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Salvaging Nature: The Akan Religio-Cultural Perspective

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image of Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology

The way many Ghanaians relate to the environment now is not the best; they just do not care about how to handle the environment in a sustainable way. They have forgotten that life is environment and environment is life due to rapid cultural change, population explosion etc. There is indiscriminate logging, annual bushfires, illegal surface mining, bad farming practices, dumping of human and industrial wastes into our water bodies and the like. It is estimated that over 90 percent of Ghana's high forest has been logged since the late 1940s. The sanitation situation is growing from bad to worst as the records show. All efforts to salvage the situation over the years have failed to yield the needed results. It is for this reason that this paper argues strongly for the inclusion of indigenous Ghanaian religion and culture in this fight, for they have proven to be eco-biased religion and culture due to the environmentally beneficial mechanisms inherent in them. Specifically, the traditional Akan use their conception of land, taboos, totemism, sacred groves and sasa to ensure the conservation of nature. Therefore, this paper believe, the time has come for us to forge a common ground in our efforts to find a lasting solution to our environmental problems from both the perspectives of science and that of Indigenous Spiritualities and Culture.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion & Human Values, University of Cape Coast, Ghana


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