Devolution, coordination, and community-based natural resource management in Ghana’s community resource management areas
Two key trends in efforts to deliver linked social and ecological protected area outcomes are (1) the development of governance models that devolve decision-making authority and responsibility to the local level and (2) linking protected area ‘islands’ to larger governance landscapes. This paper centers on Ghana’s Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) protected area model, and assesses how CREMAs are evaluated at the local level, which actors are perceived to be important in CREMA management, and how linkages to non-local governance structures may influence CREMA outcomes. Using a mixed method approach, results show that CREMAs are generally seen as a mechanism by which local people can more transparently and freely participate in decision-making processes related to resource management. Respondents also felt that Chiefs and associated customary tenure institutions should play a central role in CREMA governance. On the other hand, links to non-local state actors were described as ineffective because of inadequate fiscal decentralization, weak/absent lower level governance structures and inattention to conservation and development as a distinct dual project. Respondents also noted that while CREMA governance structures provide a way to build linkages to non-local actors, there are missed opportunities to embed CREMA considerations in other non-local decision-making processes.
Murray, G; Agyare, A; Dearden, P; Rollins, R
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