Over 80 percent of human inhabitants of the Kalakpa Forest Reserve in the Volta Region have agreed relocate outside the facility to aid its conservation, a report by Greenglobe-Ghana, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), has said.
The NGO's survey forms part its year-long project dubbed "Saving Kalakpa Resource Reserve and Decent Livelihood for Kalakpa Residents'', being funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC) and its development partners Danida, the EU, and USAID.
Mr Samuel Deh, Executive Officer of the NGO, in a release copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said government's reluctance to relocate the human settlements within the resource since it was created in 1975, has caused a spike in population and irreversible degradation.
It said the long awaited relocation and resettlement would enable the practice of decent livelihoods and save the thousands of protected flora and fauna and animal species in the reserve.
It called on government as a matter of urgency to implement the resettlement action plan.
The study noted an exponential increase in the population in the reserve since its inception in 1975, and attributed the degradation to increasing farming, charcoal production, firewood harvesting and animal rearing activities.
Over 80 per cent of the residents in the forest has agreed to decent relocation outside the reserve.
The overall goal is to see the inhabitants of Kalakpa Resource Reserve decently relocated and practicing decent and legal livelihoods in the absence of management conflict with the residents in the reserve.
Greenglobe Ghana calls on the government and its agencies to ensure the implementation of the resettlement action plan.
The 320 square kilometre guinea savannah game park established by a Legislative Instrument, borders the Ho Municipality, the Ho West District, as well as the Adaklu and North Tongu Districts of the Volta Region, and is home to over 270 species of birds.
The resource also holds thousands of buffaloes, river-hogs, and monkeys, making it a major spot for nature loving tourists from across the globe.
The reserve has, however, over the years been set on a path of degradation by the commercial exploitation of rare wood species including rosewood and also the hunting of wildlife, forcing concerned citizens to rise against the Wildlife and Forestry Commission for their inaction.
Kalakpa is said to be inhabited by 28 communities with a population of over 2,000.