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Conservation Area
Cocoa, NonTimber
Forest Products
Icone ONG EN Icone Soutenu EN


The Kakum Conservation area which includes Kakum National Park and Assin Atandanso Forest Reserve located in the Assin South District of Ghana’s Central Region covers 375 km2 of moist evergreen forest and raffia swamps.

It is home to numerous important species of mammals, birds and reptiles including the Diana monkey (Cercopithecus diana, UICN: VU), the Bongo antelope, Yellow-backed duiker, the densest population of Forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis, UICN: EN) in Ghana (over 200), and endangered Turtle species. The park is also an important bird area and dominant ecotourism destination, due to its world-renowned canopy walk, though very few benefits from tourism reach the surrounding communities.


Major issues


100,000 people reside in the Assin South District, one of the poorest districts in the region and in southern Ghana. Over 80% of households are involved in agriculture, with the majority of people engaged in small-scale cocoa farming, food crop farming, and oil palm production.

Limited livelihood options and low cocoa farming yields compel neighboring communities to enter the park to undertake illegal activities such as poaching, hunting, land encroachments and logging.

Human-wildlife conflicts occur around the park due to elephants damaging the agricultural crops of the farmers. To prevent raids on the agricultural fields by elephants during the cropping season, farmers have adopted the practice of building pepper fences around their lands to protect their farms.



The project and the prospects for change


In light of the current environmental and human pressures affecting the Conservation area (including unsustainable land use and climate change), climate-smart cocoa offers an alternative to achieve long-term sustainable production and local economic development while stabilizing the global cocoa supply chain. 

The global objective of this project is to develop and test replicable models of how landscape governance platforms and diversified natural resource management approaches, which leverage public-private partnerships, can positively impact biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods. 

The project will address deforestation caused by unsustainable cocoa farming practices by:

  • The diversification of green value chains exploited by farmers;
  • The implementation of climate-smart cocoa practices;
  • The establishment of a learning platform to share best practices.


Committed partners


Established in 1996, the NCRC (Nature Conservation Research Centre) is a leading conservation NGO registered in Ghana. NCRC has been a strong advocate of local ownership in conservation processes. The Centre works with communities, traditional leadership, governments, civil society and private sector to develop conservation initiatives that are owned and managed by forest dependent communities.

The Centre has deep experience in conceiving and developing community-based institutional platforms for operating such projects.


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To learn more about this project and its 2018 key achievements please click on this link.



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