Analysis of Primary Stakeholders Participation in Forest Resources Management: The Case of the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve, Ghana
Ghana’s forest resources are vital for the country’s sustainable development and various forestry reform initiatives have been implemented to improve governance in the forestry sector. Participatory approach such as collaborative forest management in Ghana aims at achieving representation of a broad segment of primary stakeholders, especially most vulnerable groups. The study aimed at analyzing primary stakeholders participation in forest resources management at various levels of participation. The link between primary stakeholders participation in forest resources management of the Krokosua Hill Forest Reserve in Juaboso District of Ghana and a set of socio-demographic factors was analyzed. The communities studied include five forest-dependent communities around the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve. A sample of 407 primary stakeholders was selected by the use of the proportional random sampling method. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools which included key informant interviews and direct observation were employed in the study. Household questionnaire interview were also conducted. The data were analyzed by the use of participation index and descriptive statistics such as frequency and cross-tabulation using chi-square. The study found the average participation index of primary stakeholders participation in forest resources of Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve to be 0.3. The index for their involvement in planning, implementation and monitoring stages was 0.3 and that for benefit sharing of benefit accrued from the reserve was 0.2. Significant associations were found between the following variables: primary stakeholders participation in planning and gender (p = 0.055), and education (p = 0.001); primary stakeholders participation in implementation and distance (p = 0.001); primary stakeholders participation in monitoring and age (p = 0.001), and distance (p = 0.001); and primary stakeholders participation in benefit-sharing and age (p = 0.018), and education (p = 0.001). The study concludes that participation of primary stakeholders in forest resources management is still low and depends on the socio-demographic profile of an individual and proximity of forest-dependent communities from the forests. These findings have implications on the sustainability of forest resources in Ghana. The main policy implication drawn from the findings are that resource managers should and policy makers need to be sensitive to create more practical right-based participatory strategies to secure meaningful representation and participation from forest-dependent communities. The success of the collaborative system approach relies heavily on a positive relationship between the forest-dependent community and the resource manager. In designing participatory management activities, differences in socio-demographic variables and empowerment interventions should be considered by resource managers and policy makers to ensure broad representation of primary stakeholders.
A thesis Submitted to the Department of Materials Engineering,Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,in partial fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Resource Management, 2010