IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Provisioning ecosystem services-sharing as a coping and adaptation strategy among rural communities in Ghana's semi-arid ecosystem


  • Boafo, Yaw Agyeman
  • Saito, Osamu
  • Jasaw, Godfred Seidu
  • Otsuki, Kei
  • Takeuchi, Kazuhiko


As complex challenges linked to changing socio-economic, environmental, political, and cultural conditions continually hamper the delivery of ecosystem services to natural resource dependent communities, local level adaptation needs attention. This paper presents the findings of an empirical survey in rural semi-arid Ghana investigating how households are employing communal sharing as a strategy to enhance access and management of nine provisioning ecosystem services (provisioning ES) namely crops and vegetables, livestock and poultry, bushmeat, freshwater, wildplants, fodder and forage, traditional medicine, fuelwood, and building materials. The results indicate that the variations in the sharing patterns of the nine provisioning ES can be linked to a mix of closely-linked socioeconomic, cultural, and environmental factors. Traditional medicine is the most commonly shared, whilst building materials are the least commonly shared. Sharing intensifies during the long dry season for majority of the provisioning ES. Logistic regression modeling indicates annual household income to be the most significant socio-demographic variable influencing participation in sharing. A greater proportion of interviewed household heads (64%) perceive sharing to be on the decline. These findings provide important baseline data for further quantitative and qualitative research exploring sharing's potential contribution to rural households’ livelihoods sustenance and ecosystem sustainability under changing conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Boafo, Yaw Agyeman & Saito, Osamu & Jasaw, Godfred Seidu & Otsuki, Kei & Takeuchi, Kazuhiko, 2016. "Provisioning ecosystem services-sharing as a coping and adaptation strategy among rural communities in Ghana's semi-arid ecosystem," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 92-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:19:y:2016:i:c:p:92-102
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.05.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Franzen, Margaret & Eaves, James, 2007. "Effect of market access on sharing practices within two Huaorani communities," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 776-785, September.
    2. Lois Morton & Ella Bitto & Mary Oakland & Mary Sand, 2008. "Accessing food resources: Rural and urban patterns of giving and getting food," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(1), pages 107-119, January.
    3. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-1093, Nov.-Dec..
    4. Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
    5. B. Smit & I. Burton & R.J.T. Klein & R. Street, 1999. "The Science of Adaptation: A Framework for Assessment," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 199-213, September.
    6. Varughese, George & Ostrom, Elinor, 2001. "The Contested Role of Heterogeneity in Collective Action: Some Evidence from Community Forestry in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 747-765, May.
    7. Canagarajah, S. & Newman, C. & Bhattamishra, R., 2001. "Non-farm income, gender, and inequality: evidence from rural Ghana and Uganda," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 405-420, August.
    8. Poteete, Amy R. & Ostrom, Elinor, 2004. "In pursuit of comparable concepts and data about collective action," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 215-232, December.
    9. Sherry, John F, Jr, 1983. " Gift Giving in Anthropological Perspective," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 157-168, September.
    10. Wouterse, Fleur & Taylor, J. Edward, 2008. "Migration and Income Diversification:: Evidence from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 625-640, April.
    11. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    12. Frederick Armah & Justice Odoi & Genesis Yengoh & Samuel Obiri & David Yawson & Ernest Afrifa, 2011. "Food security and climate change in drought-sensitive savanna zones of Ghana," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 291-306, March.
    13. repec:eee:ecoser:v:17:y:2016:i:c:p:185-196 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Rabindra Nath Chakraborty, 2007. "Sharing culture and resource conservation in hunter-gatherer societies," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-88, January.
    15. Shackleton, Charlie M. & Shackleton, Sheona E., 2006. "Household wealth status and natural resource use in the Kat River valley, South Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 306-317, May.
    16. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
    17. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
    18. Elinor Ostrom, 2000. "Collective Action and the Evolution of Social Norms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 137-158, Summer.
    19. Cavendish, William, 2000. "Empirical Regularities in the Poverty-Environment Relationship of Rural Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1979-2003, November.
    20. Ernest Acheampong & Nicholas Ozor & Eric Owusu, 2014. "Vulnerability assessment of Northern Ghana to climate variability," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 31-44, September.
    21. Godfred Seidu Jasaw & Osamu Saito & Kazuhiko Takeuchi, 2015. "Shea ( Vitellaria paradoxa ) Butter Production and Resource Use by Urban and Rural Processors in Northern Ghana," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-23, March.
    22. Eversole, Martin S. Alilio & Bammek, Jane, 1998. "A kap study on malaria in Zanzibar: implications for prevention and controlA study conducted for unicef Sub-Office Zanzibar," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 409-413, November.
    23. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gubert, Flore, 2007. "The formation of risk sharing networks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 326-350, July.
    24. Barry Smit & Ian Burton & Richard Klein & J. Wandel, 2000. "An Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 223-251, April.
    25. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4392 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. repec:eee:ecoser:v:2:y:2012:i:c:p:71-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoser:v:27:y:2017:i:pa:p:58-69 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecoser:v:27:y:2017:i:pb:p:272-280 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecoser:v:32:y:2018:i:pa:p:78-89 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecoser:v:19:y:2016:i:c:p:92-102. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.