Advertisement

Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 503–518 | Cite as

Involving local farmers in rehabilitation of degraded tropical forests: some lessons from Ghana

  • Dominic Blay
  • Mark Appiah
  • Lawrence Damnyag
  • Francis K. Dwomoh
  • Olavi Luukkanen
  • Ari Pappinen
Original Paper

Abstract

The role of community-based plantation development in forest rehabilitation and poverty alleviation is a pressing issue for the government of Ghana. In this paper, we present an analysis of the prospects of a community-based plantation using taungya systems and indigenous trees as means to forest rehabilitation and livelihood improvement in Ghana. The project management strategies, communication process and incentive mechanism and their impact on local participation are discussed with the aim to recommending a mechanism through which local farmers can best be involved in rehabilitation of degraded sites in the future in Ghana. Data were collected through a survey using personal interviews of 431 farming households and ten key informants from ten communities living in scattered hamlets in and around forests reserves. The results show a high rate of local participation in project tree planting activities. Four years after the project’s initiation, about 250 ha of plantations had been established using twelve priority indigenous and one exotic species and farmers had indicated improvement in their farming practices and availability of food and forest products. Restoring forest quality as a timber resource and associated values, getting money, food stuff and timber and non-timber for domestic use, and having access to fertile land for farming were the top three issues prioritised by respondents as motivational factors for engaging in the project activities. Overall, this project demonstrates that reversing tropical forest degradation is possible. For this we need local involvement in tree domestication combined with activities that addresses livelihood needs and environmental concerns. This case also demonstrates the prospects of utilising indigenous tree species, not only exotic species that dominated tree planting in the past, for plantations and landscape rehabilitation in Ghana.

Keywords

Community-based forest rehabilitation Ghana Incentive mechanism Modified taungya system Priority Indigenous tree species Participation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This Project was initiated and implemented by the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) with the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR), the University of Science and Technology and Forestry Commission (FC) as collaborating partners. The International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) provided the bulk of the funding while the Government of Ghana provided some funding and other logistical and technical assistance.

References

  1. Abeney, E. A., & Owusu, J. G. K. (eds.) (1999). Workshop for media personnel on forestry and wildlife reporting proceedings, Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, UST, Ghana, 95 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Appiah, M. (2003). Domestication of an indigenous tropical forest tree: Silvicultural and socio-economic studies on Iroko (Milicia excelsa) in Ghana, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Forest Ecology, University of Helsinki Tropical Forestry Reports 25, 104 pp.Google Scholar
  3. Appiah, M. (2001). Co-partnership in forest management: The Gwira-Banso Joint Forest Management Project in Ghana. Environment Development and Sustainability, 3(4), 343–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arnold, J. E. M. (1992). Community forestry-ten years in review, Community Forestry Note 7, FAO, Rome. 32 p.Google Scholar
  5. Berkes, F. (1994). Co-management: bridging the two solitudes. Northern Perspectives, 22, 18–20.Google Scholar
  6. Borrini-Feyerabend, G. (1996). Collaborative management of protected natural areas: Tailoring the approach to the context (pp. 67). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, K. (2002). Innovations for conservation and development. The Geographical Journal, 168, 6–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, K. (2003). Three challenges for real people-centered conservation. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12(2), 89–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Castrén T. (2005). Ownership and incentives in Joint Forest Management: A survey. Development Policy Review, 23(1), 87–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cernea, M. M. (1991). Putting people first (2nd ed., 575 pp.). USA: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Chamshama, S. A. O., & Nduwayezu, J. B. (2003). Rehabilitation of degraded sub-humid lands in Sub-Saharan Africa: A synthesis, tree, agroforestry and climate change in dryland African (TACCDA) proceedings, VITRI/ETFRN/UFRO-SPDC workshop, Hyytiälä, Finland, 29 June–4 July 2003.Google Scholar
  12. Davis, A., & Wagner, J. R. (2003). ‘Who knows? On the importance of identifying ‘Experts’ when researching local ecological knowledge’. Human Ecology, 31(3), 463–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dykstra, D. P., Kowero, G. S., Ofosu-Asiedu, A., & Kio, P. (eds.) (1996). Promoting stewardship of forests in the humid forest zone of Anglophone West and Central Africa, final report of a collaborative research project undertaken by UNEP (The United Nations Environment Programme) and CIFOR (The Center for International Forestry Research). Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Jakarta, Indonesia, 103 pp.Google Scholar
  14. Yirdaw, E. (2002). Restoration of the native woody-species diversity, using plantation species as foster trees, in the degraded highlands of Ethiopia. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Helsinki Tropical Forestry Reports 24, 61 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Evans J. (1992). Plantation forestry in the tropics: tree planting for industrial, social, environmental and agroforestry purpose (2nd ed., 403 pp). Oxford: Claredon Press.Google Scholar
  16. FAO (2000). Global forest resources assessment main report. FAO Forestry Paper 140, 479 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Fisher R. J. (1995). Collaborative management of forest for conservation and development issues in forest conservation (pp. 65). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.Google Scholar
  18. Franzel, S. & Scherr, S. J. (Eds.) (2002). Trees on farms: assessing the adoption potential of agroforestry practices in Africa, CABI Wallingford.Google Scholar
  19. FAO/UNEP (1981). Tropical forest resources assessment project, forest resources of tropical Africa. Part II: Country briefs. Rome: FAO.Google Scholar
  20. Gregersen, H., & Houghtaling, L. (1978). Government subsidies to stimulate forestry at the farm communities’ level, In Proceedings of 8th World Forestry Congress, Jakarta Indonesia.Google Scholar
  21. Gregersen H. M. (1984). Incentives for forestation: a comparative assessment. In K. F. Wiersum (Ed.), Strategies and designs for afforestation, reforestation and tree planting. Wagenigen, The Netherlands: Wageningen Agricultural University.Google Scholar
  22. Hall, J. B., & Swaine, M. D. (1981). Distribution and ecology of vascular plants in a tropical rain forest: forest vegetation in Ghana (pp. 383). The Hague: W. Junk Publishers.Google Scholar
  23. Hawthorne, W. D. (1989). The flora and vegetation of Ghana’s forests. In: Ghana forest inventory proceedings. (pp. 8–13). Accra: Overseas Development Agency/Ghana Forestry Department.Google Scholar
  24. Hawthorne, W. D., & Abu-Juam, M. (1995). Forest protection in Ghana. Forest Conservation, Series No. 14, IUCN, Gland.Google Scholar
  25. Hueth, D. L. (1995). The use of subsidies to achieve efficient resource allocation in upland watersheds. Working paper ENV-1, Washington, D.C. IDB.Google Scholar
  26. Lamprecht H. (1989). Silviculture in the tropics, Tropical forest ecosystem and their tree species-possibilities and methods for their long-term utilisation. Eschborn 1989.Google Scholar
  27. Leakey, R. R. B., Temu, A. B., Melnyk, M., & Vantomme, P. (Eds.): 1996, Domestication and commercialisation of non-timber forest products for agroforestry. Non-Wood Forest Products, No. 9. FAO, Rome, Italy, pp. 1–7.Google Scholar
  28. Leakey, R. R. B. & Newton A. (1994). Domestication of tropical trees for timber and non-timber forest products. MAB Digest No 17, UNESCO, Paris 94 pp.Google Scholar
  29. Luukkanen, O. (2006). Rehabilitation of degraded forests with collaboration of local communities, ITTO Project (PD 30/97 Rev 6 (F) Technical Report, Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, 56 pp.Google Scholar
  30. Maikhuri, R. K. & Rao, K. S. (2002). Rehabilitation of degraded land, Land-use and land-cover change impacts and strategies in the Indian Himalaya Mountains, Newsletter of the International Human dimensions Programme on Global Environmental change.Google Scholar
  31. Ministry of Lands and Forestry (1996). Forestry development master plan (pp. 26). Accra, Ghana: MLF.Google Scholar
  32. Ministry of Lands and Forestry (1994). Forestry and Wildlife Policy (16 pp.). Accra, Ghana: MLF.Google Scholar
  33. Nair, P. K. R. (1989). Agroforestry systems in the tropics. Agroforestry Systems, 3, 97–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Novick, R. R, Dick, W. C., Lemes, M., Navarro, C., Caccone, A., & Bermingjam, E. (2003). Genetic structure of Mesoamerican population of Big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) inferred from macrsatellite analysis. Molecular Ecology, 12, 2885–2893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. OECD (1985) Management of water projects: decision-making and investment appraisal. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  36. Pakkad, G., Elliott, S., Anusarnsunthorn, V., James C., & Blakesley, D. (2002). Forest restoration planting in Northern Thailand. In: J. Koskela, S. Appanah, A. P. Pedersen, and Markopoulos A. (Eds.) Proceedings of the Southeast Asian Moving Workshop on Conservation, management and utilization of forest genetic resources. Forestry research support programme for Asia and the Pacific (FORSPA)/FAO publication no. 31/2002, 305 p.Google Scholar
  37. Prah, E. A. (1997). Joint forest management- the Gwira-Banso experience. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 76(3), 171–174.Google Scholar
  38. Prah E. (1994). Sustainable management of the tropical high forest of Ghana (pp. 73). London: International Development Research Centre.<start>.Google Scholar
  39. Ros-Tonen M., Dijkman W., & Lammerts van Bueren, E. (1995). Commercial and sustainable extraction of non-timber forest products: towards a policy and management oriented research strategy (pp. 32). Wageningen: Tropenbos Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Russell, D., & Franzel, S. (2004). Agroforestry, markets ad the African smallholder. Agroforestry Systems, 61, 345–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scherr, S. J. (1991). Methods of participatory on-farm agroforestry research. ICRAF, Nairobi, 72.Google Scholar
  42. Schlönvoigt, A., & Beer, J. (2001). Initial growth of pioneer timber tree species in a taungya system in the humid lowlands of Costa Rica. Agroforestry Systems, 51, 97–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Simons, A. J., & Leakey, R. R. B. (2004). Tree domestication in tropical agroforestry. Agrofrestry Systems, 61, 167–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Siaw, D. E. K. A. (2001). State of forest genetic resources in Ghana, Forest genetic resources working papers (FGR/17E). Forest Resources Division, FAO, Rome Italy.Google Scholar
  45. Stoorvogel, J. J., & Smaling, E. M. A. (1990). Assessment of soil nutrient depletion in Sub-Saharan Africa 1983–2000. 28, Wageningen: The Winand Staring Centre for Integrated Land, Soil and Water Research (SC-DLO).Google Scholar
  46. Teklehaimanot, Z. (2004). Exploiting the potential of indigenous agroforetry trees: Parkia biglobosa and Vitellaria paradoxa in sub-Saharan Africa. Agroforestry Systems, 61, 207–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wagner, M. R., & Cobbinah, J. R. (1993). Deforestation and sustainability in Ghana: the role of tropical forests. Ghana Journal of Forestry, 91, 36–39.Google Scholar
  48. Wiersum, K. F. (1991). Soil erosion and conservation. In: M. E Avery, & K.O. Chin (Eds.), Biophysical research for Asian agroforestry (pp. 292). USA: Winrock International.Google Scholar
  49. Wiersum, K. F. (1996). Domestication of valuable tree species in agroforestry systems: evolutionary stages from gathering to breeding. In: Leakey, R.R.B., Temu, A.B., Melnyk, M. and Vantomme, P. (eds.). Domestication and commercialisation of non-timber forest products for agroforestry, Non-Wood Forest Products 9. FAO, Rome, Italy. pp. 1–7.Google Scholar
  50. Wiersum, K. F. (1997). From natural forest to tree crops, co-domestication of forests and tree species, an overview. Netherlands Journal of Agricultural Science, 45, 425–438.Google Scholar
  51. Wily, L. A. (2002). The Political Economy of community Forestry in Africa: Getting the power relations Right. Forest, trees and People Newsletter 46. Uppsala, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.Google Scholar
  52. World Bank (2002). A revised Forest Strategy for the World Bank Group. Washington DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  53. Zooneveld, L. (2001). A toolkit for participation in local governance: learning to make participation work. Netherlands: Novib.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominic Blay
    • 1
  • Mark Appiah
    • 2
  • Lawrence Damnyag
    • 1
  • Francis K. Dwomoh
    • 1
  • Olavi Luukkanen
    • 2
  • Ari Pappinen
    • 3
  1. 1.Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG)KumasiGhana
  2. 2.Viikki Tropical Resources InstituteUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Faculty of ForestryUniversity of JoensuuJoensuuFinland

Personalised recommendations