Cameroon Case Study

Submitted by Michael Rastall | published 9th Aug 2012 | last updated 21st Aug 2015

The case study is located in the Tri-National de la Sangha (TNS) landscape, which consists of three national parks: Lobéké (Cameroon), Nouabalé-Ndoki (ROC) and Dzanga- Ndoki (CAR), covering 4,520,000 ha in total. The TNS landscape spans over four districts (“Préfectures” or “Départements”) located in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Republic of Congo (see Figure 1). The areas surrounding the national parks, around 3,751,800 ha in total, have multiple uses with zones for logging concessions, community use and professional hunting (Usongo and Nzooh 2008).

The specific system of analysis for the COBAM project comprises four Community Forests (CFs) in the Cameroonian side of the TNS landscape. Community Forests are forested areas in the non-permanent forest zones reaching a maximum surface of 5,000 ha, which are managed under agreement between a group of villages and the forest administration with the main objective of pursuing sustainable extraction of wood for the social benefit of the participatory villages.

The four CFs selected for the study are located in two road axes linked to the administrative centre Yokadouma (see Figure 4). The four CFs cluster a total of twelve villages, eleven of which are in the West-East road axis linking Yokadouma with Mboy II, which is a village located at the border with Central Africa Republic.

The history of village settlement and development is closely related to the road axes. On the Yokadouma-Mboy road axis, the settlement of villages relates to migration waves of the 1920s, during the German colonial time. The Mpiemo is an ethnic group coming from Central Africa Republic that first settled in this site and created the village of Mboy. For some villagers this migration was driven by tribal wars, while for others it was motivated by the interest to move closer to the German settlements in the locality (Yokadouma was at that time a German base). After crossing the Sangha River, some Mpiemo people settled down and established Mboy, while others continued the journey until settling and creating the villages of Mang, Massiembo and Bompelo 15 km away from Mboy. Years later, in the 1950s, a small group of Mpiemo left Mboy to be closer to Yokadouma and created the village of Djalobekoe. Some years before the Independence of Cameroon in 1960, Baka groups joined these villages, though their relative proportion in the villages varies. With time, other ethnic groups have joined the villages through marriage ties. For example, Muslim groups arrived in the mid-1970s and since then they have continued to grow in number. Central Africans have also been migrating to this area since 2000, mainly through marriage ties but also in the search of new life opportunities.

In the Youkadouma-Moloundou Axis, the villages have a different history. Mendoungue, the only village in this axis that is considered for the baseline assessment, was also created during the German colonial period. The village was first occupied by Poupong people. A person called Zaolo from Poupong origin coming from what is today the Republic of Congo arrived to the site with a German called Haugman. While Haugman settled in the surroundings of Yokadouma, Zaolo stayed in what became later on the village of Mendoungue.

Baseline Vulnerability Assessment

Download full working paper here.

Download a summary paper here.

COBAM