Main content area

Untangling the motivations of different stakeholders for urban greenspace conservation in sub-Saharan Africa

Guenat, Solène, Dougill, Andrew J., Kunin, William E., Dallimer, Martin
Ecosystem services 2019 v.36 pp. 100904
cities, ecosystem services, ecosystems, green infrastructure, motivation, stakeholders, urbanization, Ghana
Urban expansion is threatening ecosystem service delivery, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where urbanisation rates are among the fastest globally. Greenspaces offer opportunities to prioritise ecosystem services for city residents. However, the success of greenspace conservation is more often driven by their acceptability to a range of stakeholders than by scientific evidence, highlighting the need to acknowledge multiple perspectives when implementing greenspace conservation activities.We used the Q-methodology to describe and compare the viewpoints of three stakeholder categories for the services and disservices provided by greenspaces in two fast-growing Ghanaian cities. Ecosystem services were generally valued, however there was strong heterogeneity in viewpoints among respondents. The main concerns included regulating services, heritage aspects and contributions to economic development. Comparisons between viewpoints revealed both substantial differences between stakeholder categories and consensus around specific ecosystem services.Recognising shared viewpoints and areas of disagreement may increase the acceptability of greenspace implementation measures. Furthermore, addressing the disservices brought about via greenspace degradation is crucial. Our study shows that, in fast-growing cities in Ghana, a forerunner of urban development in Sub-Saharan Africa, specific ecosystem services such as shade provision, play a pivotal role in promoting greenspace conservation.