preservationist logic ruled by nationwide legislations with an ‘assumed sense’ of safety. Prior to the Nineteen Twenties, communities in Ghana managed their wildlife assets by way of conventional guidelines that protected some species and regulated exploitation. [Kotey et al., 1998]. Most West African international locations adopted since the colonial durations a extremely centralized, state-controlled protectionist strategy to wildlife administration. The intention of this protectionist strategy is to management and regulate useful resource use, implement rules, monitor useful resource situation and use patterns and influence and the place doable deter unlawful and unsustainable use sample practices. The primary forest coverage on wildlife was ready in 1948 with little or no outlined guides to guarantee the safety of wildlife. The federal government later developed a conservation coverage, which was adopted in 1974 as the Ghana Wildlife Conservation Coverage (1974). The primary deficiencies of this coverage have been its strict protectionist strategy and its failure to contain native communities in managing their wildlife assets. The 12 months 1994 witnessed the formation of the Ghana Forestry and Wildlife Coverage, which fortuitously elevated the Wildlife Division to develop into a full-fledged Wildlife Company when it grew to become apparent that almost all of the provisions in the outdated coverage couldn’t adequately cope with the totality of the rising points.

A serious contributing issue to the failure of those insurance policies has been the overly technocratic model of coverage formulation with little enter from customary rules for which hunters and the basic public perceive. Evidently, current day laws has a poor recognition of human contribution to the growth of landscapes and biodiversity thus creating the unlucky notion that wildlife administration is the accountability of state establishments. Somewhat than reinforcing the powers of native authorities (together with decentralized native authorities), most program serve to diminish native possession, being expatriate-led, top-down and trivially observe native potential. At the identical time, the enforcement of presidency legal guidelines usually are not adequately efficient as a result of there’s a critical lack of assets, and a poor capability to monitor nationwide rules nation-wide. For instance, on the foundation of nationwide statistics, it’s normally argued that the variety of discipline brokers energetic in wildlife points is normally 1 individual for 50,000 to 85,000 hectares, in most of West African international locations. [Kotey et al 1998]. This example is worsened by the very poor tools of those brokers (lack of transportation means, communication, shelter, extension instruments, and many others), and the truth {that a} majority of them are part-time employees. Apparently, Ntiamoa-Baidu [1998] discovered that hunter revenue was the identical as an entry-level graduate Wildlife Officer and 3.5 occasions the authorities minimal wage. It’s apparent what the implications are.

4 Suggestions for Future Analysis

In accordance to Salafky et al., (2002) any efficient conservation would require addressing three basic questions whose solutions can solely be sought in conservation follow: (i) What ought to our objectives be and how will we measure progress in reaching them? (ii) How can we most successfully take motion to obtain conservation? And; (iii) how can we study to do conservation higher? Extinction is really irreversible, as soon as gone, particular person species and all of the providers that they supply us can’t be introduced again. Goal scientific info and strategies are wanted in Ghana for itemizing species, subspecies, and distinct inhabitants segments as endangered or threatened underneath the wildlife legal guidelines. Whereas non-scientific components ought to appropriately be thought-about, organic defensible ideas are instantly wanted. Vital scientific info shouldn’t solely embrace present empirical information, but in addition, for instance, historic habitat and inhabitants info, inhabitants surveys, captive breeding, behavioural information, habitat and inhabitants modelling, and taxonomic and genetic research. Restoration plans have to be ready based mostly on the greatest obtainable science figuring out threats, mitigate these threats, and should predict how species and their total bio-synergy are probably to reply to mitigation measures that could be adopted.

One other space price researching for additional redress to the disaster in Ghana is investigating the linkages between indigenous individuals information in biodiversity conservation. Campbell (2005) commented on the inadequate consideration paid in current literature to the social and environmental components which regulate searching in Ghana. An evaluation by Hens (2006) on collection of biodiversity associated topics in Ghana present that indigenous information has the potential to contribute to the conservation of species, genes and ecosystems. As Rose, 2000, places it, conservation should pursue human-nature bio-synergy in the period of social chaos and bushmeat commerce. A current survey by the Conservation Worldwide on totems in Ghana revealed that over 200 totems in Ghana are represented by wildlife, and amongst these about 98% of those animals are endangered, threatened or extinct. [Conservation International 2003]. Totems which some recommend have helped to preserve wildlife in the previous have been rendered ineffective by this ferocious commerce which not often observes wildlife guidelines. The native individuals’s tradition and its symbiotic relationships between animals are subsequently significantly threatened. As these cultural objects and views develop into endangered their roles in biodiversity conservation develop into meaningless. Chiefs, tribes and clans might start the search to restore their totems with the attributes of the wild. A typical instance is the cultural efforts undertaken at the Buabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in Ghana . As a part of the indigenous individuals’s dedication to conservation, they’ve maintained sacred groves and protected areas of forest which have a robust cultural and spiritual significance. The groves are sacred sanctuaries for wildlife and dwelling for the Campbell’s Mona Monkeys and the Geoffrey’s Pied Colobus Monkeys. In accordance to Fajey (1992) and Ntiamoah-Baidu (2002) villagers who stay in the Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary historically have a taboo in opposition to killing these black-and-white Colobus (polykomos) and mona monkey (Cercopithecus campbelli), which inhabit the forest round their villages. The reconciliation of the numerous views and views on conservation at this stage is most important. This in little question impacts the socio-cultural lifetime of many communities in Ghana which are inextricably linked with wildlife. Thus our historical past and tradition are in hazard says Okyeame Ampadu-Agyei . It’s about time all endeavour are introduced to bear on all conservation efforts.

At the very coronary heart of this complicated phenomenon is the reasoning questioning the vital significance of wildlife to native individuals and how dependent they’re on wildlife. In searching for options additional analysis could possibly be prolonged to assess pragmatic mechanisms for working by way of wildlife to cut back poverty and enhance livelihood. Any effort to improve commerce with out vital reference to a few of these vital questions would have disparaging ecological impacts on the surroundings.

It’s also important to be aware why individuals would favor meat to fish although vital freshwater fish shares exist in many bushmeat supply areas. [Redford and Robinson, 1987]. Fish farming, in its place animal protein needs to be supported to cut back the demand for bushmeat. Most likely the choice for searching over fishing is essentially cultural, and indicative of some sort of irrational choice for meat on the a part of shoppers. Some students are with the view that fishing tends to develop into extra enticing when human inhabitants densities enhance to the level the place returns to farming and searching decline appreciably [Boserup, 1965]. This assertion could also be a basic case and additional research needs to be pursued to research the decision-making points concerned in deciding on both bushmeat or fish.

Moreover, the growth of captive breeding or sport farming could possibly be supported instead to energetic searching of untamed animals. A number of authors have advocated for captive breeding of sport species as an alternate means to fulfill native demand with out compromising the wild inventory. [Auzel and Wilkie, 2000]. There’s proof that main species with potential for domestication have lengthy since been found particularly for grasscutters in Ghana. An evaluation of differential advantages and conservation impacts of different modes of manufacturing in contrast to the wild harvesting could be most acceptable. This has apparent points of interest the place bushmeat fetches a excessive worth [Asibey and Child, 1990], and logically, it may lead to a decreased demand for bushmeat. Most likely extra pilot schemes could possibly be established to check the viability of such sport ventures.

5 Conclusion and Abstract

It is vitally clear that the bushmeat commerce main to the disaster has been motivated by a number of different components than poverty, as popularly claimed. The multiplicity of the issues require a multi-disciplinary strategy each in determination making and coverage enforcements. Although numerous conservation organizations have raised the alarm over these points an efficient motion would require the cooperation of all stakeholders, together with governments, conservation teams, scientist, cultural and spiritual teams, logging firms, and each native and worldwide shoppers. This has develop into essential as a result of it’s turning into more and more troublesome to distinguish conventional from business searching. Extreme information gaps on the phenomenon wants to be addressed earlier than concrete conclusions will be made. Wildlife conservation in Ghana should pursue the bio-synergy of humanity and nature in order to discover other ways to fulfill the human wants that drive the damaging business commerce in wildlife bushmeat. It’s at this level clear that when wildlife is gone, it goes with all of it its vital advantages, be it protein for the poor or ecosystem range. And with out the animals, any shot at sustaining tourism in Ghana is historical past. Adams (2004) poses a query for conservation managers in the twenty first century. He says ‘the massive query for the twenty first century should not solely be broader, nor how to cease species however how to stop our dazzling technical capability and our seemingly limitless want to devour natures range, from fatally undermining the resilience of the biosphere’. No piecemeal technique will stand this complicated bushmeat commerce phenomenon in Ghana.

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Source by Kwame Boakye-agyei