Accelerated rates of global deforestation and its contributions to global emissions as well as the risk it poses to rural livelihoods have made tackling deforestation a priority on the global agenda for sustainable development. Forest plantations have emerged as a cutting-edge strategy for timber production to meet the ever-rising global demand for wood resources, provide rural livelihood opportunities and ad-dress landscape restoration concerns.
In Ghana, tree plantation development has been adopted by the government as a way to restore degraded forests, provide sustainable timber for the export market and domestic use while providing an alternative livelihood and source of income for forest fringe communities.
However, various attempts at plantation development, dating as far back as the 1930’s when Ghana, then known as the Gold Coast, was under colonial rule have all failed to yield the desired results. This clearly indicates that there are underlying issues that need to be tackled to enable plantation development in Ghana to thrive and yield the desired outcomes.
In view of this, the project ‘Developing Mechanisms for improved Landscape Productivity: the case of smallholder forest plantations’ was implemented by Tropenbos Ghana with a view of unearthing these underlying issues and also prescribing solutions for them.
The book, ‘Options for Community Participation in Landscape Restoration through Plantation Development’ is the result of collaborative researches covering a total of five forest districts in Ghana which was carried out under this project by five researchers working under three supervisors.
The book gives an overview of the various tree plantation projects carried out under different political regimes stretching from the colonial era as well as the various methods under which these projects were carried out.
It also gives a background of the project areas where most of the studies took place and goes on to examine the reasons that spur farmers on to adopt tree plantation development as well the reasons that deter them.
It then presents a thorough analysis of the various barriers that limit the success of tree plantation programmes in Ghana and prescribes corresponding solutions to them while examining the role tree farmers’ associations could play in improving tree plantation development in Ghana.