COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF THE IMPACTS OF TIMBER LOGGING ON LIVELIHOODS OF LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN THE LOWLAND RAINFOREST OF CAMEROON: THE CASE OF EYUMOJOCK AND YABASSI SUB-DIVISIONS.
No of pages
|MS Word & PDF|
The custom academic work that we provide is a powerful tool that will facilitate and boost your coursework, grades and examination results. Professionalism is at the core of our dealings with clients
For more project materials and info!
Call us here
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The earth‟s resources harnessed by humans have experienced an unprecedented pressure exerted by mankind (Alcorn, 2010). The economic, social and environmental activities of man have exerted pressure on land and its resources especially in recent times as population growth is increasing at an alarming rate. The population of the world was two billion around 1920, three billion in 1960, four billion in 1975, five billion in 1987 and in 13 years a billion was added, with six billion in the year 2000 (Lucas, 2003). Presently, the world population is
7.7 billion in 2019 (United Nations, World Population Prospects, 2019). The United Nations world human population projections shows that, the current world population of 7.7 billion inhabitants is expected to reach 8.5 billion inhabitants by 2030; 9.1 billion inhabitants in 2040; 9.7 billion inhabitants in 2050 and 10.1 billion inhabitants in 2060 (United
Nations, World Population Prospects, 2019). The population is increasing against diminishing natural resources. This accelerating increase in population growth will consume the resources of the earth for economic growth and development. The growth in world development of international trade and society has occurred at such a scale that severe
environmental damage and unsustainable exploitation of the earth‟s resources are taking place on a global scale (World Trade Organisation Public Forum, 2009). Since the era of industrial revolution to the present post-industrial period, technological development and advancement has evolved over the cause of human history. The sophisticated increase in technology has enabled natural resources to be extracted quickly and efficiently. This has induced mankind to exploit the earth‟s resources thereby exerting a great
influence on these resources. The past two centuries have seen unprecedented growth in human population and economic well being for a good portion of the world which have prompted recurring concern about whether the world‟s natural resource base is capable of sustaining such growth (Krautkraemer, 2005).
The non-equitable distribution of natural resources coupled with the increase in resource consumption to foster economic growth and improve the standards of living has severe economic, social and environmental consequences on the inhabitants of the local community.
The recognition of our deteriorating environment amidst the dramatic population growth in a world of limited and rapidly dwindling resources, the unsustainable economic activities in several parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and the intensified search for profit maximization at all cost even at the expense of global commons, are all compelling signatures which
should oblige us to look beyond the politics of economic oriented interests (Lambi, 2010). Decision-makers are fundamental in the initiation, elaboration and implementation of policies at national, regional and local levels. Decision making concerning resource exploitation exhibited by many governments, companies and individuals focus greater attention on shortterm profit maximisation and egotistic aggrandisement rather than on collective interest and the welfare of inhabitants of the local communities where natural resources are coming from (Tian and Zhang, 2015). Many western nations like the United States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom as well as emerging economic power houses like China often exploit Africa‟s natural resources today, causing most of the value and money from the natural resources to go to the West and East Asia rather than Africa, further causing the poverty in Africa (Buncombe, 2006). Most often, these resources are naturally found in rural communities inhabited by local inhabitants.
The forest harbours timber resources that plays a key role in the economic development of Cameroon and is the third most important sector after hydrocarbons and agriculture (Soh, 2016). The forest comprises of permanent forest domain (PFD) and non-permanent forest domain (NPFD) (Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries regulations). The PFD is composed of forest management units (FMUs), council forests, protected areas and forest reserves while the NPFD is composed of community forests, forests belonging to private individuals, sales of standing volume and several other types of timber exploitation authorisations such as timber recovery permits, timber removal authorizations and lumber permits (ibid). Timber logging in Cameroon is regulated by Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries regulations in
Cameroon (Appendix VII). This law is also known as the Forest Code. Part II of the law cited above title “Protection of Nature and Biodiversity” and Section 11 of this law stipulates that the State shall ensure the protection of the forestry, wildlife and fishery heritage. Section 11 Sub 1 outlines that; the genetic resources of the national heritage shall belong to the State of Cameroon and no person may use them for scientific, commercial or cultural purpose without prior authorization (Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries regulations). Sub 2 outlines that, the economic and financial spin-off resulting from their use shall be subject to the payment to the State of royalties the rate and condition of which shall be laid down, to the prorata upon the proposal of the competent minister (ibid). Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries regulations in Cameroon, Chapter III of Inventory of the Exploitation and Management of Forest on Section 46: Sub 1 states that an exploitation contract shall be an agreement in which the licence holder is granted the right to collect a specific volume of wood from a forest concession, for the long-term supply of his wood-processing industry or industries. The contract shall include specifications, and shall define the rights and obligations of the State and the licence-holder. The volume granted may, in no case, exceed the annual felling potential for each of the forest management units concerned. Sub 2 states that forest exploitation contracts shall be concluded for a maximum renewable duration of fifteen 15 years.
They shall be assessed every three years. Section 47: Sub 1 outlines that a forest concession shall be the area on which an exploitation contract is executed. It may comprise one or more
forest exploitation units. Sub 2 stipulates that a forest concession shall be granted upon recommendation by a competent commission under conditions laid down by decree while Sub 3 stipulates that forest concession provided for under sub-section 1 above may be transferred under conditions laid down by decree. Logging companies provide diverse economic, social, fiscal and technical support (Karsenty, 2007). In Manyu Division of the South West and Nkam Division of the Littoral Region, timber logging is being carried out by logging companies, within the forest in Eyumojock and Yabassi-Sub Divisions of Cameroon. Timber logging plays a multitude of role in the livelihoods of inhabitants of the local community.
Furthermore, as stipulated by Law No. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 to lay down Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries regulations in Cameroon, Chapter 1V of the Financial and Fiscal Provisions on Section 67: Sub 1 states that beneficiaries of sales of standing volume and concessions, regardless of the tax schedule, may not be exempted from the payment of the felling
tax for forest products or the payment of any forestry fee related to their exploitation activities. Sub 2 stipulates that councils shall, for the exploitation of their forests, receive the selling price of forest products and the annual royalty for the forest area. Village communities and individuals shall be paid the selling price of the products extracted from the forest belonging to them. Sub 3 further outlines that, no exporter of unprocessed forest products may be exempted from the payment of the graduated surtax on exports.
According to the Forestry Law, timber logging companies undertaking logging in a community that adjoin the forest and its timber resources are obliged to disburse annual forest royalties to the local community. Eyumojock and Yabassi Sub-Divisions abound with timber resources. If these resources are not exploited, transformed and utilised, they cannot generate lucrative investment and wealth by timber logging companies. Forest royalties emanating from timber logging companies is important for livelihoods of inhabitants of the local community that adjoin the forest. From the year 2006 to 2014, the General Tax Code of 1st of January 2014 of the Directorate General of Taxation at the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Cameroon in Division II of Section 243 stated the proceeds of annual forestry royalties as 50% for the State, 40% for the Councils and 10% for the Village communities (Appendix VIII). The disbursement is pursued as expected as the local community that harbours the timber resource has 10% of forest royalties as compared to that of the state and the councils. From the year 2015 to 2019, the General Tax Code of 1st of January 2019 of the Directorate General of Taxation at the Ministry of Finance, Republic of Cameroon in Division
II of Section 243 stated the proceeds of annual forestry royalties as 50% for the State and 50% for the Councils (Appendix VIII). However, timber resources are constantly being exploited due to the desires and anthropogenic activities of mankind. The harmonisation of economic development with sustainable timber logging in Eyumojock and Yabassi Sub-Divisions would ensure better livelihoods for the local inhabitants in a world of fast-growing population and technological advancement against the back drop of diminishing timber resources. An appraisal of timber logging on livelihoods in Eyumojock and Yabassi Sub-Divisions and investigating into this is the focus of study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem