Livelihood Economic Activities Causing Deforestation in Northern Ghana: Evidence of Sissala West District

  • Fagariba C
  • Song S
  • Soule S
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Abstract

Policymakers and international organizations are making the conscious effort to address climate change through afforestation and sustainable ecosystem management. Economic activities including agriculture, mining, and infrastructure improvement to meet basic human needs continuously degrade the natural and forest resources. The rate of deforestation in Ghana is alarming due to over-reliance on forest resources by forest-dependent communities. Perceived causes of deforestation differ from individuals and groups perspective. This depends on factors including environmental knowledge, education level, market demand and socio-economic activities. Simple random sampling and key informant interview with the aid of semi-structured questionnaire was used to elicit information from the indigenes of Sissala West District to determine their perceptions of causes of deforestation. The study indicated that poverty, high illiteracy, population growth and lack of alternative source of livelihood were the indirect causes which trigger livelihood economic activities such as farming, charcoal burning, wood logging and hunting leading to degradation of the ecosystem. It was also realized that majority of the indigenes are uneducated and this contributes to their unawareness of rate of deforestation. Recommendations suggested to address challenges were enforcement of bye-laws and stringent government environmental policies to deter people from degrading the forest. Education, agroforestry, afforestation, and provision of alternative livelihood were also good interventions suggested.

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Fagariba, C. J., Song, S., & Soule, S. K. G. (2018). Livelihood Economic Activities Causing Deforestation in Northern Ghana: Evidence of Sissala West District. Open Journal of Ecology, 08(01), 57–74. https://doi.org/10.4236/oje.2018.81005

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