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Small and Medium Forest Enterprises in Ghana: sourcebook on enterprise characteristics, activity centres, product markets, support institutions and service providers

Small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) serve as the main or additional source of income for more than three million Ghanaians and can be broadly categorised into wood forest products, non-wood forest products and forest services. Many of these SMFEs are informal, untaxed and largely invisible within state forest planning and management. Pressure on the forest resource within Ghana is growing, due to both domestic and international demand for forest products and services. The need to improve the sustainability and livelihood contribution of SMFEs has become a policy priority, both in the search for a legal timber export trade within the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) linked to the European Union Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (EU FLEGT) Action Plan, and in the quest to develop a national strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).

This sourcebook aims to shed new light on the multiple SMFE sub-sectors that operate within Ghana and the challenges they face. By gathering this information into a single sourcebook, it is hoped that new impetus will be given to support SMFEs in ways that improve their sustainability, resilience and capacity to mitigate climate change while also optimising the huge contribution they make to livelihoods within Ghana.

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Osei-Tutu P., Nketiah K.S., Kyereh B., and Owusu-Ansah M. (2012) Small and Medium Forest Enterprises in Ghana: Sourcebook on enterprise characteristics, activity centres, product markets, support institutions and service providers. IIED Small and Medium Forest Enterprise Series No. 28. Tropenbos International and International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.
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To restore forests and get out of poverty, rural communities need the knowledge and connections to build flourishing enterprises. Forest landscapes are among the most isolated and marginalised areas in the world, where land, food and energy security and income generation are pressing concerns. Achieving sustainable development in the forest landscape while addressing those immediate needs is a complex challenge that requires joined-up efforts.

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