Political Economy of Forest Ecology in Sierra Leone: A Focus on the Western Area Peninsular Forest (WAPFoR)





Political Economy, Forest Ecology, Critical Discourse, Sustainability, Sierra Leone.


This article addressed historical aspects of the political economy involving sustained forest ecology in Sierra Leone as a whole, with emphasis on the Freetown Peninsula and its surrounding communities. Attention is paid to cultural, social and economic aspects involving forest livelihoods of residents on the Freetown Peninsula and far afield. The term 'Political Economy' is used in this situation to denote the relationship between the economics of people's livelihoods and public policy (in relation to the management of legislative procedures) in ensuring that resources in the forest environment is sustainably managed to cater for the livelihood needs of people in Sierra Leone, while at the same time maintaining a balance in protecting the forest ecosystems. The paper has provided a critical review of the political economy of forest ecology in the country on the basis of scholarly discourses, and its applicability in adapting to the fragile political administrative management Sierra Leone have (and is continuing to) experienced.

Author Biography

Emerson Abraham JACKSON, 1. Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham. 2. Research Department, Bank of Sierra Leone.

Doctoral Research Scholar in the centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham and Leo Senior Research Economist at the Bank of Sierra Leone. I have gained over 20yrs research experience in the UK and Sierra Leone, both in the academia and as a practicing professional. I have authored in several high profile scholarly journals (e.g., Education and Information Technologies Journal, African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Developmen, African Journal of Management Studies and Mixed Methods Research) and as well as being a reviewer.


Agrawal, A., & Gibson, C. (1999). Enchantment and disenchantment: The role of community in natural resource conservation. World Development, 27(4).

Akiwumi, F. A. (2006a). Conflict Timber, Conflict Diamonds: Parallels in the Political Ecology of 19th and 20th Century Resource Exploitation in Sierra Leone. Development in the Twenty-first Century: Pertinent Socio-Economic and Development Issues.

Akiwumi, F. A. (2006b). Environmental and Social Change in Southwestern Sierra Leone: Timber Extraction (1832-1898) and Rutile Mining (1967-2005). San Marcos.

Alieu, E. K. (2001). Forestry Outlook Studies in Africa In. Sierra Leone:: FAO.

Alieu, E. K. (2011). Country perspective. In. Sierra Leone.

Alldridge, T. J. A. (1910). Transformed colony: Sierra Leone as it was, and as it is its Progress Peoples, Native Customs and Undeveloped Wealth. London: Seeley and Co. Limited.

Arnold, J. E. M. (2001). Poverty and Aid. CIFOR Occasional Paper. CIFOR.

Associates in Rural Development, A. (2010). Sierra Leone Improves Forest Management. . Retrieved from http://www.ardinc.com/projects/project.php?id=0&tid=1199

Becker, L. C. (2001). Seeing green in Mali's woods: colonial legacy, forest use and local control. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 91(3), 504-526.

Beevers, M. D. (2012). High-Value Natural Resources and Peacebuilding (P. Lujala & S. A. Rustad Eds.).

Benatti, J. H., McGrath, D., & Mendes de Oliveira, . C. (2003). Politicas Publicas e Manejo Comunita rio de Rescursos Naturais na Amazonia. . Ambiente & Sociedade, 6(2).

Bosire, T. O. (2012). The Bondo Secret Society: Female Circumcision And The Sierra Leonean State. University of Glasgow.

Brown, O., & Crawford, A. (2012). Conservation and Peace-building in Sierra Leone, International Institute for sustainable Development.

Carney, D. (1999). Approaches to Sustainable Livelihoods for the Rural Poor. . In: Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Briefing.

CLGF. (2011). Commonwealth Local Government Forum. Retrieved from http://www.clgf.org.uk/sierra-leone.

Cole, N. H. A. (1968). The vegetation of Sierra Leone. Njala, Sierra Leone: Njala University College Press.

Commission, T. a. R. (2004). Witness to Truth: Report of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Sierra Leone.

Conteh, M. N. (2013). The Institution of Paramount Chieftaincy in Sierra Leone: An Introduction to its History and Electoral Process.

Conway, D., & O‟Sullivan, R. (2011). Gola Forest REDD Project: Analysis of Legal Issues. Retrieved from

Creek, A., & Nakhooda, S. (2011). REDD+ Finance Delivery: Lessons from Early Experience. . Climate Finance Policy Brief.

Dale, P. (2008). Access to Justice in Sierra Leone: A Review of the Literature. Washington DC.

Davis, M. (2005). Forests and conflict in Cambodia. International Forestry Review, 161-164.

De Jong, W., Donovan, D., & Abe, K. (2007). Extreme conflict and tropical forests. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

Deen-Swarray, M., Adekunle, B., & Odularu, G. (2013). Determinant of Deforestation in Sierra Leone.

Dorward, D. C. (1981). Annual Departmental Reports Relating To Sierra Leone 1893-1961. Retrieved from Wakefield, UK:

Ebrahim-Zadeh, C. (2003). Back to Basics - Dutch Disease: Too much wealth managed unwisely. Quarterly Magazine of the IMF.

FAO. (2005). Global Forest Resources Assessment Country. Reports: Sierra Leone. . Retrieved from Rome:

FD/SL. (1913). Forestry Department of Sierra Leone. Report on the Forest Administration for the Year 1912. Retrieved from London:

GEF, S. G. P. (2012). Promotion and Upgrade of Ecotourism Products of the Western Area Peninsula Forest Reserve in Sierra Leone. Retrieved from Sierra Leone:

Glasmeier, A., & Farrigan, T. (2005). Understanding community forestry: a qualitative meta- study of the concept, the process, and its potential for poverty alleviation in the United States case. The Geographical Journal, 171(1).

GOSL. (2009). An Agenda for Change: Second Poverty Reduction Strategy.

GOSL, G. o. S. L. (1989). Annual report of the forest department. Freetown: Government Printers. Guide, T. W. L. Legislation Sierra Leone.

Hajjar, R. F. (2011). University of British Columbia.

Homer-Dixon, T. (1991). On the threshold: Environmental changes as causes of acute conflict. International Security, 16(76).

IUCN. (1993). Environmental Synopsis. Jackson, E. A. (2015a). Deforestation in the Freetown Peninsula - A case of livelihood and biodiversity loss in the Goderich community. International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry, 2(7).

Jackson, E. A. (2015). Ethnographic Narrative of Forest Decline in the Goderich Community: The People's Perspectives. OMICS Journal Forest Research, 4(4).

Jackson, E. A. (2015b). FLEGT Mandate: its applicability and effectiveness in Sierra Leone. Journal of Applied Thoughts, 4(4).

Jackson, E. A. (2015c). Negotiating New Dimensions for Forests Conservation in Sierra Leone. Journal of Applied Thoughts, 4(2), 85-102.

Jackson, E. A. (2016). Ontological and Epistemological Discourse(s) on Sustainable Development: Perspective on Sierra Leone in the Aftermath of a Decade of Civil Unrest. Journal of Management and Sustainable Development, 8(1). doi:10.1515/msd-2016-0005

Jackson, E. A. (2016). Phronesis and Hermeneutics: The Construct of Social / Economic Phenomenon and their Interpretation for a Sustainable Society. Journal of Economic Insights – Trends and Challenges, 8(2), 1-8.

Jackson, E. A. (2016). Phronesis and Resource Curse Hypothesis in PostIndependent Sierra Leone. Ilorin Journal of Economic Policy, 3(1), 1-10.

Jackson, E. A., & Conteh, P. S. Research Methods: A Resource for Students and Practitioner-researchers.

July, R. W. (1970). A History of the African People. New York: Scribner.

Kaimowitz, D. (2003). Forests and war, Forests and peace. . Indonesia: CIFOR.

Kaplan, R. (1994). The coming anarchy: How scarcity, crime, overpopulation and diseases are rapidly destroying our planet. The Atlantic.

Kinsella, E. A. (2006). Hermeneutics and Critical Hermeneutics: Exploring Possibilities within the Art of Interpretation. (Vol. 7).

Konteh, W. (1997). Forest Resource Management in Sierra Leone: A Critique of Policy Formulation and Implementation. University of Leeds.

Lane-Poole , C. E. (1911). Report on the forest of Sierra Leone. London: Waterlow and Sons Limited.

Leach, M., & Fairhead, J. (1994). Natural resource management: the reproduction and use of environmental misinformation in Guinea's forest-savanna transition zone. IDS Bulletin, 25(2), 81-87.

Leach, M., & Fairhead, J. (1995). Ruined settlements and new gardens: gender and soil-ripening among Kuranko farmers in the forestsavanna transition zone. IDS Bulletin, 26(1), 24-32.

Leach, M., & Fairhead, J. (2000). Challenging neo-Malthusian deforestation analyses in West Africa's dynamic forest landscapes. Population and Development Review, 26(1), 17-43.

Lebbie, A. (2000). The Palm Wine Trade in Freetown, Sierra Leone: Production, Income, and Social Construction. . Economic Botany, 56(3), 246 - 254.

Leone, V. S. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.visitsierraleone.org/backgroundinformation/history/Sierra-Leone-Background.html

MacGregor, W. D. (1942). The forest production programme in Sierra Leone. Farm and Forest, 3(3), 116-190.

Mahanty, S., Gronow, J., Nurse, M., & Malla, Y. (2006). Reducing Poverty through Community Based Forest Management in Asia. Journal of Forest and Livelihood, 5(1), 78-89.

Mark, P. (2007). Towards a reassessment of the dating and the geographical origins of the Luso-African Ivories, fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. History in Africa, 34.

Meredith, D. (1986). State Controlled Marketing and Economic Development. The Case of West African Produce during the Second World War. The Economic History Review, 39(1), 77-91

Mula, M. G., & Saxena, K. B. (2010). Lifting the Level of Awareness on Pigeonpea - A Global Perspectives. . International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics.

Munro, P. G. (2008). The Politics of Deforestation on the Freetown Peninsula. Master’s Thesis. King‟s College London, London.

Munro, P. G. (2009). Deforestation: constructing problems and solutions on Sierra Leone's Freetown Peninsula. . Journal of Political Ecology, 16, 104-122.

Munro, P. G., & Horst, G., H. (2011). Conserving Exploitation? A political ecology of forestry policy in Sierra Leone. . 32, 1.

Mvondo, S. A., & Oyono, P. R. (2004). An assessment of social negotiation as a tool of local management: a case study of the Dimako Council forest, Cameroon. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 19(4).

OECD. (2010). Monitoring the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations Sierra Leone.

Oyono, R. (2005). Profiling Local-Level Outcomes of Environmental Decentralizations: The Case of Cameroon's Forests in the Congo Basin. The Journal of Environment & Development, 14(3), 317-337

Reed, T., & Robinson, J. A. (2013). The Chiefdoms of Sierra Leone.

Reno, W. (1998). Warlord politics and African state. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.

Reno, W. (2000). Shadow states and the political economy of civil wars. (M. M. Bergdal, M. D. M., & C. O. Boulder Eds.).

Ribot, J., & Cline-Cole, R. A. (1997). Encyclopaedia of Africa South of the Sahara. In.

Ross, M. (2003). The natural resources curse: How wealth can make you poor. (I. Bannon & P. Collier Eds. 1 ed.). Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

Rosser, A. (2006). The Political Economy of the Resource Curse: A Literature Survey. Centre for the Future State. Paper presented at the Centre for the Future State.

Schneider, A. (2002). Decentralisation. Retrieved from http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/Mis_SPC/R76161.pdf

Shahbaz, B., & Suleri, A. Q. (2009). Exploiting Natural Resources: Growth, Instability, and Conflict in the Middle East and Asia, Stimson Center (R. Cronin & A. Pandya Eds.). Washington.

Suma, M. (2009). Charles Taylor and the Legacy of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, International Center for Transitional Justice. The Hague.

Sunderlin, W. D., Angelsen, A., Belcher, B. B., P., Nasi, R. S., L., & Wunder, S. (2005). Livelihoods, Forests and Conservation in Developing Countries: An Overview. World Development, 33(9), 1383- 1402

UNEP. (2010a). Forestry Policy 2010. Sierra Leone.

UNEP. (2010b). Sierra Leone Environment, Conflict and Peace-building Assessment: Technical Report. . Chatelaine: Geneva.

UNIPSIL. (2006). Ethnic Groups of Sierra Leone.

Unwin, A. H. (1909). Report on the forestry problems in Sierra Leone. London: Waterlow and Sons.

USAID. United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Wardell, D. A., & Lund, C. (2006). Governing access to forests in northern Ghana: micro-politics and the rents of non-enforcement. World Development, 34(1), 1887-1906.

Wing, G. (2014). The experience of conditional cash transfers Lessons for REDD+ benefit sharing. Info Brief. In.




How to Cite

JACKSON, E. A. (2018). Political Economy of Forest Ecology in Sierra Leone: A Focus on the Western Area Peninsular Forest (WAPFoR). Postmodern Openings, 9(1), 63-90. https://doi.org/10.18662/po/06



Theoretical articles

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now