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Breakthrough Research on Community Forest Governance in Cameroon by

Serge Piabuo from Oasis Publishers

New York, NY, November 13, 2018 --( Serge Mandiefe Piabuo presently works at the World
Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Piabuo carries
out research in Forestry, Enterprise development, Agricultural Economics and qualitative and quantitative
social research.

Piabuo took up research on community forest governance in Cameroon. His interest in this field
encouraged him to study this particular issue in greater detail.

Since there is growing evidence that good community forest (CF) governance is a significant determinant
of CF success, Serge and his team assessed CF level governance in Cameroon. They did this by applying
a set of good governance principles to 36 case studies. They put into effect key good principles viz.,
accountability, equity, participation, representation, direction, and performance.

On examination, Serge and his team found out that the condition of CF was relatively poor, with 78% of
the case studies not meeting the required standards for the aforementioned principles. Evidence
suggested, that all case studies did not meet standards for accountability and equity. The results also
revealed that more than 70% of the case studies did not meet the expectation in participation, direction
and performance.

Serge, however, noticed the role positive governance played in enhancing CF employment; contribution
to social investments like roofing of houses, provision of water, health, and training; improved
community participation in sustainable management of forests. Good governance brought about improved
awareness of environmental protection and sustainable exploitation practices; enabled fair representation
of and empowerment of indigenous minorities such as the Baka. This resulted in the creation of a
Baka-led CF.

Serge's further research allowed him to understand that the presence of economic activities, which
generated direct benefits; the extent of technical support, and influential and supportive enterprise too
transpired as prime drivers of positive outcomes in CF governance.

Serge's paper discussed the positive outcomes, mostly in the domains of participation and voice,
representation, direction, and performance. The group of researchers concluded that the fair
representation of the Baka in management committees led to the creation of a CF led by the Pygymy.
Subsequently, it increased employment in CFs and contribution to the social investment like roofing for
housing, provision of water, health, and training.

When the positive factors i.e., capacity building, social cohesion, and participation and the Cameroon-
specific success factors i.e., benefit generation, partnership, monitoring policy support, technical support,
governance, financial support, practice choices and institutions were identified, they all seemed to
correspond with that of the developing nations.

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Serge has suggested some incentives based on the literature on incentives. He has stressed on facilitating
the process of obtaining community forest enterprises (CFE) legal documents such as waybills and
certificates of origin and exploring the potentially concerted relationship between Ministry of Finance
(MINFI) and MINFOF to eliminate taxes on products from CFEs because of their status as social
enterprises. This will aid in faster and obstacle-free, people friendly process.

In addition to the above, Serge's paper also sheds light on the need of an organization of national
workshops in collaboration with national agencies to discuss and agree on techniques of addressing
recurrent CF governance such as elite capture, gender and minority inequality, poor accountability and

In his viewpoint, these national workshops will serve as avenues to review current regulatory text to
integrate CF governance-related issues relative to representation, accountability, and equity. Furthermore,
he says that official recognition of the civil society organizations during such workshops would act as a
morale boost.

Serge also describes how to encourage supportive elites through awards might help in the overall
progress. He recommends an award- type approach to CFs on a periodic basis, in which the elites that
encourage and are supportive should be given nationwide recognition.

Serge feels the need of disincentives as well. According to him, certain punitive measures may apply
when the outcomes are not favourable. For e.g., naming and shaming, punishments and prosecutions in
cases of corruption or embezzlement and power abuse by elites should attract punitive measures.

Serge's paper has demonstrated the need for incentives and how the active consideration of these in policy
formulation in the future could potentially help in expansion and stimulation of good governance within
the community forestry with appropriate implementation being key.

Piabuo Serge's research has integrated ecology and society, the two vital spheres. It can be of great help
to the authorities formulating policies and to the students wanting to add to his research on community
forest governance in Cameroon.

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Contact Information:
Oasis Publishers
Serge Piabuo
Contact via Email

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