This was a scoping study to investigate how innovations in governance and forest policy have been mediated by institutions for NR management at the forest margins. It updates knowledge on these institutions and policy changes in government decentralisation and forest management, and examines their effects on the livelihoods of the poor. Research focuses on the northern Brong-Ahafo, where agricultural systems depend heavily on tree conservation, planting and enrichment, and where patterns of resource conflict have important social dimensions. As a scoping study, it elaborates research questions and remedial strategies. It is hoped to follow up this work with a research/action project presently under preparation.