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The status of the environment is crucial to the development process in West Africa. However, the region’s rich biological resources, together with the time-tested and diversified indigenous systems of managing them, have come under increasing pressures from population growth, social change, migration to previously undeveloped areas, the degradation of earlier frontier regions, shifts in cash-cropping, and various governmental policies. This publication emphasizes the value of indigenous practices and their adaptations to rapidly changing conditions that may hold the key to sustainable development in the region.
Edwin A. Gyasi is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon. Juha I. Uitto is with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat in Washington, D.C.