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Philosophische Fakultät - Jahrgang 2009

Titel The Dilemma of Integrated Conservation and Development in the Korup National Park, Cameroon
Autor Charles Takoyoh Eyong
Publikationsform Dissertation
Zusammenfassung Korup National Park is one of the first integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) in tropical rainforests. Its original ICDPs’ principles were abandoned based on conventional theory and national forestry policies that discourage human settlements inside national parks. The prohibition approach adopted since 1988 limits conservation to protection of biological diversity. Excluding locals is thought to improve the protection of the park. This is generating conflicts as locals think conservation ‘grants more rights to animals than them and that they have lost ownership of the forest’. Just like foreign poachers, they try to make the most of it at any given opportunity. This is how conservation that was premised on development is now a dilemma in the Korup National Park rainforest. Months of interacting with communities and learning what they know and do, and how they interpret their livelihood activities, enabled this assessment of the evidence of the ‘local say’. It uses ethnographic data to aid an actor perspective as propounded by Norman Long.
These analyses find that local population growth is less of a problem than government’s policy of relocation, which caused the conservation dilemma. They also expose the myth-like domain of the relocation discourse leading to the argument that communities are a key to transforming the integrated conservation and development dilemma. They effectively use socially crafted rules to govern resources, although their hunting methods have evolved leading to indiscriminate killing of animals. There is need for political will to confer some sense of ownership to the people by recognizing their ecological knowledge and local common action against destructive extraction and illegal poachers. This argument is based on the Boserupian idea that local population growth is not always a conservation problem since community groups sometimes have rural strategies to counter the impact of population on resources. Korup communities do not only exhibit these strategies, they have also devised constraints (institutions for local common action) to control resource use.
A follow-up study is necessary to find out if the incentives discussed here are enough for people to adopt the desired behaviour in this same context of limited property rights. Also, interdisciplinary studies should explore ways for communicating to locals to effect a rule change constraining those who hunt in an unsustainable way. They should be aware that the incentive is not only to have many animals inside the national park (ecologists’ interest) but that it also serves community interests: secured source of animal protein and incomes for survival. Such a trustworthy communication would help to change the current local perception that “animals have more rights than people” and that they have not lost control and ownership of their forest.
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© Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Bonn | Veröffentlicht: 06.11.2009