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Marfo E.,Forestry Research Institute of Ghana | Mckeown J.P.,Tropenbos International Ghana Programme
Forest Policy and Economics | Year: 2013

Negotiating a policy change involves formation of coalitions of actors in a particular policy subsystem with substantial mobilisation of resources to deploy strategic actions to direct the outcome of the process to a certain interest. The Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) has been demonstrated as a useful heuristic framework to explain policy change within a particular political system. This study applies the ACF to the negotiation of a policy change for the supply of timber to the domestic market in Ghana. The study largely confirms selected coalition hypotheses and makes a contribution to a possible revision of some of them. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Fauset S.,University of Leeds | Baker T.R.,University of Leeds | Lewis S.L.,University of Leeds | Lewis S.L.,University College London | And 5 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2012

The future of tropical forests under global environmental change is uncertain, with biodiversity and carbon stocks at risk if precipitation regimes alter. Here, we assess changes in plant functional composition and biomass in 19 plots from a variety of forest types during two decades of long-term drought in Ghana. We find a consistent increase in dry forest, deciduous, canopy species with intermediate light demand and a concomitant decrease in wet forest, evergreen, sub-canopy and shade-tolerant species. These changes in composition are accompanied by an increase in above-ground biomass. Our results indicate that by altering composition in favour of drought-tolerant species, the biomass stocks of these forests may be more resilient to longer term drought than short-term studies of severe individual droughts suggest. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

Adum G.B.,Range Resources | Eichhorn M.P.,University of Nottingham | Oduro W.,Range Resources | Ofori-Boateng C.,Range Resources | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

There is a lack of quantitative information on the effectiveness of selective-logging practices in ameliorating effects of logging on faunal communities. We conducted a large-scale replicated field study in 3 selectively logged moist semideciduous forests in West Africa at varying times after timber extraction to assess post logging effects on amphibian assemblages. Specifically, we assessed whether the diversity, abundance, and assemblage composition of amphibians changed over time for forest-dependent species and those tolerant of forest disturbance. In 2009, we sampled amphibians in 3 forests (total of 48 study plots, each 2 ha) in southwestern Ghana. In each forest, we established plots in undisturbed forest, recently logged forest, and forest logged 10 and 20 years previously. Logging intensity was constant across sites with 3 trees/ha removed. Recently logged forests supported substantially more species than unlogged forests. This was due to an influx of disturbance-tolerant species after logging. Simultaneously Simpson's index decreased, with increased in dominance of a few species. As time since logging increased richness of disturbance-tolerant species decreased until 10 years after logging when their composition was indistinguishable from unlogged forests. Simpson's index increased with time since logging and was indistinguishable from unlogged forest 20 years after logging. Forest specialists decreased after logging and recovered slowly. However, after 20 years amphibian assemblages had returned to a state indistinguishable from that of undisturbed forest in both abundance and composition. These results demonstrate that even with low-intensity logging (≤3 trees/ha) a minimum 20-year rotation of logging is required for effective conservation of amphibian assemblages in moist semideciduous forests. Furthermore, remnant patches of intact forests retained in the landscape and the presence of permanent brooks may aid in the effective recovery of amphibian assemblages. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

Schoneveld G.C.,Center for International Forestry Research | Schoneveld G.C.,University Utrecht | German L.A.,Center for International Forestry Research | Nutako E.,Forestry Research Institute of Ghana
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

The rapidly growing biofuel sector in Africa has, in recent years, been received with divided interest. As part of a contemporary wave of agricultural modernization efforts, it could make invaluable contributions to rural poverty. Conversely, it could also engender socioeconomically and environmentally detrimental land use changes as valuable land resources are converted to plantation agriculture. This research analyzes the impacts and impact pathways of biofuel feedstock development in Ghana. It finds that companies are accessing large contiguous areas of customary land through opaque negotiations with traditional authorities, often outside the purview of government and customary land users. Despite lack of participation, most customary land users were highly supportive of plantation development, with high expectations of 'development' and 'modernization.' With little opposition and resistance, large areas of agricultural and forested land are at threat of being converted to plantation monoculture. A case study analysis shows that this can significantly exacerbate rural poverty as communities lose access to vital livelihood resources. Vulnerable groups, such as women and migrants, are found to be most profoundly affected because of their relative inability in recovering lost livelihood resources. Findings suggest that greater circumspection by government is warranted on these types of large-scale land deals. © 2011 by the author(s).

Kankam B.O.,Forestry Research Institute of Ghana | Oduro W.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology
African Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

The quality of seed treatment by frugivores has an effect on seed removal after dispersal, seed germination and tree recruitment. We provide information on postdispersal seed removal, germination and subsequent recruitment in tropical forest tree species Antiaris toxicaria in Ghana. We tested whether postdispersal seed removal and germination rates were differentially affected by the following seed treatments: seeds that were spat out by monkeys with all fruit pulp removed and spitting seeds with fruit pulp partially removed as observed in some birds and bats. We used seeds of intact ripened fruits as control. Frugivore seed treatment and distance from bole affected seed removal patterns, whereas intact seeds were significantly removed from all seed stations. The germination success was greater for seeds that were spat out by monkeys and poor for seeds with fruit pulp partially removed and intact fruits. More recruits were recorded at the edge of the adult A. toxicaria canopy radius. There was weak relationship (r 2=0.042) between the number of recruits and distance away from the adult tree. Results suggest that the subsequent recruitment in tropical forest tree species may be enhanced by some frugivore fruit-handling behaviour where fruit pulp is removed from the seeds without destroying the seeds. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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