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Mangrove Conditions as Indicator for Potential Payment for Ecosystem Services in Some Estuaries of Western Region of Ghana, West Africa

  • Gordon N. AjoninaEmail author
  • Tundi Agardy
  • Winnie Lau
  • Kofi Agbogah
  • Balertey Gormey
Chapter
Part of the Estuaries of the World book series (EOTW)

Abstract

A rapid assessment was carried out on the Greater Amanzule wetlands in Ghana to assess the types and conditions of mangroves and associated ecosystem services (e.g. carbon sequestration, wood collection and tourism) for determining the potential for payment for ecosystem services (PES). A combination of stakeholder discussions and on-the-ground surveys was used to gather information on 18 mangrove sites. The survey showed that over 1,000 ha of mangrove forests exists in scattered pockets of less than 10 ha (in 50 % of the sites), representing nearly 10 % of the known national mangrove coverage of 14,000 ha. The mangroves are estuarine type, generally healthy, and reach canopy height of 30 m. They support livelihoods and ecological securities of the surrounding fishing or farming communities. There was a general community perception that mangrove forests have decreased in area over the last 20 years. Identified threats include harvesting for fuelwood and construction, pollution from domestic and mining waste disruption in the tidal regime at some estuaries. Carbon sequestration remains a valuable service: total aboveground carbon stored in intact mangrove areas ranged from 65 to 422 tC/ha (mean of 185 tC/ha) with estimated aboveground roots (aerial roots) making up 78 % of the carbon stock in some degraded areas. The economic value of mangroves as a source of fuelwood was approximated at US$2,765/ha. A number of factors were identified as contributing to suboptimal governance of mangroves and wetlands. Appropriate PES schemes with improved legal and institutional arrangements are expected to help surmount management challenges.

Keywords

Rapid assessment Payment for ecosystem services  Mangroves Ghana 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The assessment was supported by USAID through the Coastal Resources Center, Ghana, and Forest Trends, USA. The authors are gratefully indebted to persons, projects, programmes and institutions contacted during the study. We appreciate greatly the field assistance and contribution of Nicolas Jengere of Nature Conservation and Research Center (NCRC) and Felix Nani of wildlife division for their invaluable field assistance without which the work could not have been possible. Great thanks are also due Patrick Sarpong proprietor of Beyin Beach Resort for hospitality and responding to the interview. John Mason of NCRC, Frank Hicks (Forest Trends) and Joerg Seifert-Granzin (Forest Trends) provided initial contacts that led to this work. We also thank Esinam Attipoe (Hanns Seidel Foundation, Ghana) for sending complementary information about the area.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon N. Ajonina
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Tundi Agardy
    • 2
  • Winnie Lau
    • 2
  • Kofi Agbogah
    • 3
  • Balertey Gormey
    • 3
  1. 1.CWCS Coastal Forests and Mangrove ProgrammeMouankoCameroon
  2. 2.The Marine Ecosystem Service (MARES) ProgrammeWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Coastal Resources CenterTakoradiGhana
  4. 4.Institute of Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesUniversity of Douala (Yabassi)DoualaCameroon

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