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Forest resource management in Ghana : an analysis of policy and institutions

By Joseph Kofi Teye

Abstract

Despite claims by many developing countries that they have adopted sustainable forest policies in return for bilateral and multilateral donor grants, deforestation rates are still\ud quite high. In order to understand this problem, it has been suggested that forest policies of individual countries should be critically examined. Yet there is no comprehensive\ud theoretical framework for analysing, in an integrated way, forest policy formulation and implementation in the developing world. To help fill this gap, an integrated policy network model is devised. This addresses the main weaknesses of the existing policy network approach, especially its negligence of power differentials and failure to analyse micro-interactions. The new model also provides a framework for analysing the influence of complex power relations and informal networks on actual forest policy outcomes.\ud \ud In order to test the robustness of the new model, it is applied to analyse forest policy formulation and implementation in Ghana. The analysis reveals that actual forest policy in Ghana has historically been exploitative. In response to international pressures, a new\ud Forest Policy, with sustainable and participatory goals, was formulated in 1994. However, this has been poorly implemented, due to complex interdependencies and\ud informal networks between state officials and forest exploitative groups. While local communities are marginalised, patronage networks among the political elite, top forestry officials and "big timber men" negatively affect revenue collection and checking illegal logging. Similarly, complex interdependencies and networks among\ud guards, small-scale chainsaw operators and some farmers contribute to poor implementation of forest protection policies in the countryside.\ud \ud Based on these findings, it has been suggested that strengthening of the Forestry Department must be accompanied by social change and greater transparency on the part of state officials, if forest policy could ever be well implemented in Ghana. Donor pressures alone cannot ensure sustainable resource management, due to the ability of the executive to contest such pressures through the use of policy ambiguities. A change driven by civil society, and a strong local media should help improve governance and\ud forest management in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa

Publisher: School of Geography (Leeds)
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:368

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