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Recreational Value of National Parks in Ghana: A Case of Kakum National Park
National parks and Conservational area in general play major role in human life. They serve as habitats for animals and insects, protection of water bodies, carbon sequestration, recreational sites, source of income and source of revenue to government. Notwithstanding these benefits there are reports of the destruction and degradation of the natural ecosystem worldwide. This situation has led to serious environmental problems such as loss of biodiversity, global warming, climate change and its attendant effects. If forest reserves come with so many benefits as enumerated above, why then are they being degraded?This study sought to estimate the recreational value of Kakum national park in Ghana. To be able to give an estimate of the recreational value, an economic valuation technique called the Travel Cost method was applied. The travel cost method is a survey based method that uses the cost of travelling to a site to estimate the demand function for the site. The data used for the study was obtained from 300 visitors to the Kakum National Park from August 12 – 14, 2013. The recreational value of the KNP was estimated to be GH¢981,188 in 2013. Based on the findings, the study recommended the following; increased advertisement of the park, provision of additional facilities at the park and public education on the importance of recreation.
Recreational value, national park, economic valuation technique
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