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Ms Rahinatu Sidiki Alare is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. She is interested in issues related to natural resource governance and its implication on equity and conflict management. Her research is funded by LISS-DTP. Before joining King’s, Rahina worked with international and local institutions in carrying out interdisciplinary research and related stakeholder engagement on gender relations, equity, environment and climate change issues aimed at building local agency and sustainable development in Ghana.


Thesis title: Understanding the trade-offs between traditional and government approaches to fire management in the savanna woodlands of northern Ghana

Despite the scientific evidence as well as the nuanced cultural, spiritual, ecological and economic importance of fires for local communities in northern Ghana, government policies still embrace the simplistic narrative that fire constitutes a disturbance to savanna ecosystems. The antifire policies and programmes instituted by the Government of Ghana and Non-government Organisations to promote conservation in savanna areas have induced a growing sense of injustice and resentment among those whose livelihoods depend on these fires. Therefore a scientific and traditional ecological understanding of the drivers of fires and how fire management policies impact wider efforts to mitigate conflict between different resource user groups in these areas is necessary for developing more equitable approaches. Hence, the main objective of this study is to understand the complex trade-offs of shifting fire regimes and policies in the savanna woodlands of northern Ghana and whether these policies result in social inequities. By prioritising the perspectives of local resource users, a better understanding will be developed of whether farmers and herders, particularly, are differentially impacted by statutory fire management approaches. The study will involve mixed method approaches including remote sensing, in-depth interviews, key informant interviews, focus group discussions, cause and effect diagrams and seasonal calendars.

PhD supervision

Principal supervisor: Kate Schreckenberg

Secondary supervisor: Emma Tebbs

Further details

See Rahinatu's research profile