Forest Depletion in Ghana: An Analysis of Determinants

Author(s): Joseph Kwadwo Tuffour

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Abstract: Forest resources support livelihood of people in jurisdictions in which forest is located. However, the forest size is gradually depleting continuously. The lack of information about the specific agents and forces of forest depletion is worrying. This is due to the inter-generational and intra-generational equity notions that affect mankind. As such, there is the need to maintain such resources on a non-declining value basis so as to maintain human welfare over time. Thus, the objective of this study is to empirically examine the determinants of forest depletion in Ghana over the 1970-2012 period in Ghana. This study employs multiple regression concepts to examine the effects of the determinants on forest depletion. The findings of the study indicate that gold extraction for export, population growth and logging increase the rate of forest depletion for the study period. More significantly, population growth reflected in settlement expansion, agriculture purposes, increased use of fuel wood, etc have greater effect on forest loss in Ghana. This suggests that, protection of the forest is necessary and sufficient condition for economic growth. As a result of these, both government and policy-makers need to safeguard the forest estate, by increasing afforestation schemes and also using part of the returns from gold exports to regenerate the forest.