This policy brief analyses the underlying drivers of cocoa encroachment in the High Forest Zone of Ghana. It is based on literature review, analysis of satellite images in Krokosua Hills, Sui River and Tano Offin forest reserves; and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) in seven fringe communities. The results showed that there has been massive deforestation in the three reserves (a seven fold increase) after 2010 compared to before 2010 and this study tried to understand what factors triggered this collapse.
The study concludes that many of the underlying problems in the cocoa and forest sector are of a political, economic or cultural nature, including lack of clarity concerning land and tree tenure, corruption, as well as poverty, low productivity and demographic characteristics. Without addressing these problems, deforestation won’t be tackled effectively. There is a great need for courage, determination, and strong incentives for change, to deal with conflicting interests to tackle these issues but without doing so the CFI will not be successful. To address underlying political and societal challenges it will require a willingness to create a deliberative process inclusive of all stakeholders.