The influence of human behaviour on the sustenance of the forest resource base
The aim of the study was to determine the knowledge, attitude and needs that influence human behaviour towards the exploitation of the forest and its regeneration. Oyibi and Amranhia in the Greater Accra Region were the study areas. Thirty inhabitants were interviewed using questionnaires. Questions centered on the knowledge individuals have concerning tree regeneration, attitudes of individuals towards tree felling, bush burning and tree planting and the existing individual and social needs that motivate people to fell trees, plant trees and burn bush. Results from the study indicated that inhabitants acknowledged that tree planting can replace the trees cut by man but only a few see the need to plant trees. They believe that trees regenerate on their own and that birds are the main agents that help in tree regeneration. The inhabitants also had negative attitude towards bush burning, they all agreed that bush burning destroys the vegetation. They also agreed that tree felling destroys the quality of the vegetation. The main reason why people fell trees despite their negative attitude towards tree felling is the need for money which is satisfied by the sale of fuelwood and charcoal. Individuals also burn bush to satisfy their needs for game and to reduce the volume of weeded plant debris to ease cultural practices in agriculture. In order to curb the rapid rate of tree felling and its consequences, it is suggested that alternate forest resources should be provided to satisfy the needs of the people. These could be achieved through fruit tree, fuelwood and pole cultivation.
JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 1 Number 2, January (1999) pp. 125-131