Institutional Arrangement for Urban Forest Management in Ghana: Assessing the Role of the Local Communities and Youths

Publication from the AllianceAuthor: Bismark Yayra Adzah
Year of publication: 2024

Sustainable management and conservation of urban forests are becoming increasingly important to achieve urban sustainability, thus requiring a unified stakeholder collaboration at different levels. Local communities and youths play essential roles in ensuring sustainable urban forest management. This study analyzed the institutional arrangement for urban forest management in Ghana and the involvement of local communities and youths. An in-depth analysis of environmental institutions in Ghana was done to identify their roles and responsibilities as enshrined in the constitution of Ghana. A qualitative research method was used to explore community and youth roles in urban forest management. Findings revealed a lack of a specific institution to spearhead urban forest management, leading to overlapping responsibilities and administrative conflicts. Despite their potential, local communities and youths are often excluded from urban forest planning and management, resulting in a decrease in the sense of ownership and misuse of urban forests. It is recommended there should be a clear assignment of roles and responsibilities to responsible state institutions to prevent administrative conflicts. Furthermore, a specific state institution should be mandated and designated to spearhead urban forest management in Ghana. Lastly, local communities and youth engagement should be systematically integrated into the urban forest planning and management framework to harness their potential for sustainable management of urban forests and urban sustainability.
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