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Customary tenure, gender and access to forests and trees in Ghana and Burkina Faso

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Presented by Peter Cronkleton
(Senior Scientist, CIFOR) at "5th Annual FLARE Meeting", August 23-25, 2019, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Published in: Environment
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Customary tenure, gender and access to forests and trees in Ghana and Burkina Faso

  1. 1. 5th Annual FLARE Meeting August 23-25, 2019 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Customary tenure, gender and access to forests and trees in Ghana and Burkina Faso
  2. 2. Customary tenure is a key component of the forest- farm interface • How do customary tenure systems affect access to forest and trees for men and women in the Sahel? • How do these systems vary? • What are the implications for livelihoods and resource management? Analyzing customary tenure systems is a challenge: • Complex • Informal • Opaque • Evolving
  3. 3. The WAFFI Project Analyzed multi-village landscapes in Burkina Faso and Ghana Twelve village sites • The Nobéré commune in the Zoundwéogo Province in Burkina Faso • The Kassena-Nankana West District in the Upper East region of Ghana
  4. 4. Data collection with mixed methods Focus group interviews • 58 Focus groups • 793 villagers (44% female) Participatory Action Research Systematic stratified household survey • Ghana • 128 men • 140 women • Burkina Faso • 106 Men • 98 women
  5. 5. Tenure systems at sites Ghana: Legal pluralism Property types: • Customary system allocates individual access on community lands • Parkland ‘commons’ • State owned reserve areas, titling in per-urban areas Customary landownership in Kasena areas • Land priest (Tigatu) • Landlords – patriarchs of families with de facto ownership of land in customary system Burkina Faso: Decentralized system Property types: • Rural private individual lands • Land of local authorities • State lands with sectoral categories (i.e. forest and wildlife areas, pastoral areas) Customary landownership in Mossi areas • Land chief (Chef de terre) • Landlord - holder of lineage or inherited land
  6. 6. Tree tenure • Officially forests are national patrimony • ‘Off reserve’ trees treated as national patrimony but authorized use allowed (in theory) • In customary system trees on farms controlled by landowner Women’s tenure rights • Legally granted equitable access to land • Customary system does not grant ownership, women access through male relative Tree Tenure • Trees property of land owner • Planting trees can bestow customary ownership • Several official mechanisms for local forest management • Specific ownership rules for valued trees such as néré (Parkia biglobosa) Women’s tenure rights • Legally granted equitable access to land • Customary system does not grant ownership, women access through male relative Tenure systems at sites
  7. 7. Identifying access rights in farming behavior
  8. 8. Nature of rights claims
  9. 9. The role of tree products
  10. 10. Primary source of income
  11. 11. • Shea often described as a “women’s tree crop” • Shea is a crucial income source for women at landscapes • Men do harvest shea for commercial purposes Shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) Tree product income
  12. 12. Tree product income
  13. 13. Shifting access to shea income • In Ghana, historic stigma to men selling shea in markets • Key changes: Price increased and buyers purchasing shea in villages • Men claim greater share of shea on farm • Women pushed to degraded distant shea
  14. 14. Conclusions • Smallholders often occupy forest-farm interface – difficult to separate agricultural and forest landuse • Formal and customary tenure overlap to create complex gender differentiated systems shaping access to and benefits from forest resources • It is a challenge for outsiders to understand these systems • However, it is crucial that policy makers and development practicioners have a better understanding of how these systems function and vary locally
  15. 15. Thank you Cifor.org Blog.cifor.org ForestTreesAgroforestry.org

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