Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in Ghana: Case Study of Communities around Sui Forest ReserveEmmanuel Boon1* and Albert Ahenkan2
- *Corresponding Author:
- Emmanuel Boon
Professor, Human Ecology Department
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Tel: +32 477 31 43 43
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: October 31, 2011; Accepted date: April 19, 2012; Published date: April 23, 2012
Citation: Boon E, Ahenkan A (2011) Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Ecosystem Services and Livelihoods in Ghana: Case Study of Communities around Sui Forest Reserve. J Ecosyst Ecogr S3:001. doi:10.4172/2157-7625.S3-001
Copyright: © 2011 Boon E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The link between climate change, ecosystem services and livelihood in developing countries has been well established. Tropical forest ecosystems are particularly of great importance to the livelihood of millions of people. Recent decades of escalating climate change impacts on ecological systems and livelihoods worldwide and the vulnerability of forest dependent communities raise concerns about the consequences of ecosystem changes for human well-being. Applying the human ecological approach, this paper examines climate change impacts on ecosystem services and livelihoods of the communities around the Sui River Forest Reserve (SRFR) in the Sefwi Wiawso District in the Western Region of Ghana, the main drivers of the change, the vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies being used by the communities. The results of the study indicate that climate change impacts are decreasing the capability of the SRFR ecosystem to provide essential services to the communities. The principal livelihood sources affected by the climate change impacts are agriculture, forest resources and water resources. To minimize the impacts of climate change, the communities around the reserve have adopted various adaptation and coping strategies to improve agriculture, biodiversity conservation, and water resources management. The paper also suggests strategies that will enable policy-makers to effectively improve ecosystem services and climate change mitigation and adaptation in Ghana.