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Type: Theses
Title: Sustaining off-reserve forests in Ghana: a game-theoretic approach
Author: Otutei, Emmanuel
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences: Geography, Environment & Population
Abstract: This thesis explores options for resolving the ongoing tenure and compensation conflicts in the off-reserve forests (non-plantation forests outside permanent forest reserves) in Ghana. The ongoing degradation of the forests has been attributed to the prevalent tenure and compensation conflicts among cocoa farmers, the government, and logging concessionaires. Cocoa farmers nurture and preserve naturally growing trees in the off-reserve forests. They even plant indigenous tree species on their farms for the purpose of providing additional shades for their cocoa crops. Yet since 1998, the government has denied farmers any legal rights to the shade trees they retain on their farms. In addition, crops are extensively damaged by logging and transporting activities occurring on cocoa farms. However, most concessionaires fail to adequately compensate affected farmers. Farmers tend to resort to unsustainable forest practices as a result of these tenure and compensation conflicts. They markedly reduce shade tree density when cocoa crops start bearing pods by cutting down or killing many young trees and engaging in illegal (chainsaw) logging. Thus, the key research question investigated by this thesis is: what is the most optimal policy option for minimising unsustainable forest practices among farmers? To respond to this question, this thesis developed game-theoretic models to predict the future behaviour of some key stakeholders under hypothetical policy scenarios. The predictions of the game-theoretic models were then tested with empirical data collected from farmers and concessionaires in Ghana in 2016. The current behaviours of the concessionaires and farmers in the off-reserve forests were found to be consistent with the rational-choice model. These stakeholders are behaving in ways that will maximise their expected values in the off-reserve forests. Both the theoretical and empirical results revealed that farmers are less likely to be fully compensated should they pursue compensation on their own. It was found that a credible threat of litigation by a third-party advocate is likely to be the most optimal option to ensure that concessionaires fully and promptly compensate farmers for crop damage. More importantly, the most optimal policy option to motivate farmers to increase tree density and diversity and minimise farmer-driven illegal logging is a policy mix that concurrently provides 40% of stumpage revenue to farmers; ensures full compensation for crop damage through third-party litigation; and strictly enforces the tree harvesting rule using FC-farmer partnerships.
Advisor: Suh, Jungho
Wanner, Thomas
Tan, Yan
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2018
Keywords: property rights
forest management
cocoa agroforests
forest conflicts
tree tenure
illegal logging
policy options
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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