Mediating Land Use Conflicts

The Mount Cameroon (2003), Korup -Ndongere and Takamanda-Mone (2007) Technical Operation Units (TOUs) were created in the South West Region through Prime Ministerial decrees to contribute to the management of forest resources through a landscape approach. Due to the increasing land use related conflicts within the Banyang-Mbo Bakossi landscape, MINFOF within the framework of PSMNR-SWR is extending its intervention in support of the creation of a fourth TOU covering part of Kupe Muanenguba and Lebialem Divisions.

Issues with the South West Region’s Landscape
The absence of land use planning in South West Region and the progressive fragmentation of the regional landscape due to the growing pressure on forest resources represents a real challenge to ensure sustainable development.
The South West Region has a long history of agro-industrial plantations but in the last decade there is a growing interest for plantations extension and land prospection for new projects. Consequently, land is often acquired in an uncoordinated manner and directly negotiated with local communities.

Within this context, it is becoming quite challenging to ensure connectivity between protected areas which will become instead isolated islands. Wildlife corridors play a very important role in wildlife management; besides serving as migration paths, they play a role in the transfer of genetic material from one area to another, enable wildlife to respond to population pressure, ensure propagation of zoochoric plant species (seed dispersal of plants by animals), widen breading partner accessibility to plants and animals and shield local communities from human-wildlife and livestock-wildlife conflicts.
MINFOF within the framework of PSMNR-SWR has therefore identified that it is necessary to develop appropriate mechanisms for corridor management which should also contribute to ensure local development.

KEY TOU PROSPECTS

  • Improve TOUs operational capacities through appropriate capacity building and equipment;
  • Improve collaboration with agro-industries and other influential players within the TOU landscapes.
  • Improve collaboration between sectorial ministries
  • Contribute to the land use planning process in the South West Region with emphasis on the management of major wildlife corridors
  • Reduce encroachment in permanent forests.
  • Reduce human/wildlife conflicts
  • Facilitate the creating of the Banyang-Mbo Bakossi TOU
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MINFOF’s Interventions in TOUs within the framework of PSMNR-SWR
Within the framework of the PSMNR-SWR, TOUs have been addressing land use related conflicts with emphasis on permanent forests by playing the role of platforms for consultation and mitigation of such conflicts which have an impact on the management of the natural resources within the respective landscapes. In order to accomplish this mission, TOUs employ a four-step strategic approach:

  1. Identify and characterise conflicts;
  2. Fact finding missions to have a better understanding of the causes and factors, consequences, affected persons etc;
  3. Animate consultation platforms involving relevant stakeholders; and
  4. Follow-up the implementation of the conflict management strategy.