Bio-cultural Educators

The Best Bet for Our Present and Future Culture and Natural Resources: Case of Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary

Leader: Prosper Antwi-Bosiako

Project Background

Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary (BFRBS) is an ecotourism center in Ghana and the only butterfly sanctuary in West Africa (Wagner et al., 2008). It has about 400 species of butterflies. It is located on the main Accra – Kumasi Highway at the village of Kubease, about 30 kilometers (19-minute drives from Kumasi). The reserve and butterfly sanctuary is enclosed by six communities namely: Krofrom, Kubease, Ndobom, Koforidua, Nkwankwaduam and Tsteteseakasum. It was garzzeted as aa protected area in 1931 and occupies a total area of area of 54.65 km2. By proximity to Ghana’s Second largest city (Kumasi), the BFRBS is increasingly becoming popular for adventure travels, outdoor recreational locations, epistemological studies on nature among others. Since 1931, local traditional laws ranging from taboos to totems, rituals, beliefs and norms have been very instrumental in sustaining and maintain the ecological integrity of the catchment area.

However, disregard for these traditional regulatory practices, unsustainable agricultural practices in addition to poaching in recent years were seem to be compromising on the quality of Natural resources within this area.

Project Goal and Objectives

This project empowered undergraduate students, JHS teachers, and communities fringing the Bobiri forest to confidently utilize their biocultural knowledge for sustained resources and culture. The project contributed to improving biological and cultural diversity by connecting people to their natural environment through value-based approach. Also, being fully aware that understanding the value of biological and cultural diversity is fundamental for sustaining life, the project;

  • Documented and utilized dead and/or dying cultures of the Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary
  • Built capacity and increased knowledge of bio-cultural educators
  • Created awareness and instigated proactive attitudes towards bio-cultural issues in local communities
  • Encouraged local community adults, youth and students to play their roles in helping sustain local tradition to conserve natural resources within the catchment for today and posterity.

46 Biocultural Educators

A two-day residential training was organized for all the recruited 46 Biocultural educators at the Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary guest house.

Key Project Outputs


  • 34 taboos, beliefs, norms and other regulatory measures were documented
  • A total of 17 community leaders were consulted to validate results of questionnaires
  • A total of 46 Biocultural educators recruited and trained
  • A total of 24 local regulatory practices (taboos, totems, bye laws etc.) that helped in conserving biocultural diversity were documented
  • One (1) comprehensive toolkit developed (draft document being revised by a myriad of experts (to be printed out upon completion)
  • A total of 434 students were educated and engaged using a myriad of CAI tools
  • A total of 2,550 community members were reached through outreach and communication strategies

Training workshop for biocultural educators

A two-day residential training was organized for all the recruited 46 Bio-cultural educators at the Bobiri Forest Reserve and Butterfly Sanctuary guest house. This saw participants taken through rigorous sessions of many courses, field work and/or tutorials.

Total 200 indigenes from 6 local communities interviewed

A set of open ended questionnaires were developed and administered by the project team and 10 trained volunteers in the Six fringed communities. This socio-cultural survey documented dead and/or dying traditional norms that contributed to resources use and conservation within the catchment.

Basic School students learning about thier Bio-cultural values

A total of 434 students were educated and engaged using various creative action tools to inspire sustainable natural resource management.

Contribution to Sustainable Biodiversity Management

The has contributed to documenting important local tradition and cultural heritage that are useful in conserving biological diversity within the Bobiri catchment. The highly participatory action-based learning coupled with the close working relationship among partners has contributed to meeting the targets of the implementation plan. Community collaboration, participation and support has been awesome and there was even a greater and better cooperation than envisaged.

Going forward, we anticipate  working with bio-cultural educators, giving technical support to bio-cultural educators to reach out to even more people within their respective communities and possibly up scaling project related activities to reach all sections and groups within local communities. It is also expected that, the bio-cultural tool kits, being the very first of its kind in Ghana will play critical roles in helping educators to successfully pass on very important wealth of knowledge to younger and future generations.

Project in partnership with