The Accelerated Rural Development Organization, a non-governmental organization, focused on sustainable environmental management, has embarked on a project to conserve about 30 sacred groves in the Volta Region.
The old groves, some of which have been destroyed are dotted around Kpeve, Woadze, Agate, and Have.
Mr Winfried Donkor, the Program Officer, said the Organization with funding from New England Biolab Foundation was currently working with key stakeholders to conserve the more than two century old Goviefe Todzi grove in the Afadzato South District.
At a stakeholder meeting held in Ho, he expressed worry over how the groves were gradually being depleted by human activities posing danger to the environment.
Mr Donkor said the groves established by the communities, which served as herbarium for the people and home to both flora and fauna, were progressively losing their importance due to encroachment.
He said the Organization would unveil an alternative livelihood project to help reduce the over dependence on the sacred groves.
Mr Donkor called on religious bodies to discard the notion of empowering “members” to destroy sacred groves in the name of enlightenment.
He said the groves were deliberately given “spiritual connotations” to protect the natural vegetation of such areas.
Mr Pascal Benson Atiglah, the Project Coordinator, said an “enrichment planting” project would be rolled out to revive depleted groves, which were discovered.
He said the alternative livelihood project would also ensure that farmlands along the sacred groves were not cultivated all year long.
Mr Atiglah said they would map out the sites and register them in the various names of their communities to protect them from encroachment and future legal battles.