AMBIO

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 320–333 | Cite as

Bars to Jars: Bamboo Value Chains in Cameroon

Report

Abstract

Bamboo is a well know and versatile material, which is a common sight across Cameroon's diverse ecosystems, from dry to humid tropical and Afromontane forests. Its numerous uses range from storage jars to decorating restaurant-bars, beehives to knives, fences, fodder, and fuel. Responding to the paucity of data on species and uses, the value chain for bamboo in Cameroon was analyzed. Based on 171 interviews and field observations, two African indigenous species (alpine Yushania alpina and savannah Oxytenanthera abyssinica) and exotic (Bambusa vulgaris spp.) bamboos were identified as most utilized. They were tracked from major production zones to final consumers. The ecological, socio-economic, institutional, and governance contexts and impacts are described and analyzed. Issues for research, conservation, and development are highlighted. These include the ambiguous regulatory status, the relationship between tenure and management, threats and conservation of African species and options to increase the sustainable livelihoods for stakeholders dependent upon bamboo.

Keywords

Bamboo Cameroon Value chain Governance Sustainable Livelihood 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was supported by INBAR (as part of the project “Enhancing Opportunities for Market-Led Bamboo and Rattan-based Development in West and Central Africa” financed by the Common Fund for Commodities) and CIFOR and resulted in a working paper (see http://www.inbar.int/publication/PDF/WP66_web.pdf). Andrew Benton and Michael Kwaku (INBAR) provided technical support. Terry Sunderland, Jolien Schure, Patrice Levang, Nick Hogarth, Abdon Awono and Manuel Ruiz-Perez (CIFOR) are thanked for their contributions and reviews. We are grateful to ANAFOR, particularly Desire Tole; MINFOF, especially Paul Wamba; Ousseynou Ndoye, Tropenbos International, MOCAP, Ferrudjal and all the traditional authorities, enterprises, harvesters, craftpersons, retailers, and consumers which participated in the study. We are grateful to three anonymous reviewers for their very helpful comments.

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)YaoundéCameroon
  2. 2.Bioversity InternationalYaoundéCameroon
  3. 3.LEIUniversity of Wageningen and Research CentresThe HagueThe Netherlands

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