STOP THE FOREST DEPLETION: EVIDENCE TO RESTORE & MAINTAIN GHANA’S FOREST RESERVES26th Nov 2019
As part of Central University’s vision to be a hub for biodiversity in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 15, which has it that we “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss” by 2030. Africa Centre for Applied Economics and Policy Research (ACAEP) secured funding from Global Green Grants Funds and collaborated with
Central University to conduct a research on the perceived impact of Climate Change, Human and Institutional activities on Forest depletion in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana.
The findings of the research project were unveiled at the Central University, Miosto campus off the Aflo road on Friday November 1, 2019.
The event was graced by Professor John Ofosu-Anim (Pro-Vice Chancellor of Central University), Professor Clara Korkor Fayporsey (Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences who also doubled as the Chair person for the occasion), Prof. Adusei Jumah (Acting Dean of Graduate School), Thomas Ofori Amanfo (Director, HR), Faculty and ACAEP members as well as representatives of the Forestry Commission, Okaikwe North Municipal Assembly, Ga North Municipal Assembly, and Shai Osudoku Municipal Assembly. Two presentations were made during the launch of the report. The first one was made by Dr. Kwakye Ameyaw from the Forestry Commission and the second was made by Dr. Anthony Amoah who was supported by his co-author Mr. Kofi Korle.
The research which sort to establish whether there is evidence of depletion provided the following results. Evidence of depletion from the perspective of households and also from Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) confirms that the forests in the Greater Accra Region to some extent have been depleted. Overall, 44% argued that the depletion of the forests is high, 30% indicated that the depletion is moderate, while 26% indicated that the depletion is low.
It was established that, there are 3 main drivers for the depletion and chief amongst the drivers is human behavior.
Towards sustainable management of the forests, respondents were asked in a bidding game approach to indicate their willingness-to-pay for the restoration and maintenance of the forests. The results show that households are willing to pay GH¢64.13 and GH¢41.24 per annum for the restoration and maintenance of the forests, respectively. These amounts were found to be somewhat reasonable as they constitute 0.2% and 0.5% of household’s monthly income. The author through a Cost Benefit approach estimated the expected revenue for restoration and maintenance to be GHS49,184,824.15 and GH31,629.224.20 per year, respectively.
The project research team recommends the need for education and advocacy, community participation, law enforcement, resource mobilization, modern adaptation strategies, and internalization of externalities as a way of controlling the drivers of forest depletion.
Towards the implementation of some of the recommendations, the ACEAP in collaboration with Central University has established a Green Club to facilitate education, advocacy, and tree planting exercises within the Greater Accra Region. With support from the Forestry Commission and Wild Life Division, the Club planted some trees on the University Campus and intends to extend the planting exercise to the key forest areas after permission is granted.
The Research Team expressed their profound appreciation to Central University, Global Green Grant as well as Africa Centre for Applied Economics and Policy Research for their support.
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