A landscape approach is needed to improve farmers’ livelihoods while reforesting degraded reserves in Ghana

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Emmanuel Acheampong

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A study about the patterns of deforestation in Ghana from 1986 to 2015 identified that expansion of agriculture is a major contributor to deforestation in the country. The study therefore recommended the practice of agricultural intensification on existing farmlands to reduce farm expansion into the remaining forest. However, the intensity of the deforestation has turned some forest reserves into grassland. Sustainable Development Goal 15 stresses the protection of remaining forest and the restoration of degraded forest through afforestation. We therefore studied the willingness of farmers to participate in a reforestation project as a means to restore degraded forest and support the livelihood of farmers. We used Ongwam II Forest Reserve in the Ashanti region of Ghana, and we engaged farmers in two communities fringing the forest reserve for the research. We found that farmers’ level of participation in reforestation is determined by the worth of their farm in the forest, the location of their farm, farming experience, the location of the project, and the motivation attached to the project. Inter-planting food crops with trees could reduce the effects of arable farming on deforestation, limit the clearance of trees from farmlands, and enhance the provision of ecosystem services. The effective implementation of several small-scale reforestation projects could together lead to forest transition, more trees in agricultural systems, and better protection of residual natural forests.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration