“Sustainable timber production in the forest reserves in Ghana: a bio-economic resource modeling approach”

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The rate of degradation of the forests of Ghana has been a major concern since the British Colonial times. This has therefore called for a detailed study that will lead to an institution of appropriate management policies to arrest the situation. The study was therefore directed towards determination of appropriate growth and harvest models that will guide forests conservators to institute appropriate management policies to curb over exploitation of the forests. The Diameter class projection method which has a basic concept of classifying the stand table of free numbers into diameter classes was used. This diameter class projection model is most conveniently represented using matrix algebra formulation. The change in the stand table is calculated over an interval of 5-10 years using periodic increment data. The revised stand table is then used as the starting point to repeat the calculations. Some of the major findings were that, all trees on the selected forest reserves may have an annual average growth in diameter between 0.215 cm and 0.239 cm. It was also found that, a maximum allowable cut of about 38 trees of species 212 from fun forest reserve within every five years, 250 tree from furi forest reserve for every period of five years and 137 trees from wawahi forest reserve within the same number of years into the Timber Industry for internal use is possible. Stable states were attained after twenty-two periods, twenty-one periods and twenty-six periods respectively for species 212, fin finest reserve and wawahi forest reserve. It could therefore be stated that, although reservation of the forest is crucial for sustainability, it is not economically beneficial to reserve the forests to attain their stable states before they are made available for harvesting. Rather, there must be a certain maximum allowable cut that should not exceed the calculated proportion to be harvested within every one step period.
A thesis submitted to the Board of School of Graduate Studies in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Science degree in Mathematics, 2005