Title: Exploring local belief systems for the benefit of land restoration: a case study of the Jaagbo shrine restoration in the Tolon/Kumbungu District of Northern Region, Ghana

Author(s): Salifu Wahabu
Final project
Year of publication:
Document URL: Link
Supervisors: Gisli Palsson
sacred grove, conservation, belief system, land degradation, Jaagbo, Ghana


People often act based on their belief systems, and these include the way they utilise natural resources in their environment. It is now known that long before the world took to scientific conservation/restoration approaches, in most parts of the world people protected their sacred sites (considered as abodes of their gods). This case study assessed the local belief systems of the people of Jaagbo and its surrounding communities and how their belief systems were harnessed for the restoration of the Jaagbo Shrine project carried out from 1993 to 1997 by UNESCO-MAB in the Tolon/Kumbungu District in the Northern Region of Ghana. The case study was conducted with a literature review and administration of questionnaires in two communities adjoining the Jaagbo Shrine. Also, key stakeholders like staff of the Tolon/Kumbungu district assembly and the chief priest of the shrine were interviewed and taped, thus capturing the significance of the restoration project, its impact on conservation in the area generally and the sociocultural benefits to the people. It was revealed that the people have strong local belief systems and these are manifested in the way they protect certain plants and animals in the area. Many in the Jaagbo area including the neighbours said the Jaagbo project helped to protect the shrine and has enhanced their spiritual needs as well as the sociocultural needs of the people in the area as the Jaagbo Shrine has become a site for eco-tourists.

Documents and links