Ecology, Environment & Conservation via VerticalNews.com via Factiva
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Ecology, Environment & Conservation — Data detailed on Ecology Research – Ecology and Society have been presented. According to news reporting out of Yaounde, Cameroon, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, “Since the concept of community forests was instituted in Cameroon in 1994, there has been an upsurge of such forest management arrangements in the country. However, up to now there is no conclusive evidence as to whether such schemes can operate as profitable ventures and at the same time meet their social and environmental objectives.”
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from World Agroforestry Center, “The latter is the core objective of a social enterprise that constitutes the basis of our analysis. In fact, little attention has been paid to understanding the business side of community forests. In this regard, we review existing evidence about community forests making profits and simultaneously meeting their social and sustainable forest management goals. The analysis is based on a range of literature covering 20 years of community forestry experience in Cameroon and also from information gathered from nine case study community forests in Cameroon. Although not overwhelming, the existing literature shows that community forests can be run as profitable enterprises. However, profitability is conditional on the type of activities the enterprises engaged in, the capacity of the community forest entrepreneurs to run the business themselves rather than subcontracting, and on the capacity of the enterprises, especially timber related ones, to diversify into nontimber forest products (NTFPs) and agricultural activities. The available evidence suggests mixed results about the contribution of community forests to community development projects and livelihoods, and emphasizes that the legal form of the community forest, the kind of enterprise the community focuses on and the type of support received by the community forest are important drivers of viable community forest enterprises. The study further notes the absence of a sustainable funding model for community forest enterprises and recommends that government should officially classify them in the social enterprise sector.”
According to the news editors, the research concluded: “By so doing, community forests can benefit from special programs meant for the social enterprise sector including the provision of starting capital and capacity building on basic business principles.”
For more information on this research see: Viability of community forests as social enterprises: A Cameroon case study. Ecology and Society, 2018;23(4):828-839. Ecology and Society can be contacted at: Resilience Alliance, Acadia Univ, Biology Dept, Wolfville, Ns B0P 1X0, Canada.
Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting D. Foundjem-Tita, World Agroforestry Center ICRAF, Yaounde, Cameroon. Additional authors for this research include L.A. Duguma, S. Speelman and S.M. Piabuo.