University of Twente Student Theses


Spatial analysis of human activities in and around protected areas: A case study of Kakum conservation area (KCA), Ghana

Binlinla, Joseph Kwasi (2011) Spatial analysis of human activities in and around protected areas: A case study of Kakum conservation area (KCA), Ghana.

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Abstract:The research aimed at investigating effects of human activities around 5km belt of the land adjoining Kakum Conservation Area (KCA) on the ecological functions and conservation of the protected area, as well as effects of KCA on local livelihood. Supervised classification of multi-spectral ASTER 2007 imagery was the main method used to determine land-use/land cover types in the study area. Questionnaire surveys, group discussions and key informant interviews were also conducted among 120 respondents from 40 sample communities. The study showed that growth rates in human population on the fringes of KCA went up by 0.8% after its establishment in 1991. Classification of the ASTER imagery provided a description of the dominant human activities around KCA. Five main land-use/cover types were identified; forest, mixed crops, oil palm plantation, cocoa and built-up/bare with a classification accuracy of 83.53%. Forest as a land-use/cover type refers to the landscape within the borders of KCA with the rest four being the land-use/cover types on the fringes of the PA. Instances of disturbed spots and other illegal activities were identified within KCA through the classified ASTER imagery and along transects respectively. It was found that there is a negative correlation between illegal activities and mean distance of communities from KCA. However regression analysis further showed that distance of communities from the PA was only 20% responsible for the variance in illegal activities in the PA (the rest 80% could be attributed to other unexplained variables). Correlation analysis further showed a positive but insignificant relationship between the size of population in communities and illegal activities in KCA with regression analysis showing that population size was only 4% responsible for the variance in illegal activities in the PA. Therefore mean distance of fringe communities from KCA was found to be more accountable for the occurrence of illegal human activities in KCA than the size of population in fringe communities, although distance was only 20% responsible. These results are somehow different from findings that were reported from similar studies that illegal activities in PAs are proportional to human densities in fringe communities. Eventually increased growth in human populations on the fringes of KCA has resulted in adverse effects on ecological processes in and around the PA through habitat conversion and human encroachments. On the other hand establishment of KCA has resulted in adverse effects on local communities through loss of livelihood because of inaccessible forest products and raiding of crops on adjacent farms by wildlife from the PA. In the end these effects generate community/park conflicts that further make KCA highly unsustainable biodiversity conservation area. Keywords: Human activities, spatial analysis, protected area, conservation, livelihood.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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