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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9034

Title: The influence of land tenure and ownership regimes on sustainable conservation of mangroves in the Songhor and Keta lagoon complex ramsar sites in Ghana.
Authors: Adda, Awobongba Jacob
Issue Date: 3-Oct-2016
Abstract: Mangroves play significant roles in the socio-cultural and economic life of the people within the areas where they occur. They also have intrinsic ecological function of sustaining the ecosystem which includes soil stabilization, coastal protection, fish habitats and nurseries and vital sources of protein resources for coastal communities. In spite of their economic and ecological significance, mangroves in most coastal communities in Ghana have witness unprecedented exploitation of the resources leading to degradation of the ecosystem. Inspite of the enormous effort directed at mangrove vegetation conservation and restoration, communities with mangroves keep losing the gains of the effort that has been invested in these initiatives because key issues relating to access, ownership rights and land tenure are often overlooked. An understanding of the governance issues relating to access, ownership rights and land tenure in the Sanghor and Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Sites could therefore bring good perspectives on mechanisms and interventions to adopt to ensure sustainable management of mangroves in Ghana. The specific objectives to the study were: to assess the effectiveness of existing ownership regimes in conserving mangroves resources, to explore how mangrove ownership (tenure) influences management regime of mangroves, to identify past and existing community based mangrove management interventions (socio-cultural practices) and explore challenges in effective implementation, and to explore the potential best management regimes for sustainable conservation. The study covered a total of eleven (11) communities including five (5) communities from the Sanghor Ramsar site in Ada and six (6) communities from Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar site in Keta which were purposively sampled. A sample of 120 respondents was selected (60 from each of the two Ramsar sites in Ada and Keta respectively) purposively and interviewed using a household questionnaire. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools such as Key informant interviews, FGDs and direct observation were also employed in the study. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS version 16 and Microsoft Excel. The study discovered that the existing mangrove resources ownership regime has a direct bearing on mangrove vegetation conservation and utilization. Most of the existing mangrove ownership regimes (Community, Clan or Family) in the area give access to the people to exploit mangrove resources indiscriminately resulting in over exploitation leading to degradation. Though faced with a lot of challenges, there were evidence of community based mangrove management interventions supported by some NGOs and WD of the Forestry Commission of Ghana in the area. Socio-cultural practices (taboos) towards mangrove conservation were more pronounced in the Keta area than in Ada partly because those of Ada were perceived to have been lost in the area with the passage of time. Co-management of mangrove vegetation involving Government/NGOs and Communities or Individual ownership and management regime was envisaged as the best for sustainable conservation and utilization of the resource. The main policy implication drawn from the findings is that future extension of mangrove management interventions by the Government (WD)/ NGOs to the area should focus exclusively on the emerging individual mangrove resource ownership regime. The individual ownership regime was perceived as more sustainable in terms of mangrove vegetation conservation than the existing community, Clan or family ownership regimes which are characterized by the open access regime resulting in unsustainable exploitation of mangrove resources in the area.
Description: Thesis submitted to the Department of Silviculture and Forest Management in partial fulfillment for the award of Master of Philosophy Degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Governance, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9034
Appears in Collections:College of Agric and Natural Resources

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