Resource Details

Involving local farmers in rehabilitation of degraded tropical forests: some lessons from Ghana

Literature: Journal Articles

Blay, D., Appiah, M., Damnyag, L., Dwomoh, F.K., Luukkanen, O. & Pappinen, A. 2008, "Involving local farmers in rehabilitation of degraded tropical forests: some lessons from Ghana", Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 10, nos.4, pp. 503-518.

Contact Info

Mark Appiah,


  • Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana


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Species Info

  • Aningeria robusta
  • Albizia zygia
  • Alstonia boonei
  • Ceiba pentandra
  • Entandrophragma angolense
  • Entandrophragma utile
  • Khaya ivorensis
  • Khaya antotheca
  • Pericopsis elata
  • Nauclea diderrichii
  • Terminalia ivorensis
  • Terminalia superba
  • Cedrela odorata (Exotic)


  • This study is an analyses of the prospects of a community-based plantation using taungya systems and indigenous trees as means to forest rehabilitation and livelihood improvement in Ghana.  Also discussed are the project management strategies, communication processes and incentive mechanisms and their impact on local participation.
  • The project under review is a 4-year rehabilitation project aimed at collaborative forest rehabilitation through the promotion of plantation development within and outside forest reserves using indigenous tree species in a modified taungya system (MTS). Under MTS farmers were given land to grow annual agricultural crops along with forest tree species during the early years of plantation establishment.
  • Three forest districts in a dry semi-deciduous forest type (DS), dry semi-deciduous fire zone (DSFZ) and a moist semi-deciduous southeast (MSSE) forest subtype were examined. Data was collected for about 12 months mainly by personal interviews. 431 households who were engaged in the ITTO sponsored rehabilitation project and 30 key informants including District heads, chiefs, the forest department and leaders of farmer groups were interviewed.
  • The results show that the most important achievement of the project is the support from the chiefs and the local people. About 70% of the people in the ten communities have planted trees and expressed continued interest, those who had not taken part expressed interest. Also by the time of the interview about 250 ha of forest plantations had been established in degraded forest areas through the MTS using 13 priority tree species planted together with traditional food crops.
  • Furthermore, for the majority of farmers the development of plantations through the MTS on degraded community lands is one way to achieve land rehabilitation and restoration of forest services as well as means to secure income, food and agricultural land.
  • The outcome of this 4-year rehabilitation project enforces the relevance of utilizing indigenous species not only in plantations but also for landscape restoration in Ghana. This project demonstrates the need to involve local farmers in tree domestication combined with activities that address livelihood and environmental concerns.

Geographical Region

  • West Africa
  • Country

  • Ghana
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