Causal relationships between African mahoganies exports and deforestation in Ghana: policy implications
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- Danquah, J.A., Sarpong, D.B. & Pappinen, A. Environ Dev Sustain (2013) 15: 51. doi:10.1007/s10668-012-9373-5
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When exploiting forest resources, the resource use must be sustainable if its use is to support its function in the natural ecosystem. The African mahogany, a prized timber species, is widely exploited, raising policy concerns about the management of forest resources to meet the social, economic, and ecological needs of present and future generations. This paper explores, for the purpose of policy implication, the relationship between the exportation and deforestation of African mahoganies. The analysis employed a Granger causality test within the error correction model to evaluate the direction of causality between African mahoganies exports and deforestation in Ghana. The results suggested that in the short run, there was significant (P < 0.01) unidirectional causality from African mahoganies exports to deforestation. However, there was no directional causality from deforestation to mahogany exports. Thus, mahogany extraction and logging in general are among the major factors contributing to deforestation in Ghana. The general assessment of historical trends in the extraction levels of the two main genera of African mahoganies revealed that Entandrophragma cylindricum and Khaya ivorensis have been the most exploited species over the years. Improvements in, and the enforcement of, existing forest institutions and incentives, as well as related policies, could minimise the rate of deforestation not only of the African mahogany but also in timber logging, thus stemming forest degradation and deforestation in the country.