This village in Cameroon’s Eastern region received an unusual visit from two SAILD researchers seeking information on community forests.
At 7:30 a.m., the research team left the SAILD offices for a four-day fact-finding mission in the village of Djende 2 in the East Cameroon region. The team travelled without difficulty. On arrival at around 12:30, they were met by the village chief’s representative, who agreed to contact the local population. Their objectives are to test the effectiveness of the household data collection protocol, and to verify the latitude and longitude markers used to define the position of a point on the globe, with a view to studying the vegetation cover of the community forest in this village in the Doumé district.
The results and observations obtained during this test phase will ensure that the data collection protocol is suitable for gathering useful information in the other 15 community forests selected throughout the country. Household interviews carried out by Fabrice Kegne reveal that the population has no control over its community forests, nor over their validity. Certain players benefit to the detriment of the community. “For Djende 2, which has two community forests: the Chou-Chou Tsic-Tsic GIC and the Tsoung-Amande GIC, when households are asked about the Tsoung-Amande forest, some give information about the Chou-Chou Tsic-Tsic forest,” she explains.
This field trip is part of a study by the Research in Ecology and Social Sciences for the Sustainable Management of Central African Forest Ecosystems (RESSAC) project. This 18-month project is funded by the European Union, which supports scientific research in the field of environmental protection. In order to assess the direct and indirect impacts of community forestry at village level, the implementation of this study requires the collection of data from several categories of stakeholders, including local communities.