Although a wide range of policies to conserve the environment in the forest zones of southern Ghana exists on paper, in practice most are only applied in the commercially-valuable timber reserves. Environmental policies have little impact on those living in the forest margins since they are only sporadically applied, if at all. Indeed, even accepted community norms for resource use tend to be set aside when their application would interfere with key occupations. Livelihoods, however, depend heavily on natural resources, so conservation is necessary. The dilemma is to devise policies that are effective. Some decentralization of policy-making might improve matters, but care will be needed to avoid pitfalls.
Wiggins, S., Kofi, M. and Anchirinah, V (2004) Protecting the forest or the people? Environmental policies and livelihoods in the forest margins of southern Ghana. World Development, 32(11): 1939-1956. [doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2004.05.008]