The Kakum Conservation Area (KCA) is a protected remnant semi-deciduous forest of Ghana’s fast dwindling portion of the Upper Guinea Forest. The prospects and potentials for sustainable conservation and their challenges were the main concern of this study; that is whether there is the opportunity for KCA to increase tourism drive as a means of ensuring self-funding for sustainable conservation in the long term. In this paper, we highlight the main features of KCA that present enviable opportunity to promote tourism and increase internal-generating funds as well as appealing to donor sources, and set it apart as one of the most successful attempts at management, protection and conservation of biodiversity in a developing country. We adopted a thorough search and used an analytical - descriptive approach to provide information. We found that although only a small portion of the KCA is primary and a greater portion remains secondary because of logging records, KCA contains great faunal diversity including charismatic ones that attract tourists, hundreds of herbaceous plants and woody plant species and various sceneries including the “big tree”, which altogether hold great potential for being an enviable tourist attraction. Revenue generated internally, mainly from tourism, from 2006 to 2010 showed a positive trend that predicted a rise in revenue in future years, especially when the conservation area is marketed appropriately. However, we found need for an intervention from the donor world in view of the high cost of initial investment in infrastructural development; we are sure that promoted tourism will increase internal-generating funds to make KCA self-funding subsequently.
Key words: Kakum Conservation Area (KCA), big tree, canopy walk-way, hiking, observation platform, rainforest, tourism, virgin forest, waterfalls, self-funding, donor sources.
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