Local vulnerability, Forest communities and Forestcarbon conservation: case of southern Cameroon | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2013
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

This research paper, published in the international Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, reports on a study of two community forests', Nomedjoh and Nkolenyeng, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects located in south Cameroon. Focus group sessions and household surveys were conducted to examine the relationship between the adaptation of forest communities and the mitigation of forest-carbon conservation, and the impact this has on local vulnerability. Five main topics to arise from the discussion: Perception of vulnerability to climatic variability - majorities in both communities expressed observable variations in temperature and sunshine, rainfall, and sowing and harvesting periods. Complaints from respondents include interruption of production patterns, abortive crop germinations, and disrupted post-harvest preservation practices. Vulnerability to non-climatic stresses - access to resources, income, food security, knowledge, and technology all contribute to adaptive capacity. Conservation conditions can also have implications, as seen in Nkolenyeng where prohibition of slash-and-burn practices has affected the predominantly agricultural community. Adaptation to local climate variability and forest carbon conservation conditions - income diversification is required to reduce vulnerability. Expansion of cultivation areas into virgin forest is a coping strategy used in both sites, whilst garden farming is popular with households in Nomedjoh. Better market-prices and infrastructure will improve the adaptive capacity of households, with other factors highlighted including improved crop varieties, food storage, and training. Forest carbon conservation projects and adaptation opportunities - Income diversification, agriculture intensification, and agro-forestry are all mitigation strategies that can reduce vulnerability, while conservation and restoration of forests is vital for communities' adaptation capacity. Communities' willingness to participate and adhere to carbon conservation conditions - This largely depends on how communities are incentivised, and perceptions regarding equity and participation in decision making. Findings suggest that the PES project was welcome, though discontent at early exploitative deals contributes to a feeling of distrust in Nkolenyeng. The report concludes that there are commonalities between the adaptation needs of forest communities and their motivation to participate and respect forest conservation initiatives. Such 'double-response' strategies can be better designed by using vulnerability as a departure point, though more research is required regarding gender and vulnerable group differentiation.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
E.L. Chia O.A. Somorin D.J. Sonwa

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