Local Management of Wildlife in Africa: Is It Feasible? A Discussion Based on the Study of Village Hunting in East-Cameroon

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"Since the beginning of this century, wildlife has been decreasing in many African countries, due to habitat destruction and over-hunting. In response to this situation and as ecological movements were developing in the western world, many protected areas have been created all over the continent, in order to isolate as far as possible endangered or unique species, and to avoid all human impacts. Thus, for a long time, management has meant preservation, i.e., maintaining wildlife stocks according to carrying capacity of closed areas. It has rapidly appeared that this kind of policy failed to actually stop wildlife decrease, unless authorities had large financial and coercive means...Then preservation has been replaced by conservation, which in theory means sustainable use for current human benefit without compromising future generations' needs (CMED, 1989), but in practice has often been translated in nothing more than participation to externally decided programs... (A) third approach is now appearing: local management of wildlife, that is a management of practices, and not only resources, and also a management that is actually decided, conceived and done by, and not only with, local people. "...(W)e made a field study in East-Cameroon and we use the results of this study to discuss feasibility and modes of local wildlife management in Africa."
IASC, wildlife, resource management, state and local governance, hunters and gatherers