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The pervasiveness of land degradation in Africa carries far reaching socio-political, economic, and ecological impacts. Land restoration interventions are therefore critical for strengthening the resilience of livelihoods and landscapes. Nonetheless, restoration interventions have far too often omitted community participation in favor of top-down approaches. Moreover, they have often narrowly concentrated on the biophysical aspects of restoration, thus diminishing the significance of socio-ecological, political and economic dimensions. This paper is based on qualitative research from 2018 and 2019 in the Talensi district in Ghana, an area with both active and completed Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) interventions. We draw on interviews, focus group discussions, and other participatory rural appraisal methods carried out in four communities in Talensi (the selected communities represent a mix of active and former project sites) to analyse how effectively FMNR interventions have incorporated equity and social inclusion in their approach to regreening. While most land restoration interventions seek to strengthen the resilience of livelihoods and landscapes, the critical questions of resilience ‘by whom’, ‘for whom’, and ‘how’ are often inadequately addressed in development projects—something that carries important implications for equity and social inclusion. We focus particularly on how former and current beneficiaries of FMNR in Talensi perceive the anticipated and/or actual distribution of benefits, costs, and risks within their communities. Our analysis of equity draws on a multidimensional framework developed by McDermott, Mahanty, and Schreckenberg (2013), which is structured around three dimensions to equity: distributive, procedural, and contextual.
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019
Society for Ecological Restoration