Assessment of Collaborative Forest Management Practices and Impact on Forest Management and Socio-Economic Development of Fringe Communities in the Aowin Suaman District of Ghana

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The study was conducted in the Yoyo and Tano Ehuro Forest Reserves in Enchi Forest District, in the Western Region. It was done in five communities; Jensue, Yakase, Adonikrom, Anwiafutu, and Nyankamam. Whereas Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) is employed in the management of Yoyo Forest Reserve such is done for the management of Tana Ehuro Forest reserve. The objectives of the study were to investigate Collaborative Forest Management Strategies practiced, to find out the socio economic impact of CFM on forest fringe communities and finally to estimate in area, volume, and cost the extent of forest destructions/ encroachment in the reserve where CFM is practiced against a reserve where CFM is not practiced. In each community, 20 respondents were randomly selected for a sample size of 100. The respondents were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaire. Field measurements were conducted on merchantable tree species found in the 800 meter squared area based on which calculations were done. It was revealed the CFM strategies that existed were effective, ranging from the involvement of fringe communities in the maintenance of forest boundaries, rehabilitation of degraded forest areas to the provision of fund, dubbed Community Investment Found (CIF). The CFM has had positive impact on communities. Ninety Nine Percent (99%) of respondents have had training by the FSD. 80% of respondents stated that the CFM had reduced their reliance on the forest resource, however, respondents proved that they encountered loss in 2007 during a week-long flood. The Tano Ehuro Forest Reserve is about 84% destroyed costing stakeholders Ghc 93,931,740 whiles Yoyo is 30% - 40% destroyed costing stakeholders Gh¢ between 142,087.2 and 189,449.6. CFM should be enforced and strengthened by all forest districts in forest management. More alternative livelihood aids to fringe communities should be encouraged and a more intensive training be given to potential beneficiaries of the CIF followed by regular monitoring. Regeneration of the degraded areas be initiated by major stakeholders. Yoyo Forest Reserve should be strictly protected since it contains valued economic species.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Theoretical And Applied Biology, College of Science Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master Of Science Degree In Environmental Science,