Carbon stock of above ground mangroves in the Lower Volta Area, Ghana




Abstract. Henry MJ, Gordon C, Pabi O. 2021. Carbon stock of above ground mangroves in the Lower Volta Area, Ghana. Indo Pac J Ocean Life 5: 61-73. The mangroves and other blue carbon systems are under high pressure because of coastal development and population. The degradation of mangrove continuity leads to the loss of the carbon stocks which is stored in the mangrove ecosystem. This study used GIS-based analysis using allometric equations and Landsat images to estimate the mangrove above-ground carbon stock in the Lower Volta area in Ghana. The classified Landsat images were used to obtain the mangrove area coverage. The ASTER GDEM covering the mangrove was calibrated to obtain the above-biomass, mangrove heights, and above ground carbon stock estimated using a global allometric equation. This study identified the socio-economic factors influencing mangrove exploitation and assessed local residents' willingness to use an alternative energy source, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The carbon stock in 2014 for the study area was estimated at 269,379.5 Mg, and the carbon stock was estimated at 50.102 Mg per hectare. The changes in carbon stock on a time series analysis revealed that the study area lost its carbon stock between 1991 and 2014 at 161,428.65 Mg. The results indicated that significant factors influencing mangroves' exploitation were the commercial supply of fuel wood, increased income,  and supply of fuel wood for domestic use. The local residents were less likely to use LPG as an alternative due to price and safety considerations and preferred mangroves as an energy source. All major stakeholders were recommended to contribute towards effectively managing and protecting the mangrove resource.