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Management Conflicts in Cameroonian Community Forests

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Ezzine de Blas, Driss; Ruiz-Pérez, Manuel; Vermeulen, Cédric
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 16
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7514
Sector: Forestry
Region: Africa
Subject(s): common pool resources
resource management
community forestry
Abstract: "Cameroonian community forests were designed and implemented to meet the general objectives of forest management decentralization for democratic and community management. The spread of management conflicts all over the country has shown that these broad expectations have not been met. We describe conflicts occurring in 20 community forests by types of actors and processes involved. We argue that a number of external (community vs. external actors) and internal (intra-community) conflicts are part of the causes blocking the expected outcome of Cameroonian community forests, fostering bad governance and loss of confidence. Rent appropriation and control of forest resources appear as systemic or generalized conflicts. While community forest support projects have tended to focus on capacity building activities, less direct attention has been given to these systemic problems. We conclude that some factors like appropriate leadership, and spending of logging receipts on collective benefits (direct and indirect) are needed to minimize conflicts. Government and development agencies should concentrate efforts on designing concrete tools for improving financial transparency while privileging communities with credible leaders."

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