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Rural Livelihoods and Forest Incomes in the Etinde Community Forest of South West Cameroon

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1108793, PP. 1-15

Subject Areas: Conservation Biology, Biogeography, Ecosystem Science, Agricultural Science, Biodiversity, Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Sciences

Keywords: Rural Livelihoods, Household Income, Forest Dependence, Sustainable Forest Management, Tropical Forests, Cameroon

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Abstract

For several decades, many households in rural areas have relied on surrounding forests for their livelihoods, safety nets and sustenance. This reliance is most often determined by the household’s characteristics, available forests and economic benefits. That notwithstanding, the demand for more farmlands and unsustainable harvesting of forest resources are pushing these forests into depletion. This rapid decline endangers the livelihoods of forest-reliant households, threatens biodiversity and impacts climate change adaptation efforts. The present study examines rural households and their reliance on surrounding forest resources around the Etinde Community Forest, Fako Division in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. Data were collected from 300 households, spread across 10 villages using 15 focus group discussions and household surveys. Results showed that 89% of the population was involved in farming activities, 100% in forest resources harvesting and 24% in other small businesses. In addition, fuelwood collection and wood harvesting contributed about 32.4% of the average total household income. In order to curtail reliance on forests and improve rural livelihoods, the government should invest in alternative domestic cooking energy sources, climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, agroforestry and improve rural transport networks.

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Beckline, M. , Sun, Z. , Ntoko, V. , Ngwesse, D. , Manan, A. , Hu, Y. , Mukete, N. , Che, L. and Foncha, J. (2022). Rural Livelihoods and Forest Incomes in the Etinde Community Forest of South West Cameroon. Open Access Library Journal, 9, e8793. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1108793.

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