Harnessing indigenous knowledge for sustainable forest management in Ghana

Margaret Sraku-Lartey


This paper makes a case for harnessing indigenous knowledge (IK) for sustainable national development in Ghana. IK according to the World Bank is the basic component of any country’s knowledge system and it is upon this knowledge that scientific research builds. In Ghana the Government has recognized the need to harness IK for sustainable national development and has therefore incorporated it into the National Science, Technology and Innovation Development Programme. But there is no evidence however that scientific research in Ghana actually takes IK into consideration during the research process. This paper discusses the concept of indigenous knowledge, its relevance in scientific discourse and the need for harnessing it for national development in Ghana. A desk study was conducted using journal publications, research and technical reports, online databases and the internet. About sixty articles were analysed using the thematic synthesis method under the following broad headings: Importance of Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous forest foods, Indigenous medicines, IK and food security, the management and processing of IK and the protection of Indigenous Knowledge.
The results of the study established the need to document the local knowledge using appropriate procedures and strategies. It also concludes by suggesting that IK in Ghana must be protected by law and integrated into formal science.


Indigenous Knowledge; sustainable forest management; forestry; information management; knowledge systems; Ghana

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.18461/ijfsd.v5i4.543

ISSN 1869-6945


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