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Economic cost of deforestation in semi-deciduous forests — A case of two forest districts in Ghana


  • Damnyag, Lawrence
  • Tyynelä, Tapani
  • Appiah, Mark
  • Saastamoinen, Olli
  • Pappinen, Ari


The ecological, economic and socio-cultural roles of forests are under threat in Ghana due to the high rate of deforestation. Efforts are being made to combat this problem through rehabilitation measures. However, the costs of deforestation and restoration benefits are not adequately estimated. This paper fills in the gap in knowledge by providing an empirical estimation of the cost of deforestation in monetary terms. Primary data collected regarding timber, non-timber forest products and soils in semi-deciduous forests were analyzed using opportunity cost and replacement cost techniques. The results emphasize differences in the value of these forest goods and services lost annually. The largest losses were in stumpage fees, edible fruits, and avoided carbon emissions values. The results show that US$133,650,000 gross revenue, equivalent to 2.6% of the 2008 agricultural sector Gross Domestic Product, is lost annually. It can be concluded that restoring the degraded forest lands would bring benefits particularly to the local communities through increased stumpage revenues and harvest of non-timber forest products, as well as additional funds from carbon credits. It is recommended that stakeholders of forest resources are made aware of these costs in order to raise awareness of what they are losing through deforestation.

Suggested Citation

  • Damnyag, Lawrence & Tyynelä, Tapani & Appiah, Mark & Saastamoinen, Olli & Pappinen, Ari, 2011. "Economic cost of deforestation in semi-deciduous forests — A case of two forest districts in Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2503-2510.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:12:p:2503-2510
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.08.012

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Binkley, Clark S. & Brand, David & Harkin, Zoe & Bull, Gary & Ravindranath, N. H. & Obersteiner, Michael & Nilsson, Sten & Yamagata, Yoshiki & Krott, Max, 2002. "Carbon sink by the forest sector--options and needs for implementation," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 65-77, May.
    2. V. Bellassen & V. Gitz, 2008. "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Cameroon - Assessing costs and benefits," Post-Print hal-00716370, HAL.
    3. Byron, Neil & Arnold, Michael, 1999. "What Futures for the People of the Tropical Forests?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 789-805, May.
    4. Chang, Jie & Wu, Xu & Liu, Anqin & Wang, Yan & Xu, Bin & Yang, Wu & Meyerson, Laura A. & Gu, Baojing & Peng, Changhui & Ge, Ying, 2011. "Assessment of net ecosystem services of plastic greenhouse vegetable cultivation in China," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 740-748, February.
    5. Niskanen, Anssi, 1998. "Value of external environmental impacts of reforestation in Thailand," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 287-297, September.
    6. Torras, Mariano, 2000. "The total economic value of Amazonian deforestation, 1978-1993," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 283-297, May.
    7. Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Erin O. Sills, 2001. "Do Tropical Forests Provide Natural Insurance? The Microeconomics of Non-Timber Forest Product Collection in the Brazilian Amazon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 595-612.
    8. Drechsel, Pay & Gyiele, Lucy & Kunze, Dagmar & Cofie, Olufunke, 2001. "Population density, soil nutrient depletion, and economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 251-258, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mariantonietta Fiore & Francesco Contò & Giustina Pellegrini, 2015. "Reducing Food Losses: A (Dis)-Opportunity Cost Model," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(1), pages 151-166.
    2. Notaro, Sandra & Paletto, Alessandro, 2012. "The economic valuation of natural hazards in mountain forests: An approach based on the replacement cost method," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 318-328.
    3. Tilahun, Mesfin & Damnyag, Lawrence & Anglaaere, Luke C.N., 2016. "The Ankasa Forest Conservation Area of Ghana: Ecosystem service values and on-site REDD+ opportunity cost," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 168-176.


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