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26 March 2020
Article (Scientific journals)
Quantifying the Use of Forest Ecosystem Services by Local Populations in Southeastern Cameroon
Lhoest, Simon  ; Vermeulen, Cédric  ; Fayolle, Adeline  et al.
2020 • In Sustainability, 12 (6), p. 2505
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Keywords :
Tropical forest; Ecosystem service; Use; Provisioning service; Cultural service; Local population; Forêt tropicale; Service écosystémique; Utilisation; Service d'approvisionnement; Service culturel; Population locale
Abstract :
[en] In order to improve sustainability and design adequate management strategies in threatened tropical forests, integrated assessments of the use of ecosystem services are needed, combining biophysical, social, and economic approaches. In particular, no integrated ecosystem services (ES) assessment has been conducted in Central Africa, where rural communities deeply depend on forests in a high-poverty context. Here, we aimed to quantify the use of ES provided by tropical forests to local populations in the Dja area (Cameroon), identify its determinants and evaluate its sustainability. We conducted various interviews and field surveys with 133 households in three villages, focusing on three provisioning services (bushmeat, firewood, and timber), and five cultural services (cultural heritage, inspiration, spiritual experience, recreation, and education). Local populations consumed a mean of 56 kg of bushmeat/person/year (hunting zones covering on average 213 km2), 1.17 m3 of firewood/person/year (collection zones covering on average 4 km2), and 0.03m3 of timber/person/year. Between 25% and 86% of respondents considered cultural services as important. The use of ES was mainly influenced by population size, deforestation rate, and forest allocations, whereas the influence of socio-demographic characteristics of households remained limited to slight di erences between Baka and Bantu people. We conclude that the consumption of firewood and timber is sustainable, whereas high hunting pressure has resulted in severe defaunation in the area due to the large decline in the abundance and biomass of forest mammals hunted for bushmeat by local populations.
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Agriculture & agronomy
Sociology & social sciences
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Lhoest, Simon  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Terra
Vermeulen, Cédric ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales
Fayolle, Adeline  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Jamar, Pierre
Hette, Samuel
Nkodo, Arielle
Maréchal, Kevin ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Modélisation et développement
Dufrêne, Marc  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département GxABT > Biodiversité et Paysage
Meyfroidt, Patrick;  Université Catholique de Louvain - UCL > Earth and Life Institute
Language :
English
Title :
Quantifying the Use of Forest Ecosystem Services by Local Populations in Southeastern Cameroon
Alternative titles :
[fr] Quantification de l'utilisation des services écosystémiques des forêts du sud-est Cameroun par les populations locales
Publication date :
23 March 2020
Journal title :
Sustainability
eISSN :
2071-1050
Publisher :
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI), Basel, Switzerland
Volume :
12
Issue :
6
Pages :
2505
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Name of the research project :
FORECAST project
Funders :
FRIA - Fonds pour la Formation à la Recherche dans l'Industrie et dans l'Agriculture
F.R.S.-FNRS - Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique
Agropolis Fondation
ULiège - Université de Liège
ARES - Académie de Recherche et d'Enseignement Supérieur
Commentary :
The work of Simon Lhoest was supported by FRIA (F.R.S.-FNRS, grant number 5125916F). Funding support was also provided by the FORECAST project funded by Agropolis Fondation, University of Liège (mobility grant for the student internship of Samuel Hette, scholarship for the Master and mobility grant of Arielle Nkodo), and “Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles” for the mobility of Pierre Jamar.

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