AN ASSESSMENT OF THE COLLECTION OF NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS AND THE IMPACT ON FLORA AND FAUNA IN THE EAST AND SWR OF CAMEROON
ASSONWA FOUOMENE ESTELLE
Department of Development Studies
Master of Science in sustainable development with specialization in environment and natural resource management.
Non-timber forests product collection contributes enormously to livelihood and at the same time, the collection of these non-timber forests products leads to the degradation and in some cases the extinction of these non-timber forests products. This study assess the collection of non-timber forest products and impacts on forest within six selected communities in the Korup National Park and Ngoyla sub-division. A multi-stage was used in this study. Primary data was obtained from semi-structured questionnaires this was complemented by focus groups discussions and observations. The data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The study found that the main NTFPs collected were bush mangoes, bushmeat, eru, njansang and fuelwood. Most collection practices were not sustainable like the complete harvesting of entire eru stems and leaves, cutting of branches that supports eru stems, cutting of fresh firewood branches and the use of wire traps and Dane guns. These collection practices have detrimental effects on flora and fauna as it leads to the degradation of some species and rendering other species (e.g eru). Non-timber forest product collectors faced challenges in respecting intuitional mechanisms regulating the collection of non-timber forest products. The study concluded that non-timber forest product collection practices have damaging impacts on fauna and flora life. The study recommended that laws should be brought up (by competent authorities) that regulates the collection non-timber forest products and the cost to obtain collection permit should be reduced in order to avoid the degradation of these products.
Key words: Non-timber forest products, flora, fauna.