Challenges to responsible forest governance in Ghana and its implications for professional education

J.A.S. Ameyaw*, B.J.M. Arts, A. Wals

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As forestry transitions fromhierarchical steering by governments to moremulti-actor forms of governance, it has become necessary to understand key challenges to improve forest governance and its implications for educating forestry professionals. This paper therefore investigates these challenges and explores capabilities forestry professionals require to overcome them. We employed mixed qualitative and quantitative methods. Data were collected through interviews, focus group discussions and a survey with forestry sector stakeholders. Qualitative data were analysed by clustering related issues into dominant themes and quantitative data by using Mann– Whitney U and Wilcoxon signed rank tests. Key challenges identified relate to political culture, particularly the power position of some elites in forest management and a culture of corruption. Non-compliance and poor enforcement of ruleswere also highlighted. To overcome these challenges, key capabilities forestry professionals require include leadership, authority and autonomy, alongside the capacity to initiate and manage change. We conclude that to improve forest governance in Ghana, beyond having state-of-the-art technical knowledge, professional education should place more emphasis on developing non-technical capabilities. We recommend an integrated approach to professional education that simultaneously develops knowledge, skills, attitudes and mind-sets necessary for producing graduates who can effectively address governance challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-87
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Volume62
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Forest governance
  • Forestry education
  • Forestry professionals
  • Forests
  • Ghana

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