Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) is recognized internationally as a leader in developing rural ecotourism and community protected areas as a means of economic development and resource conservation. NCRC’s initiatives have facilitated sustainable economic development in scores of poor rural areas of Ghana and other nations in West Africa.
Founded in Ghana in 1996, NCRC has grown rapidly to become Ghana’s leading indigenous conservation organisation, as well as a key actor in West African civil society. Ghana’s National Tourism Policy has adopted NCRC’s model as the preferred approach to the development of rural tourism. The model is acknowledged globally as one of the most successful rural tourism initiatives being implemented today.
NCRC’s pioneering work in developing community protected areas in Ghana is increasingly being cited as a valuable alternative to conventional African national parks and protected areas that often do not fulfill their promise due to funding limitations, limited capacity and resource conflicts. NCRC’s work has demonstrated that traditional communities can lead highly successful conservation initiatives, as shown by community partnerships in Ghana including Wechiau, Avu Lagoon, Boabeng-Fiema, Nyankamba Escarpment, Tafi Atome, Asumura and the Afram Arm of Lake Volta.
The key ingredient of success in these projects is the philosophy that conservation will only be successful in settings where the affected local communities obtain tangible economic returns and cultural incentives for its implementation.
As NCRC’s work has continued to evolve in Ghana, it is also collaborating on projects in Nigeria, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia and is discussing new involvements in Sierra Leone and Senegal. In addition to ecotourism, NCRC’s current focus includes climate change and biodiversity conservation, as well as capacity-building and mentoring of peer organisations.
Our mission: NCRC is a Ghanaian non-profit organisation implementing conservation initiatives to promote a greater awareness of and protection for the natural, historic and cultural diversity of Ghana and, ultimately, the West African sub-region.