Involving Local Farmers in Rehabilitation of Degraded Tropical Forests: Some Lessons from Ghana
This study is an analysis of a community-based tree planting project in Ghana using the taungya systems with indigenous trees. The project was sponsored by the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), the government of Ghana, and the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). The goal of the tree planting in the project was to improve forest rehabilitation as well as local livelihoods.
research goals & methods
The project utilized the modified taungya system (MTS), which involved giving local farmers land with which to grow both agricultural crops and trees in an intercropping system. The food was grown for three years, until the trees grew tall enough to shade out the crops. The farmers were then eligible for a partial share of the timber profits when the trees were harvested. For this study, interviews were conducted with 431 participating households, as well as local community representatives.
conclusions & takeaways
The study found a high rate of participation of local farmers in the project. There were three top values that local farmers provided in relation to the project: restoring forest quality as a source of timber and other resources, getting money, food, timber and non-timber for domestic use, and having access to fertile land for farming. The study proposes that reversing tropical forest degradation is possible given the involvement of and incentives for local communities.
Involving local farmers in rehabilitation of degraded tropical forests: some lessons from Ghana. Environment, Development and Sustainability. 2007;10:503–518. doi:10.1007/s10668-006-9077-9..
- Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana