International Journal of Social Forestry



Abstracts



International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(1):1-23


NEW NICHES OF COMMUNITY RIGHTS TO FORESTS IN CAMEROON: TENURE REFORM, DECENTRALIZATION CATEGORY OR SOMETHING ELSE?


Phil René Oyono

Abstract

In a difficult political economy, marked notably by a multifaceted crisis, Cameroon, like many other African countries, launched the restructuring of the policy and legal framework that governed the management of forest until the mid-1990s. Given the deep conflict of discourse surrounding the issue of forest ownership and rights to forest in Central Africa, the allocation of new niches of community rights to forest is, in theory, meaningful of the emergence of a new type of relations between the ‘central’ and the ‘local’ and, therefore, a new configuration of issues like resource ‘politics’ and resource governance. Unlike West, East or Southern Africa, resource tenure is a not really an old research domain in Central Africa. While injecting information on the topic, the essay interrogates the nature of ongoing change in the structure of community rights to forest in Cameroon. In policy terms, what is really this change? Some call it tenure change, some others call it decentralization. Using conceptual, theoretical and empirical arguments, the essay conducts a policy analysis of both options and concludes that this is neither a strict decentralization process nor a strict tenure reform. It is a mixture of devolution and delegation of powers. Theorists, policy designers and professional must be informed about this dilemma.

Keywords:
community rights, community forests, tenure reform, decentralizations, policy dialogue, Cameroon.  
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(1):24-42


COMMUNITY BASED MANAGEMENT OF A PROTECTED AREA: THE CASE OF GEPRENAF IN BURKINA FASO

Elena Vallino

Abstract

The present work analyzes the GEPRENAF project (West Africa Community-based Natural Resource and Wildlife Management Pilot Project) dealing with a threatened ecosystem in southern Burkina Faso. The project, funded by the World Bank, established a Protected Area and entrusted its management with the local village association AGEREF. This is the first empirical case study ever conducted about the protected area. The work assesses the socio-economic impact of the project on the local population. A qualitative field study was conducted, including review of the project documents, and interviews with focus groups and key persons. The following findings emerged from the study. On the one hand, the income generated by tourism activities, safari hunting and the establishment of value chains for non timber forest products is still low and sporadic. The scarcity of land for food crops due to the creation of the protected area is still an important concern. From an economic point of view, the management of the protected area is not a credible alternative to the traditional exploitation of natural resources, such as agriculture and grazing. On the other hand, the establishment of the reserve and the appointment of AGEREF to manage the park have meant significant institutional empowerment of the local community, and this has been essential to channel additional financial resources for infrastructures and micro-projects. Recommendations are advanced for improving the social and economic benefits of the project.

Keywords:
community based conservation, socio-economic benefits, protected area, Burkina Faso.  
 
International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(1):43-66 THE INSTITUTIONAL SPHERE OF COFFEE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN ETHIOPIA: LOCAL LEVEL FINDINGS FROM KOMA FOREST, KAFFA ZONE Till Stellmacher and Peter P. Mollinga Abstract Ethiopia’s coffee forests have witnessed high rates of deforestation during the last decades. Main reasons identified are intensified forest resource utilisation and expansion of smallholder agriculture. These are major drivers, however, as the processes and impacts are mediated and promoted by institutional arrangements through which intensification and expansion unroll. This paper interprets institutional arrangements primarily as rules and regulations. It provides an understanding of the particular (informal) forest resource use rights of smallholders in Kaffa Zone, South-western Ethiopia. Given the path dependent character of land tenure and property rights institutions, this research takes a historical perspective. In the case study area, the coffee forests are historically divided into use right plots individually held by local peasants. The nationalisation of all land in Ethiopia in 1975 was the major institutional turning point in which responsibility for forest use and management was by decree shifted from local peasants towards newly established centralised state entities. These bodies neither had experience, expertise nor financial resources to tackle the challenge of forest governance. In practice, state control did not ‘reach’ the forest areas, and rather created a muddled and frequently changing institutional framework that turned out to have no, or only minimal actual impact. Consequently, use and management of forest resources in large parts of Ethiopia remained defined by traditional use rights. Keywords: coffee forest, institutional analysis, Ethiopia.  

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(1):67-85


THE POTENTIAL OF IRVINGIA GABONENSIS: CAN IT CONTRIBUTE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE LIVELIHOODS OF PRODUCERS IN SOUTHERN CAMEROON?


A. Awono, A. Djouguep, L. Zapfack, O. Ndoye

Abstract

Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) processing in Cameroon is still limited to traditional commerce, which mainly involves the supply of raw materials. Furthermore, lack of knowledge on the availability of NTFPs in their biotope does not allow for accurate planning to ensure sustainable management and their contribution to the fight against poverty. Based on a survey carried out in cocoa agroforests in Southern Cameroon and an evaluation of Irvingia gobonensis kernels processing chain, we argue that, on the one hand, the resource is not as abundant as is generally thought and that processing can improve incomes of households at local, national and even regional levels on the other hand. Processing of I. gabonensis kernels and consumer reactions to the derivative products are also discussed. It will also be illustrated that, with results from laboratory analyses, the further-processed products are of good quality and are safe for human consumption.

Keywords:
irvingia gabonensis, NTFP, sustainable management, agroforestry, processing, commercialization, health, Cameroon.  
 

International Journal of Social Forestry (IJSF), 2009, 2(1):86-100


IMPACT OF INCENTIVES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL FORESTRY: A CASE OF THE MATENGO HIGHLANDS IN TANZANIA


Christopher P.I. Mahonge

Abstract

A study was done to analyze impact of incentives on development of social forestry in the Matengo highlands in Tanzania. Data was obtained from synthesis and analysis of monthly and weekly field reports, and scrutiny of the empirical experiences learned as a result of researcher’s participation in the action research. Results indicated that incentives did not yield only expected positive outcomes, but also unexpected conflictual outcomes mainly due the fact that community is made up of social entities with diverse resources in form of thinking, meditation, purposes, interests etc, some wanting to use such resources in a way of meeting their personal ends at the expense of the public good. The unintended outcomes negatively impacted on the social forestry. It was recommended that understanding of the role of incentives, and attitudes of the actors under incentive environment, is imperative for decision making as regards improvement of social fore
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