Visions from Local Populations for Livelihood-Based Solutions to Promote Forest Conservation Sustainability in the Congo Basin
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Forest management practices that aim to mitigate the threats of deforestation and forest degradation can inadvertently threaten the ability of forest-dependent local populations to meet basic daily sustenance needs. Stakeholder engagement can help find common ground between environmental goals and the livelihood needs of local populations. A starting point for local stakeholder engagement is to gather insights into how forest management differentially impacts the livelihoods and well-being of these populations, which may be quite heterogeneous in their perspectives and livelihood needs. Towards this end, we conducted semi-structured first-person interviews in forest-dependent communities in Cameroon about perspectives on and suggestions about forest resources and management. This study provides insights into commonalities and differences of perspectives within and among local populations and supports the use of stakeholder engagement strategies that facilitate bidirectional communication and take into consideration diverse perspectives and priorities.
KeywordsForest management Forest conservation Sustainable livelihoods Indigenous populations Forest-dependent people Cameroon Congo Basin
The authors would like to thank the local participants for their personal stories and time in the participation of this research as well as members of the research team who assisted with the facilitation of research logistics and village chief connections in Cameroon: Cyrus Sinai, Keven Njabo, Tom Smith, and Francis Forzi.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors declare that the information provided by the informants was not disclosed.
Ethical and legal considerations
Approval to conduct these interviews was obtained from the UCLA Institutional Review Board (IRB #14-000747), Cameroon National Ethics Committee (CNERSH, #2014/09/514/CE/CNERSH/SP), the local Cameroon Ministry of Public Health in the area studied (#M5/9L/MINSANTE/SG/DRSPE/DSY/) and Cameroon Ministry of Science and Innovation (# 87/MINRESI/B00/C00/C10/nye). Verbal consent was recorded and received from all informants.
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