Environmental values from plantation forests: a study of Ghana’s modified Taungya System in Dormaa Forest District

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Natural resources, such as forests are valuable assets because they yield flows of valuable direct and indirect services to people. Notwithstanding, forest in Ghana have progressively disappeared over the years. This could be attributed to the fact that forest management in Ghana focuses mainly on timber which has direct market benefits. Largely, environmental services (non-market values) of forests are not taken into account in forest management planning. This may be as a result of the lack of knowledge, understanding and estimation of the value of environmental services provided by forests. This study sought to bridge this information gap by estimating the values of environmental services of MTS forest plantation using choice modelling along with the identification of management options that impact the provision of these values. Each step of the research was built on the perspectives of respondents. From literature and reconnaissance surveys, environmental services (attributes) of forest plantation were identified, validated and ranked in order of importance in focus group discussions. The first four environmental services on top of the ranking were selected for the study. Conjoint analysis was employed to estimate the value of these services. SPSS orthogonal design was used to generate different combinations of attribute levels which were presented as choice profiles to respondents. Respondents ranked these profiles from most to least preferred. The payment vehicle selected for this study was direct payment to participating farmers. The results show that water regulation was the most influential attribute in the ranking of choice profiles from the study forest plantation. Increasing money values had no effect on how these choice profiles were ranked. The result of the ordered logistic models shows that those who are not married, respondents from Abonsrakrom community, those with no formal, primary and middle school education placed higher value on choice profiles made up of higher attribute levels. In all, farmers were willing to accept GH¢400/hectare/year as compensation for improving environmental services. The choice experiment technique allowed respondents to indicate the relative value they place on various environmental services from small holder plantations. The findings on the value of forest plantation environmental services have important implications for forest management. Careful management is required to ensure the continuous provision and flow of forest plantation environmental services. Paramount amongst identified management options was fire management strategies. To ensure effective governance of the established forest plantations, institutional arrangements need to be strengthened.
A thesis submitted to The School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Philosophy Degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Governance, 2016
choice experiment, governance, Environmental services, modified taungya system