There is no single published policy on land tenure. A complicated hierarchy of land ownership arrangements exist, within which traditional and customary tenure arrangements are respected. FC officials consider restrictions on access to forest reserves, which are generally stool lands under the custodianship of stool chiefs, as adequate for clarifying tenure in these areas, but other stakeholders are clear that they do not constitute a consistent policy. There are no laws on community forest management for instance. Outside forest reserves, trees on private or community lands are also nominally owned by the state.
In general, the lack of a clear policy is a source of frequent land disputes across the country. Despite this, there has not been much debate at a national level about tenure issues. There are on-going projects to document and streamline land ownership, but there is little impetus to deal with the fundamental issues of ownership, custodianship and usufruct rights. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has engaged Forest Watch Ghana to carry out a national consultation process on the issue of tree tenure in off-reserves.