Enhancing forest governance capacities at national and community levels
Ghana’s forest sector is in the midst of an extended crisis. Weak institutions and a lack of regulatory control have created an environment in which illegal logging and deforestation are rampant. The loss of Ghana’s forests is having profound ecological, social and economic consequences.
As the resource base shrinks, so local communities (the forest owners) are losing the forests on which they depend, without seeing any real benefits from forest exploitation. This is one cause behind widespread rural poverty. Similarly, the government of Ghana (the forest manager) is invariably failing to recover the rents from illegal forest activities, losing revenues it needs for national development. If governance reforms are not instituted soon, the remaining forests will no longer be able to supply the ecological, social or economic benefits on which Ghana has come to depend.
Strengthening voices for better choices
In response to these forest governance challenges, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) launched Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC). This global project, financed by the European Union, aims to promote the development and implementation of improved forest governance arrangements that facilitate sustainable and equitable forest conservation and management. Ghana, one of six SVBC project countries, is pursuing this goal at both national and community levels.