Who Owns This Jungle? : Landscape Changes, Landownership and Traditional Authority in the Tropical Forests of Western Ghana

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för arkeologi och antik historia

Sammanfattning: In Cocopa and Nopame, two rural communities in western Ghana, changes are both internally and externally driven. Combined with ongoing negotiations of authority, landownership, history, tradition and culture, the interconnectedness of these areas shapes the realities of these communities. This thesis investigates land-related conflicts and authority negotiations from a hermeneutic phenomenological approach. Inspired by action-oriented research, the lives of local residents are investigated and attempted to be understood through their own explanations.  Four months of internship with an oil palm and rubber plantation company, focus groups and semi-structured interviews in two local communities to the plantation, lay the foundation of this thesis. It shows an intimate connection between landownership and resource rights, and history, heritage and traditional authority.Land is key to power or a secured future for one’s family, which makes it an inflamed topic. Landownership, experienced changes and the underlying negotiations are crucial to the understanding of what occupies many local residents in a setting of globalised markets. The thesis points to gaps of understanding and varying interests in-between government, external actors, chieftaincy and community members. Thorough consultation process procedures prior to projects in rural communities are proposed. The project adds to a larger discussion on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, local knowledge and experiences on land conflicts, and post-colonial settings in Ghana. 

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