Chiefs and trees: Tenures and incentives in the management and use of two multipurpose tree species in agroforestry parklands in Northern Ghana


Amid growing concerns about the perceived population decline of shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) and locust bean (Parkia biglobosa) trees in the agroforestry parklands, this article explores the impacts of differing tree tenure regimes on their management and use. Using a case study of two communities in Northern Region, Ghana, the study shows that the differing institutional arrangements governing the ownership, access, and use of these two species have led to different sets of incentive structures that have contrasting effects on the management of these species. Shea, in general, seemed to fare much better than locust bean under the current customary regulations. The research finds that in the absence of proper incentives, old and dying locust bean trees might not be replaced by young ones, thereby further jeopardizing its population, and along with it a variety of benefits it accrues to these rural communities.

Society & Natural Resources 24(10): 1063-1077