Strengthening of forest law enforcement is likely to impact the livelihood of forest communities. The paper discusses the concept of livelihoods in the context of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and the expected impacts on the livelihood of forest communities in Ghana. It builds on a literature review and an expert survey. The paper finds that the concept of livelihoods had a prominent position in the VPA negotiation phase. The VPA livelihood impacts will differ for different social groups — the impoverished groups are expected to be more affected in comparison to the wealthier groups. The following issues are identified as the most achievable in shaping the VPA livelihood impacts: improved forest resources and environmental services, reforms of the land and tree tenure system, increased transparency and accountability, and stakeholder consultation and participation in the forest management.
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Vol. 12 • No. 4