- Promising start, bleak outlook: the role of Ghana's modified taungya system as a social safeguard in timber legality processes
- Forest Policy and Economics
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The Modified Taungya System (MTS) is a strategy employed by the Ghana Government to restore forest cover, address timber deficits and contribute to rural livelihoods. Under the scheme, farmers combine tree planting and maintenance with the cultivation of food crops until tree canopy closure. This paper aims to generate lessons from the MTS with respect to its role as a social safeguard against the likely adverse impacts of the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Ghana and the EU to combat illegal logging, using the six social safeguard dimensions identified by the IoI Project Team (2010). It addresses the question of what the major dimensions of social safeguards are and how the MTS does relate to these characteristics. Based on a survey of 146 MTS farmers and qualitative methods, results revealed that the MTS potentially meets several of the social safeguard mechanisms distinguished by the IoI Project Team (legal security for forest users, soft law enforcement by creating incentives for adaptation, benefit sharing, capacity building, alternative livelihoods/employment and expanding the resource base). The most promising of these is based on the expansion of areas with planted trees that will become available as legal timber in the future. However, the potential safeguards will only materialise if several institutional and management challenges are addressed.
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