Deforestation and the limited contribution of forests to rural livelihoods in West Africa: evidence from Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Darko Obiri, Beatrice
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Forest degradation in West Africa is generally thought to have negative consequences on rural livelihoods but there is little overview of its effects in the region because the importance of forests to rural livelihoods has never been adequately quantified. Based on data from 1014 rural households across Burkina Faso and Ghana this paper attempts to fill this knowledge gap. We demonstrate that agricultural lands and the non-forest environment including parklands are considerably more valuable to poor as well as more well-off rural households than forests. Furthermore, product types supplied by the non-forest environment are almost identical with those from forests. Accordingly, forest clearance/degradation is profitable for and, hence, probably performed by rural people at large. We attribute rural people’s high reliance on non-forest versus forest resources to the two countries’ restrictive and inequitable forest policies which must be reformed to promote effective forest conservation, e.g., to mitigate climate change.
CitationPouliot, M., Treue, T., Obiri, B. D. and Ouedraogo, B. (2012) Deforestation and the Limited Contribution of Forests to Rural Livelihoods in West Africa: Evidence from Burkina Faso and Ghana. Ambio, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 738–750.
Rights holder© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012
- Urban/Rural