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The tragedy of the governmentality of nature: the case of national parks in Cameroon
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Centre for Concurrences in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4505-1683
2013 (English)In: National Parks: Sustainable Development, Conservation Strategies, and Environmental Effects, Georgia, United States / [ed] Johnson B. Smith, New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013, 1, p. 1-56Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Cameroon’s rich humid tropical rainforest is degrading at an alarming rate. The government has deployed several governmentality regimes including fortress conservation through the establishment  and gazzetment of national parks and protected areas to arrest this disastrous situation. On the basis of two case studies, this chapter explores the evolution of the governance of national parks and the institutional obstacles that make protected areas a parody in Cameroon. The paper argues that while the creation and implementation of national parks as artifacts and processes illustrate the nature and extent of global governmentality upon these regions, their people and their natural resources, it highlights the chasm between law as a governmental rationale which often fails to recognise traditional usage rights and creates conflicts between protected areas and local communities. This scenerio is compounded by the acute underdevelopment that characterises protected areas where top-down development is the norm. The paper suggests, among others-a middle ground that balances both local and national, as well as national and international interests as the basis for achieving sustainable people-centered development and conservation. This will entail a radical policy shift from the present paramilitary approach of outright protectionism which is a recipe for disaster to a system that takes account of the interests of local people while still conserving biodiversity as well as the re-institutionalisation of customary land tenure norms with new legal provisions. Furthermore, sustainable national park management practices are needed. This could include the creation of a Conservation Development Authority with the mandate to initiate private sector partnership and also encourage community development and participation in the effective management and control of protected areas. The mandate of this body must incorporate active community participation in decision-making and planning for the sustainable use of ecosystem services and development of ethno-tourism, if trends in rural emigration and depopulation are to  be  halted and the national park is to be protected in line with sustainability principles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2013, 1. p. 1-56
Series
Environmental Science and Engineering
Keywords [en]
Conservation, National parks, Fortress Conservation, Conservation and development
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-33443Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84896208021ISBN: 978-1-62618-935-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-33443DiVA, id: diva2:708855
Available from: 2014-03-30 Created: 2014-03-30 Last updated: 2018-11-16Bibliographically approved

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Pemunta, Ngambouk Vitalis

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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More styles
Language
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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