Costs, benefits and impacts of community forests on livelihoods in Cameroon
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Costs, benefits and impacts of community forests on livelihoods in Cameroon



Verina Ingram, Emilie Beauchamp, Guillaume Lescuyer, ...

Verina Ingram, Emilie Beauchamp, Guillaume Lescuyer,
Marc Parren, Claude Njomgang, Abdon Awono

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010



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  • Community Forestry Development Project (CFDP) sampled 21 community forests (11 in exploitation and 10 yet to engage in exploitation) and 158 households, at 3 levels; agro-ecological, community and household, in three main regions, 1) timber dominated region (TDR) in the East, South and Centre, 2) less timber dominated region (LTDR) , in Littoral and South-west; and 3) NTFPs dominated region (NTFPDR) in the North West region (Vabi, Njankoua et al. 2002). Net Present Value approach (NPV) and internal rates of return (IRR). was conducted eight years after CF legislation passed, only 2 years of effective management of 50% of CFs studied.
  • 82% of CFs in 2006 were in humid forest zone, 2% in savannah, 11% in montane forest
  • Scale of costs and benefits per activity
  • 10,000,000 FCFA = about 15,260 Euro Range of activities in CF MP and from household interviews Timber highest, but
  • 3 main groups of beneficiaries emerged External orgs- mainly ngos- many made a theoretical ‘’loss’’ as no return on investment – grants to start up process User groups- winners in both

Costs, benefits and impacts of community forests on livelihoods in Cameroon Costs, benefits and impacts of community forests on livelihoods in Cameroon Presentation Transcript

  • Costs, Benefits and Impacts of Community Forests on Livelihoods in Cameroon Verina Ingram 1 , Emilie Beauchamp 4 , Guillaume Lescuyer 1 & 2 , Marc Parren 3 , Claude Njomgang 5 , Abdon Awono 1 1 Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Cameroon [email_address] 2 CIRAD, Cameroon 3 Tropenbos International, Congo-Basin Programme 4 Imperial College, UK 5 University of Yaounde II, Cameroon Taking stock of smallholder and community forestry: Where do we go from here? Montpelier March 2010
  • Community forests in Cameroon
    • 1994 Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Law (No 94/01) created Community Forestry concept to promote:
    • Participation of local community in forest management: exploitation & conservation
    • Decentralisation & transfer of exploitation rights (not property) & management responsibilities
    • Sustainable management of forest – includes silviculture, agroforestry, agriculture &/or other uses
    • Contribute to improve livelihoods of community
    • After 15 years - community forestry achievements still highly debated (Klein, et al 2001; Fomete et al, 2001; Vabi, 2002).
    Mangroves, Bimbia Bonadikondo CF Ecotourism & biodiversity value
  • Hypothesis
    • Community management of natural resources through community forests does contribute to rural poverty alleviation - by providing populations with more sustainable livelihoods in the long term,
    • compared to situation with no community forest.
    Kongo CF , Photo: SNV Zita Antoine Ondoa
  • Methodology
    • 1 st phase: 8 exploiting (> 2 years) CFs, across 3 agro-ecological zones, in 5 regions
      • random household questionnaires (25% village population), semi-structured interviews stakeholders & beneficiaries, market surveys, observation
      • Financial, economic and environmental cost and benefit analysis
      • 2 scenarios extrapolated to 25 year CF period:
        • Scenario 1 = Current exploitation activities
        • Scenario 2 = “Without community forest’ situation
      • Distinction between financial and economic costs and benefits :
        • Financial: market priced costs and revenues from activities
        • Economic: Includes non-marketed incomes (inc household consumption) & opportunity costs of activities: Biodiversity value, Carbon Release/Storage, Soil fertility Loss, Ground Water protection
    • 2 nd phase: Meta-analysis 8 CFs cost-benefits
    • 3 rd phase: Restitution to actors
    Participatory cartography of CF borders ( ) Photo: SNV Zita Antoine Ondoa
  • Methodology
    • Small scale of CF compared to production forests!
    • By end 2008 174 SMP approved (621,245 ha), requested 402 (1306707 ha)  
    • Only 43% of CFs currently operational
    • CFs = 5% forest area and contribute 2% of timber to domestic timber market
    Participatory cartography of CF borders ( ) Photo: SNV Zita Antoine Ondoa
  • Bihkov, NW Bimbia Bonadikondo, SW Copal, Centre Akak, South Doh, East COVIMOF, Centre REPA-CIG, SW Comtang, Centre Community forest locations
  • Results
  • Results Average per CF 3,950,998 ± 7,426,396 1,370,374 ± 3,143,643 824,037 ± 1,314,643 1,138,098 ± 2,323,942
  • Results
    • Returns
    • 66% of CFs economically & environmentally (slightly more) profitable - compared to ‘no CF’ scenario
    • ‘’ With CF’’ Scenario demonstrates importance timber harvest to financial costs/benefits: total of 31m compared to 6m FCFA ‘’with out ‘’ in benefits – average
    • With CF scenario compared to Without for economic costs shows little difference ; taking into account b biodiversity value, carbon, soil fertility loss & ground water protection : 10.9m compared to 9.1m CFA
    • 2nd major source of revenue (NTFPs) little difference with or without CF
  • Results
    • Distribution of costs/benefits
    • Users accrue greater benefits than other actors in CF process (83%)
    • External actors (donors/NGOs) make a ‘’loss’’
    • Community does receive some benefits in with CF Scenario (23%)
  • Results
    • CFs do contribute to improvement in communities’ livelihoods
    • CFs provides for (more) sustainable forest management
    Photo: Emilie Beauchamp Gic Doh, Koundi
  • Conclusions
    • Legal reforms in 2009 Manual of Procedures offer potential to increase positive impacts
    • Sharp differences between economic returns and low revenues of the 8 CFs highlight the importance of conditional factors.
    • Factors influencing CFs’ success include communities’ technical and managerial capacities, access to market information, little access to finance, and equipment, and if necessary in conflicts, legal resources
    • Up-scaling vertical integration could result in higher profits from timber.
    • Access to external support can facilitate development of CFs: correlating factor rather than direct cause of profitability.
    • Accounting for degradation as an economic cost demonstrates high value of loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, despite CF management providing improved protection compared to ‘no CF’ scenario.
    • Limits of current legislation in determining volume and value of exploitation of timber and non-timber products
  • Where to go from here?
    • Institutional reforms in implementation of CFs needed to ensure equity of community forestry and continued benefits to all actors.
    • Organizational changes needed by government and especially support actors to increase profitability and equity of community forestry: address the factors that influence success.
    • Factoring in PES into CFs is critical for long term sustainability
  • Thank you