Advertisement

Human Ecology

, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 887–896 | Cite as

Visions from Local Populations for Livelihood-Based Solutions to Promote Forest Conservation Sustainability in the Congo Basin

  • Savanna Carson
  • Fabrice Kentatchime
  • Eric Djomo Nana
  • Brian L. Cole
  • Hilary Godwin
Article
  • 91 Downloads

Abstract

Forest management practices that aim to mitigate the threats of deforestation and forest degradation can inadvertently threaten the ability of forest-dependent local populations to meet basic daily sustenance needs. Stakeholder engagement can help find common ground between environmental goals and the livelihood needs of local populations. A starting point for local stakeholder engagement is to gather insights into how forest management differentially impacts the livelihoods and well-being of these populations, which may be quite heterogeneous in their perspectives and livelihood needs. Towards this end, we conducted semi-structured first-person interviews in forest-dependent communities in Cameroon about perspectives on and suggestions about forest resources and management. This study provides insights into commonalities and differences of perspectives within and among local populations and supports the use of stakeholder engagement strategies that facilitate bidirectional communication and take into consideration diverse perspectives and priorities.

Keywords

Forest management Forest conservation Sustainable livelihoods Indigenous populations Forest-dependent people Cameroon Congo Basin 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the local participants for their personal stories and time in the participation of this research as well as members of the research team who assisted with the facilitation of research logistics and village chief connections in Cameroon: Cyrus Sinai, Keven Njabo, Tom Smith, and Francis Forzi.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

The authors declare that the information provided by the informants was not disclosed.

Ethical and legal considerations

Approval to conduct these interviews was obtained from the UCLA Institutional Review Board (IRB #14-000747), Cameroon National Ethics Committee (CNERSH, #2014/09/514/CE/CNERSH/SP), the local Cameroon Ministry of Public Health in the area studied (#M5/9L/MINSANTE/SG/DRSPE/DSY/) and Cameroon Ministry of Science and Innovation (# 87/MINRESI/B00/C00/C10/nye). Verbal consent was recorded and received from all informants.

References

  1. Abbott, D., and Wilson, G. (2015). The Lived Experience of Climate Change: Knowledge, Science and Public Action, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.  https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-17945-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ambrose-Oji, B. (2003). The Contribution of NTFPs to the Livelihoods of the 'Forest Poor': Evidence from the Tropical Forest Zone of South-West Cameroon. The International Forestry Review 5(2): 106–117.  https://doi.org/10.1505/Ifor.5.2.106.17420.
  3. Andrade, G. S., and Rhodes, J. R. (2012). Protected Areas and Local Communities: An Inevitable Partnership Toward Successful Conservation Strategies? Ecology and Society 17: 14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arlet, M. E., and Molleman, F. (2007). Rodents Damage Crops More Than Wildlife in Subsistence Agriculture on the Northern Periphery Of Dja Reserve, Cameroon. International Journal of Pest Management 53: 237–243.  https://doi.org/10.1080/09670870701418994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Awuh HE (2011) A Critique of the Global Literature on the Conservation Refugee Problem. ​MS Thesis, Te Kura Tatāi Aro Whenua, Victoria University of Wellington.Google Scholar
  6. Awuh, H. E. (2015). Adaptive Livelihood Strategies in Conservation-Induced Displacement: The Case of the Baka of East Cameroon. African Studies Review 58: 135–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Awuh, H. E. (2016). Access to Discourse, Marginalisation and Exclusion in Conservation-Induced Resettlement: The Case of the Displaced Baka of East Cameroon. International Journal of Environmental Studies 73: 294–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baumwoll J (2008) The value of indigenous knowledge for disaster risk reduction: A unique assessment tool for reducing community vulnerability to natural disasters. MA Thesis, Webster University.Google Scholar
  9. Bele, M., Tiani, A., Somorin, O., and Sonwa, D. (2013). Exploring Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change of Communities in the Forest Zone of Cameroon. Climatic Change 119: 875–889.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-013-0738-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bele, M. Y., Sonwa, D. J., and Tiani, A.-M. (2015). Adapting the Congo Basin Forests Management to Climate Change: Linkages Among Biodiversity, Forest Loss, and Human Well-Being. Forest Policy and Economics 50: 1–10.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2014.05.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bennett, N. J., et al (2017a). Conservation Social Science: Understanding and Integrating Human Dimensions to Improve Conservation. Biological Conservation 205: 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bennett, N. J., et al (2017b). Mainstreaming the Social Sciences in Conservation. Conservation Biology 31: 56–66.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12788.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Berkes, F. (2004). Rethinking Community-Based Conservation. Conservation Biology 18: 621–630.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2004.00077.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Braun, V., and Clarke, V. (2006). Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3: 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Brown, H. C. P., Nkem, J. N., Sonwa, D. J., and Bele, Y. (2010). Institutional Adaptive Capacity and Climate Change Response in the Congo Basin Forests of Cameroon. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 15: 263–282.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11027-010-9216-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Carodenuto, S., and Fobissie, K. (2015). Operationalizing Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for REDD+: Insights from the National FPIC Guidelines of Cameroon. Carbon and Climate Law Review 9: 156–167.Google Scholar
  17. Carsan, S., Stroebel, A., Dawson, I., Kindt, R., Mbow, C., Mowo, J., and Jamnadass, R. (2014). Can Agroforestry Option Values Improve the Functioning of Drivers of Agricultural Intensification in Africa? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 6: 35–40.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Carson, S. L., Kentatchime, F., Nana, E., Njabo, K., Cole, B., and Godwin, H. A. (2018). Indigenous Peoples' Concerns About Loss of Forest Knowledge: Implications for Forest Management. Conservation and Society 16: 431–440.  https://doi.org/10.4103/cs.cs_17_105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cawthorn, D.-M., and Hoffman, L. C. (2015). The Bushmeat and Food Security Nexus: A global Account of the Contributions, Conundrums and Ethical Collisions. Food Research International 76: 906–925.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2015.03.025.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cetas, E. R., and Yasué, M. (2017). A Systematic Review of Motivational Values and Conservation Success in and Around Protected Areas. Conservation Biology 31: 203–212.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Chambers, R. (1982). Health, Agriculture, and Rural Poverty: Why Seasons Matter. The Journal of Development Studies 18: 217–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Chia, E. L., Somorin, O. A., Sonwa, D. J., and Tiani, A. M. (2013). Local vulnerability, Forest Communities and Forest-Carbon Conservation: Case of Southern Cameroon. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 5: 498–507.Google Scholar
  23. Chia, E. L., Tiani, A. M., Sonwa, D. J., Perez-Teran, A. S., and Tchatchou, B. (2016). Securing Well-Being with the Advent of Climate Hazards: Case of Forest-Dependent Communities in a Landscape in the Congo Basin. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 8: 175–193.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-04-2014-0048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Colchester, M. (2000). Self-Determination or Environmental Determinism for Indigenous Peoples in Tropical Forest Conservation. Conservation Biology 14: 1365–1367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Colfer, C. J. P. (2012). Human Health and Forests: A Global Overview of Issues, Practice and Policy, Routledge, Earthscan, London, UK.Google Scholar
  26. Cruz-Garcia, G. S., Sachet, E., Vanegas, M., and Piispanen, K. (2016). Are the Major Imperatives of Food Security Missing in Ecosystem Services Research? Ecosystem Services 19: 19–31.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoser.2016.04.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Donn, P., et al (2016). Poverty and Poor Education are Key Determinants of High Household Food Insecurity Among Populations Adjoining Forest Concessions in the Congo Basin. BMC Nutrition 2: 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40795-016-0070-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Dounias, E., and Ichikawa, M. (2017). Seasonal Bushmeat Hunger in the Congo Basin. EcoHealth 14: 575–590.Google Scholar
  29. Ens, E., Scott, M. L., Rangers, Y. M., Moritz, C., and Pirzl, R. (2016). Putting Indigenous Conservation Policy into Practice Delivers Biodiversity and Cultural Benefits. Biodiversity and Conservation 25: 2889–2906.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-016-1207-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Fa, J. E., Currie, D., and Meeuwig, J. (2003). Bushmeat and Food Security in the Congo Basin: Linkages Between Wildlife and People's Future. Environmental Conservation 30: 71–78.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892903000067.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fraser, E. D. G., Dougill, A. J., Mabee, W. E., Reed, M., and McAlpine, P. (2006). Bottom Up and Top Down: Analysis of Participatory Processes for Sustainability Indicator Identification as a Pathway to Community Empowerment and Sustainable Environmental Management. Journal of Environmental Management 78: 114–127.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2005.04.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Fuller, T. L., et al (2018). Climate Warming Causes Declines in Crop Yields and Lowers School Attendance Rates in Central Africa. Science of The Total Environment 610: 503–510.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.08.041.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Fungo, R., et al (2016). Contribution of Forest Foods to Dietary Intake and their Association with Household Food Insecurity: a Cross-Sectional Study in Women from Rural Cameroon. Public Health Nutrition 19:3185–3196.Google Scholar
  34. Gbetnkom, D. (2009). Forest Depletion and Food Security of Poor Rural Populations in Africa: Evidence from Cameroon. Journal of African Economies 18: 261–286.  https://doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejn012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hattori, S. (2014). Current Issues Facing the Forest People in Southeastern Cameroon: the Dynamics of Baka life and their Ethnic Relationship with Farmers. African Study Monographs Supplimentry Issue 47: 97–119.Google Scholar
  36. Hurni, H., et al (2015). Soils, Agriculture and Food Security: the Interplay Between Ecosystem Functioning and Human Well-Being. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 15: 25–34.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2015.07.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ichikawa, M. (2014). Forest conservation and indigenous peoples in the Congo Basin: new trends toward reconciliation between global issues and local interest. In Hewlett, B. S. (ed.), Hunter-Gatherers of the Congo Basin: Cultures, Histories, and Biology of African Pygmies, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey, pp 321–338.Google Scholar
  38. Ingram, V. J. (2014). Win-wins in forest product value chains?: How governance impacts the sustainability of livelihoods based on non-timber forest products from Cameroon, African Studies Centre, Leiden.Google Scholar
  39. Ingram, V. J., and Schure, J. (2010). Review of Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in Central Africa, Cameroon, CIFOR, Yaounde, Cameroon.Google Scholar
  40. Johnson, J. T., Howitt, R., Cajete, G., Berkes, F., Louis, R. P., and Kliskey, A. (2016). Weaving Indigenous and Sustainability Sciences to Diversify our Methods. Sustainability Science 11: 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Jost Robinson, C. A., and Remis, M. J. (2016). BaAka Women's Health and Subsistence Practices in Transitional Conservation Economies: Variation with Age, Household Size, and Food Security. American Journal of Human Biology 28: 453–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lasco, R. D., Delfino, R. J. P., Catacutan, D. C., Simelton, E. S., and Wilson, D. M. (2014). Climate Risk Adaptation by Smallholder Farmers: The Roles of Trees and Agroforestry. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 6: 83–88.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.11.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lewis, J. (2015). Where Goods are Free but Knowledge Costs. Hunter Gatherer Research 1: 1–27.  https://doi.org/10.3828/hgr.2015.2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Linder, J. M., and Oates, J. F. (2011). Differential Impact of Bushmeat Hunting on Monkey Species and Implications for Primate Conservation in Korup National Park, Cameroon. Biological Conservation 144: 738–745.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lueong, G. M. (2016). The Forest People Without a Forest: Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon, Berghahn Books, New York.Google Scholar
  46. Maisels, F., Keming, E., Kemei, M., and Toh, C. (2001). The Extirpation of Large Mammals and Implications for Montane Forest Conservation: The Case of the Kilum-Ijim Forest, North-West Province, Cameroon. Oryx 35: 322–331.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605300032087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Maldonado, J., et al (2016). Engagement with Indigenous Peoples and Honoring Traditional Knowledge Systems. Climatic Change 135: 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Martin, A., Coolsaet, B., Corbera, E., Dawson, N. M., Fraser, J. A., Lehmann, I., and Rodriguez, I. (2016). Justice and Conservation: The Need to Incorporate Recognition. Biological Conservation 197: 254–261.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.03.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mbow, C., Smith, P., Skole, D., Duguma, L., and Bustamante, M. (2014). Achieving Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change Through Sustainable Agroforestry Practices in Africa. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 6: 8–14.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.09.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McNeely, J. A., and Schroth, G. (2006). Agroforestry and Biodiversity Conservation – Traditional Practices, Present Dynamics, and Lessons for the Future. Biodiversity & Conservation 15: 549–554.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-005-2087-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Molua, E. L. (2002). Climate Variability, Vulnerability and Effectiveness of Farm-Level Adaptation Options: The Challenges and Implications for Food Security in Southwestern Cameroon. Environment and Development Economics 7: 529–545.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1355770X02000311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Murphy, M. (2014). Self-Determination as a Collective Capability: The Case of Indigenous Peoples. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities 15: 320–334.  https://doi.org/10.1080/19452829.2013.878320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Ngima Mawoung G (2016) Bantu and Bakola/Bagyelli of Southwestern Cameroon: A Permanent Conflictual Cohabitation. ​African Study Monographs 37(1): 45–54.Google Scholar
  54. Nielsen, M. R., Pouliot, M., Meilby, H., Smith-Hall, C., and Angelsen, A. (2017). Global Patterns and Determinants of the Economic Importance of Bushmeat. Biological Conservation 215: 277–287.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Nkem, J. N., Somorin, O. A., Jum, C., Idinoba, M. E., Bele, Y. M., and Sonwa, D. J. (2013). Profiling Climate Change Vulnerability of Forest Indigenous Communities in the Congo Basin. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 18: 513–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Oldekop JA, Holmes G, Harris WE, Evans KL (2015) A Global Assessment of the Social and Conservation Outcomes of Protected Areas Conservation Biology:n/a-n/a  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12568
  57. Oldekop, J., Holmes, G., Harris, W., and Evans, K. (2016). A Global Assessment of the Social and Conservation Outcomes of Protected Areas. Conservation Biology 30: 133–141.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Palys, T. (2008). Purposive sampling the sage encyclopedia of qualitative research. Methods 2: 697–698.Google Scholar
  59. Pandey, D. N. (1998a). Ethnoforestry: Local Knowledge for Sustainable Forestry and Livelihood Security, Himanshu Publications, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  60. Pandey, D. N. (1998b). Ethnoforestry: Local Knowledge for Sustainable Forestry and Livelihood Security, Himanshu Publications, Udaipur.Google Scholar
  61. Persha, L., Agrawal, A., and Chhatre, A. (2011). Social and Ecological Synergy: Local Rulemaking, Forest Livelihoods, and Biodiversity Conservation. Science 331: 1606–1608.  https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1199343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Pyhälä A (2012) What future for the Baka? Indigenous peoples’ rights and livelihood opportunities in south-east Cameroon.  Vol 13. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Copenhagen, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  63. Remis, M. J., and Jost Robinson, C. A. (2014). Examining Short-Term Nutritional Status Among BaAka Foragers in Transitional Economies. American journal of physical anthropology 154: 365–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Robinson, E. J. Z. (2016). Resource-Dependent Livelihoods and the Natural Resource Base. Annual Review of Resource Economics 8: 281–301.  https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-resource-100815-095521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Russell, D., Mbile, P., and Tchamou, N. (2011). Farm and Forest in Central Africa: Toward an Integrated Rural Development Strategy. Journal of Sustainable Forestry 30: 111–132.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10549811003757751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Russell, T., Silva, F., and Steele, J. (2014). Modelling the Spread of Farming in the Bantu-Speaking Regions of Africa: An Archaeology-Based Phylogeography. PLoS ONE 9: e87854.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087854.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Rust, N. A., et al (2017). Quantity Does Not Always Mean Quality: The Importance of Qualitative Social Science in Conservation Research. Society & Natural Resources ​30(10): 1304–1310.Google Scholar
  68. Sanchez, P. A. (2000). Linking Climate Change Research with Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the Tropics. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 82: 371–383.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-8809(00)00238-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sanchez PA, Leakey RRB (1997) Land Use Transformation in Africa: Three Determinants for Balancing Food Security with Natural Resource Utilization Developments in Crop Science 25:19–27 doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-519X(97)80004-9
  70. Sonwa, D. J., Nkem, J. N., Idinoba, M. E., Bele, M. Y., and Jum, C. (2012). Building Regional Priorities in Forests for Development and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Congo Basin. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 17: 441–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tata Ngome, P. I., Shackleton, C., Degrande, A., and Tieguhong, J. C. (2017). Addressing Constraints in Promoting Wild Edible Plants’ Utilization in Household Nutrition: Case of the Congo Basin Forest Area. Agriculture & Food Security 6: 20.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40066-017-0097-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Vimal, R. (2017). Monitoring for Conservation in African Tropical National Parks: An Agenda Towards Policy-Relevant Science. Biological Conservation 214: 127–135.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.07.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Vinceti, B., Termote, C., Ickowitz, A., Powell, B., Kehlenbeck, K., and Hunter, D. (2013). The Contribution of Forests and Trees to Sustainable Diets. Sustainability 5: 4797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Visconti, P., et al (2011). Future Hotspots of Terrestrial Mammal Loss. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences 366: 2693–2702.  https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wilkie, D., Morelli, G., Rotberg, F., and Shaw, E. (1999). Wetter Isn't Better: Global Warming and Food Security in the Congo Basin. Global Environmental Change 9: 323–328.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-3780(99)00021-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Woodhouse, E., Homewood, K. M., Beauchamp, E., Clements, T., McCabe, J. T., Wilkie, D., and Milner-Gulland, E. (2015). Guiding Principles for Evaluating the Impacts of Conservation Interventions on Human Well-Being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 370: 20150103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Wright, J. H., et al (2016). Reframing the Concept of Alternative Livelihoods. Conservation Biology 30: 7–13.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Yasuoka, H. (2006). The Sustainability of Duiker (Cephalophus spp.) Hunting for the Baka Hunter-Gatherers in Southeastern Cameroon. African Study Monographs 33.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Savanna Carson
    • 1
  • Fabrice Kentatchime
    • 2
  • Eric Djomo Nana
    • 2
  • Brian L. Cole
    • 1
  • Hilary Godwin
    • 1
  1. 1.UCLA Fielding School of Public HealthUniversity of California Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences - IBAY SubYaoundeCameroon

Personalised recommendations