- Governance for sustainable forest-related livelihoods in Ghana’s High Forest Zone
- Book title
- Timber legality, local livelihoods and social safeguards: implications of FLEGT/VPA in Ghana
- Number of pages
- Kumasi: Tropenbos International Ghana
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper presents preliminary results of research carried out under the TBI Ghana/University of Amsterdam/KNUST ‘Governance for sustainable forest-related livelihoods in Ghana’s High Forest Zone’ programme. The paper starts out by presenting the objectives and components of the programme and the methods employed in the studies carried out thus far. After that, the main features and challenges of the forest governance process are presented. Moreover, it shows that in spite of the intention to promote co-management with participation of forest fringe communities, the prevailing mode of governance is still hierarchical, characterised by vertical relationships between the state and non-state actors in forest governance.
Against this governance context, the authors perform a detailed analysis of the actors involved in forest governance and livelihoods, distinguishing between statutory, customary, market, civil society and hybrid governing structures. Actors use forest and tree resources for their livelihoods in various ways. A more detailed examination is carried out of the contribution of two major forest-related activities to rural livelihoods, namely non-timber forest product extraction and farming under the Modified Taungya System. The last part of the paper outlines different kinds of forest and tree-related conflicts that inevitably arise due to the multiple governing structures and wide variety of actors and their conflicting interests.
The authors present three ‘fishbone’ or cause-effect diagrams, which clarify the kind and causes of such conflicts occurring, respectively, in (1) forest reserves, (2) off-reserve areas and (3) both forest and off-reserve areas. The authors conclude that various cross-links exist between the TBI-Ghana/UvA/KNUST programme and the EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement as regards combating illegal logging, with both aiming to improve livelihoods and governance. Key to these improvements is reducing forest and tree-related conflicts, reconciling interests and creating partnerships between the various actors involved in forest governance and management.
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