Kakum National Park
Previous conservation efforts
The National Park is under the Administration of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. Its local headquarters are in the southern part of the park, near Abrafo village. The Wildlife Division (WD) is responsible for the management and protection of the site and has a three-fold mission: a) to protect biodiversity, b) to improve livelihoods of fringe communities, and c) develop tourism. Currently the WD is managing bothe the Kakum National Park and the adjacent Assin Attandanso Forest reserve under the stricter regulations of the National Park. The WD’s activities are mainly centered on anti-poaching control and park boundary line cleaning. In addition to these key tasks, the collaborative resource management unit of the park is working closely with the communities; this work has so far focused on two main issues: a) public awareness, and b) control of elephant raids on adjacent agricultural lands and reduction of damage. In the context of the better collaboration with the fringe communities, the WD has set up two Protected Area Management Advisory Units (PAMAU): one for the Assin Attandanso Reserve and one for the Kakum National Park. Local stakeholders are members of those units, the aim of which is to discuss protected area community related issues and propose solutions to eventual conflicts.
The National Park was set up with technical support provided by Conservation International (CI). CI has also been involved in the elephant crop raid programme, which proposed technical methods to farmers, such as fences with pepper dust, aimed at reducing elephants raids on crops. Though CI is no longer involved in the project, the WD has followed up on and has actually established « Community wildlife and crop protection » units, composed of local volunteers who are inhabitants of the fringe communities, and whose task is to be the intermediaries (financial damage estimation, public awareness against poaching, promotion of pepper use to reduce damage, etc) between the WD and the local inhabitants in case of crop damage by elephants or other species. Crop raids are quite an important problem around Kakum. The crop raid period is between June and October, when crops have matured and fruits in the forest are no longer available. For example in 2007 a total of 150 raids were recorded all around the park.
Though Kakum National Park has been the subject of extensive studies, there is no regular monitoring programme in place. There are systematic surveys only for forest elephtants, every 3-4 years.