«Dissertations Forestales 149 Forest law compliance in the High-Forest Zone of Ghana: an analysis of forest farmers’ livelihoods, their forest ...»
Finally, the third model of legitimacy reviewed in this thesis, the so-called Tyler’s model of legitimacy (Tyler 1990) – emerges from the field of psychology. Tyler’s model is largely based on the Weberian approach, which emphasises an obligation to obey the authority (Weber 1974, cited in Tyler 1990). Tyler specifically focuses on the role of legitimacy on law compliance behaviour at an individual level, rather than at the state, international or global level. Therefore, this approach was adopted as the guiding model of legitimacy in the present study. According to Tyler legitimacy refers to a general acceptance and support for political authority, which leads to an internal obligation to comply with laws enacted by the authority. This internal obligation and the personal morality (denoted also as fairness, or the ’right thing to do’), are, according to Tyler, the two key elements of legitimacy (Tyler 1990, Blader and Tyler 2003, Fagan and Tyler 2004, Tyler and Jost 2007). Tyler specifically highlights the role of procedural legitimacy or procedural fairness. Procedural legitimacy focuses on how decisions are made; it concerns satisfaction with the law making, and includes variables such as, participation, openness, transparency, and accountability.
Finally, Tyler takes a note of political or personal legitimacy, which refers to the legitimacy given due to the authorities based on the political leaders themselves – their worthiness to assume positions of authority and congruence with their constituent’s morals and expectations (Tyler 1990, 2002).
Tyler approach to legitimacy is based on evaluation of authority and their actions, based on moral and normative judgements, rather than on the individuals’ self interests. His approach therefore, well parallels Suchman’s concept of moral legitimacy, and in that context the moral evaluation of process (Suchman 1995:579). On the other hand, Tyler’s definition and approach to legitimacy appears to successfully integrate the three conceptions of legitimacy defined by Bernstein (2005) – principled, legal and sociological legitimacy. First, it parallels legitimacy as democracy, as it includes elements of democratic theory, such as accountability, transparency, participation, deliberation. Legal legitimacy, having its roots in the Weberian social science, is reflected in the Tyler’s assumption that actors accept a rule or institution as authoritative; that is Tyler’s approach does not question the traditional role of the state and its authority. Finally, sociological legitimacy is well reflected in Tyler’s model as it strongly rests on set of social and personal norms and values, concerning especially the shared norms of fairness (Tyler 1990, Blader and Tyler 2003, Tyler and Jost, 2007).
3. BACKGROUND FOR ARTICLES
3.1 Forest law enforcement, livelihoods and poverty alleviation (Article I) Ever since the forest industrialisation and exploitation model launched in tropical forested countries in the post-World War II period by industrialised countries and donors failed to deliver socially beneficial outputs for local populations and national economies (Westoby 1978), concerns about local people’s benefits and the role of forestry in poverty alleviation have grown (Westoby 1978, Oksanen et al. 2003, Sunderlin et al. 2003). As a result, in later years, development agencies and national governments increasingly adopted community forestry and poverty reduction on their agendas, especially after the Rio Summit in 1992 (UN 1992) and the UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 (UN 2002).
With this background, the new generation of international policies focusing on illegal logging and forest law enforcement—including the EU FLEGT—also adopted the principles of poverty reduction and the so-called “social safeguards” on their agendas (EC 2003, GoG/EU 2009). The statistics on forest-dependent people estimated by the World Bank a decade ago (World Bank 2001) and the negative impacts of illegal logging on the forest communities’ livelihoods and poverty (World Bank 2006) became an unavoidable component of nearly every communication and policy brief on the EU FLEGT.
The EU FLEGT VPA agenda on poverty reduction and social safeguards rests on the assumption that a legal timber trade can address good forest governance which in turn can promote livelihoods and poverty alleviation. The EC Communication on FLEGT states that “Efforts will be focused on promoting equitable and just solutions to the illegal logging problem which do not have an adverse impact on poor people” (EC 2003:3). In the first ever FLEGT VPA, between the EU and Ghana, the commitment to social safeguards and poverty reduction is reduced to: (i) developing a better understanding of the livelihoods of potentially affected groups and (ii) monitoring the impacts of the agreement on the potentially affected groups” (GoG/EU 2009: Article 17).
While the intention and the ‘good will’ for positive social outcomes are evident in the FLEGT VPA in Ghana, scholars remind us of the risk that the current conditions and challenges in the country, such as the elite capturing of benefits, insecure access to resources, and the contribution of illegal forest activities to the rural economy (Saastamoinen 1996, Larson and Ribot 2007, Arts and Wiersum 2010, Darko-Obiri and Damnyag 2011), may hamper the assumed positive correlation between legality and poverty alleviation. In many tropical countries, not only de-facto practices but also the dejure or legal framework favour the large-scale forest industry over the small-scale and informal forest sector, artisanal forestry, and the benefits of forest communities (Schmithuesen 1976, 1979, Ribot et al. 2006, Wit and Dam 2010, Hansen and Lund 2011).
Others advocate that as long as illegal forest activities provide some benefits to local communities and other stakeholders (e.g., chainsaw operators)—even if only in the short term—the simple banning of these activities will naturally result in negative livelihood implications (Colchester et al. 2006, Kaimowitz 2007, Tacconi 2007). Current research indicates that forest law enforcement under the EU FLEGT VPA in Ghana is likely to have both positive (e.g., emergence and enforcement of ‘pro-poor’ forest policies and laws) and negative impacts on livelihoods (e.g., lost income and employment) (Inkoom et al. 2005, Mayers et al. 2008, Owusu et al. 2010). Out of these concerns has emerged the need to understand the concept of livelihoods as discussed in the FLGT VPA in Ghana and to explore the potential impacts of the VPA on the livelihoods of forest communities in the country (see Article I).
3.2 Forest governance and farmers’ rights to trees and forest in Ghana (Article II, III) In Ghana the natural forest resources are situated in the High Forest Zone (HFZ), which is approximately 8.5 million hectares large and consists of reserve forest and outside reserve forest (off-reserves) (Forestry Department Ghana 1999, Boateng et al. 2009). This study is concerned with the off-reserves, which comprise 5.482 million hectares of the HFZ (Boateng et al. 2009), and more specifically with the farmlands in these off-reserves. The farmlands account for 48% of the off-reserve area (Damnyag et al. 2012) and harbour the largest concentration of timber trees in the off-reserves, owing to the farmers’ efforts and farming systems that requires trees to enable appropriate conditions for the growth of farm crops (Amanor 1996, Kotey et al. 1998).
Prior to colonial rule in Ghana, forests were owned in common by the communities (Amanor 1999). Colonial rule established new institutions for ownership and management of land and forest, by transferring the power and the ownership from the communities to appointed chiefs (traditional authorities) who became custodians of the tradition (Amanor 1999:43). Forest reserves, as protected areas, were established under the colonial rule, from the end of the 1920s until the end of 1940s (Kotey et al. 1998). A noted above, apart from the forest in the forest reserves (on-reserves), considerable forest and timber resources are found outside the reserves (off-reserves), including private farms (Boateng et al. 2009). The off-reserves comprise a mixture of agricultural lands (farmlands) with naturally occurring timber trees and patches of natural forest (Amanor 1996, Boateng et al. 2009). This area is important for commercial timber production, but also for the livelihoods of the communities (Boateng et al. 2009, Darko-Obiri and Damnyag 2011).
Different ownership and use rights of forest and trees apply in the on-reserves and the off-reserves in Ghana. The situation in the off-reserves is especially complex, as different arrangements apply depending whether trees are planted or naturally occurring and whether they are timber or non-timber species, and with commercial or subsistence value (Agyeman 1993, Acheampong 2003, Acheampong and Marfo 2009). Ownership rights of planted trees (e.g. community or private teak plantations) are vested in the planter of trees. However, the right to plant trees is granted to landowners only. Although there is no customary or statutory law that prohibits tenants from planting trees, such an action is perceived as an attempt to acquire permanent ownership of the land and is strongly discouraged by the landowners (Acheampong and Marfo 2009). The rights to naturally occurring non-timber trees depend on whether the trees have some commercial value or, only a subsistence value.
The rights to trees with commercial value (e.g. kola, oil palm, raphia palm, bamboo) are restricted and vested in the landowner; while the rights to trees of subsistence value (e.g.
fruit trees) belong to the whole community and everyone can harvest their products (Agyeman 1993).
Since the introduction of the Concessions Act in 1962 (GoG 1962), all naturallyoccurring timber trees – whether on the forest reserves or outside of them, on the private or communal land, or on the private farms – are vested in the Government (Amanor 1999, Acheampong and Marfo 2009, Boateng et al. 2009). The central government, in practice the Forestry Commission, was entrusted with the full management rights of trees, including allocation of logging rights. Farming communities have no legal right over the trees on their farms. The controversy that the farmers face with respect to the legal framework is that they nurture and manage the off-reserve timber resources, as a part of their farming practices (Amanor 1999). However, when the tree is mature, the farmer does not have the right to harvest, manage or protect the trees, since they are treated as ‘naturally occurring’, and thus are vested in the state, who allocates the harvesting rights to the timber contractors (Amanor 1996, Boateng et al. 2009). Thus, farmers do not benefit from the trees they protect and manage on their farms. Even though, since recently the forest legislation guarantees farmers consultation and compensation for harvested trees, Marfo (2006) finds that in practice farmers are rarely consulted when the trees on their farms are felled and are rarely compensated for damage of food crops resulting from logging (see also Hansen 2011). The current legal forest framework in different ways acts as a source of frustration, dissatisfaction and delineation of farmers from forest benefits, which have resulted in farmers’ resistance of regulation, including intentional “killing of timber trees on their farms” (Amanor 1996) or illegally selling of trees to chainsaw operators (Marfo et al. 2009, Hansen 2011).
3.3 Legal framework of studied forest rules (Article II, III) 3.3.1 The tree-felling rule As stated above, in accordance to 1962 Concession Act (GoG 1962) all timber trees, including these on private land and farms, are vested in the state. Consequently, farmers are not allowed to legally fell timber trees on their farm, either for commercial or domestic needs. As stated in the Timber Resource Management Regulation (TRMR 1998/L.I 1649) timber rights may be allocated to timber companies (through timber utilization contract), or to forest communities, for community development projects (through timber utilization permit – TUP). Currently, however, no legal scheme enables individual farmers to apply for permit to fell trees, for their domestic or commercial use, at their farms or outside of them.
Without, a legal option to apply for permit to fell trees, any attempt for such an action, is considered illegal. The so-called ’tree-felling rule’, thus, refers to the prohibition imposed on farmers to fell timber trees on their farmland, for domestic or commercial purpose.
3.3.2 The farming rule
Farming in the forest reserves is considered illegal, c.f. the Forest Protection Decree 1974 (FPD 1974), and the Forestry Protection (Amendment) Act, 2002 (FPAA 2002). According to this Act, it is an offence to cultivate any farm in a forest reserve, without a written consent of the competent forest authority. Written consent for farming in forestry reserves can be issued on the basis of: (i) admitted farms, and (ii) Modified Taungya System (MTS).
Admitted farms are legally acknowledged farms amidst forestry reserve. Nowadays such farms are exceptionally rear in Ghana. The MTS is a type of agroforestry, which allows temporary intercropping of food crops in the first years of forest plantation establishment (Agyeman 2006, NFPDP 2007). The so called ‘farming rule’ in this research refers to prohibition to farm in a forest reserve without a written consent of the competent authority (FPD 1974).
3.3.3 The bushfire prevention rule