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Modified taungya system in Ghana: win–win for forestry and adaptation

Submitted by Emilia Pramova 22nd February 2012 10:36

Forest reserve in Offinso. Photo courtesy Ghana News Agency (GNA)

Understanding the extent to which existing practices can support adaptation in societies and ecosystems is an important step towards effective and efficient strategies for combating climate change impacts.

CIFOR researchers and partners used vulnerability, policy and financial analyses to explore the potential and compatibility of the modified taungya system (MTS) in Ghana. In the taungya system, the Forest Commission gives farmers parcels of degraded forest to produce food and establish and maintain timber trees. Food crops are interplanted with tree species and are maintained until the tree shade impedes further cultivation. In the modified system, farmers are allowed to benefit from the forest products and are considered co-owners of the forest plantations.

The findings of the research indicate that MTS takes into consideration most of the activities of an adaptation strategy, is a profitable venture, and has a high potential to reduce vulnerability due to short-term food production and long-term plantation establishment. Challenges remain with regards to medium and long term livelihood and adaptation needs which could be solved through legalization of all contractual arrangements, continuous monitoring, evaluation and improvement. MTS is thus a potential win–win practice for forestry and adaptation.

For more information, please contact: Fobissie Blese Kalame

Or CIFOR West Africa