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Local Customary Rules Can Help Restore Degraded Mangrove Forests

Posted on: 7 Jan, 2017 7:50 am

A study conducted along the catchment area of the Volta Estuary in Ghana suggests that degraded mangroves forests can be restored and sustainably managed if local customary rules governing the exploitation of natural resources are enforced.

The study was published in Ocean and Coastal Management journal in 2016.  It was based on data from key informant interviews on the use of mangrove resources, and participatory GIS mapping as well as the use of orthophotos to assess the impact of a community-based mangrove forestry programme that has been in operation for over two decades in the Volta Region.

Results of the study indicate that livelihoods and economic benefits are the primary factors that motivate local stakeholders’ participation in mangrove restoration and management. They also emphasise that mangroves resources can be sustainably exploited, restored and managed if local customary rules are enforced and institutional arrangements put in place to mediate mangrove exploitation and regeneration rates.

Details of the study are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2016.04.006