The Adwenase Forest Management Plan has received a massive facelift following its revision by the kind courtesy of the EU Chainsaw Milling project implemented by Tropenbos International Ghana and partners. The plan, first drafted in 1995 by the Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC) of the Forestry Commission and the Assin-Akropong community, was revised to keep step with current forest management practices.17 June, 2013
Converted chainsaw operators are warming up to establish forest plantations as an alternative livelihood to illegal chainsaw milling. This is because in April 2013, the EU Chainsaw Milling project implemented by Tropenbos International Ghana and partners provided the requisite starter kits to four chainsaw-dependent communities. The kits comprise seeds of commercial tree species for nursery establishment, protective clothing and requisite implements and materials for plantation development.17 June, 2013
The communities of Sankore and Brewaniase in Ghana, have received artisanal mills donated by the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission under the EU Chainsaw project implemented by Tropenbos International Ghana and partners. The mills will be used by the communities to process raw materials acquired from legal sources through a partnership arrangement between chainsaw-dependent communities and forest concession holders.
Limited rights and access to natural resources and declining forest resources leave local communities few other livelihood options but to engage in activities that yield immediate economic gain, particularly illegal logging activities, and convert forest lands for other purposes (e.g. oil palm) that can provide quick cash income.
This, in turn, leads to further degradation of natural resources, resulting in the erosion of the support basis for sustainable livelihoods. Provided with more sustainable and profitable alternatives or more legal alternatives, degradation of forest resources may be reduced or halted.
A number of alternative, more sustainable livelihood initiatives exist and are promoted by the government, but effective implementation on site requires assistance, tools and guidelines. Community Plantation Forest (Hutan Tanaman Rakyat - HTR), Social Forestry (Hutan Kemasyarakatan) and Community Forest (Hutan Rakyat) are recent initiatives launched by the Ministry of Forestry to create the basic conditions for sustainable livelihoods. Another recent development is the introduction of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for companies involved in natural resources extraction - changing CSR activity from voluntary into mandatory - which will provide communities with possible support from companies operating in their proximity.
To what extent these central government initiatives will help to increase the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities, and whether these will lead to a reduced pressure on forest resources and biodiversity, remains to be seen.
The principle research topics generated in this project is designed to address some of these issues:
Government and corporate community forestry initiatives contribute to improved forest-based livelihoods and the conservation of forest resources.
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Forest Research Institutes
Programme Director TBI Indonesia