Land, trees, and women: Evolution of land tenure institutions in Western Ghana and Sumatra
Widespread deforestation in many developing countries has contributed to ecological deterioration, particularly in marginal areas. Agroforestry has been potential to halt this decline and improve the livelihoods of poor inhabitants of these areas. Yet agroforestry depends on people's rights to plant and use trees, rights established by prevailing systems of land and tree tenure. Without clear property rights, there are few incentives to preserve natural resources and to invest in trees because future benefits would not accrue to those who manage them. Understanding land tenure institutions and their effect upon agroforestry practices in therefore critical in improving natural resource management and reducing poverty.