On the basis of a detailed case study of the High Forest Zone of Ghana, the paper challenges the common narrative of REDD as being fast and easy. The paper analyses proximate and underlying causes of deforestation and degradation and finds that these processes are driven by multiple
underlying causes. The paper goes on to argue that the causes of deforestation and degradation that are found within the realm of the forestry sector, to which REDD measures will be largely confined, have emerged as a result of a political economy that gives priority to economic development
over forest conservation, while at the same time allowing powerful interest groups, in particular the political and administrative elite, to financially benefit from resource depletion. The analysis suggests that forest conserving policy reforms are unlikely to come fast and easy, and that
the prospect of future REDD payments may not accelerate them. It is argued that the case of Ghana is not unique and that REDD implementation may face similar constraints in many developing countries.
Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.
Publication date: December 1, 2009
More about this publication?
The International Forestry Review is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that publishes original research and review papers on all aspects of forest policy and science, with an emphasis on issues of transnational significance. It is published four times per year, in March, June, September and December. Theme editions are a regular feature and attract a wide audience.