EVALUATION OF THE POTENTIAL AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF SOME MAJOR NON TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS IN TWO COMMUNITY FORESTS IN LOMIE (CAMEROON)

Derek NCHIAGHAM TANTOH (nchiagham@yahoo.com)
Plant Biology, University of Yaounde
August, 2007
 
Holder of a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science having research on the factors of degradation and depletion of animal species in the Mount Cameroon Region, 2002. Also holder of a Maitrise in Ecology is a junoir researcher with a local Association and member to some other assiocaition in the domain of nature protection.
 

Abstract

This study was conducted in the community forests of AVILSO and CODEVIR-Lomié to evaluate the potential (availability and access) and socio-economic importance (nutritional, medicinal and commercial) of some major Non-Timber Forest Products. Questionnaires were administered to sample these major NTFPs which were inventoried and data analysed using descriptive statistics and GenStat Release 7.2 DE for analysis of variance. The analysis of variance reveal no effect of community on density of species in both community forests (p=83 %). There is effect of land use system on density of the species (p<0.001). A significant difference exists in the density of the different species (p<0.001). Also there is no significant difference in the diameter classes of species in both communities (p=66 %). There is a significant difference in diameter classes for the different land use types (p<0.001) and a significant difference in the density of species for the different diameter classes (p<0.001).

The mean density for farm, fallow and forest were 0, 4 and 10 respectively for Afrostyrax lepidophyllus; 7, 8 and 13 respectively for Baillonella toxisperma; 11, 21 and 18 respectively for Irvingia gabonensis; 13, 39 and 28 respectively for Pentaclethra macrophylla and 2, 12 and 12 respectively for rattan. The densities of diameter classes [0-20 cm[, [20-40 cm[, [40-60 cm[, [60-80 cm[, [80-100 cm[ and >100 cm were 3, 4, 1, 2, 0 and 0 respectively for Afrostyrax lepidophyllus; 14, 9, 1, 0, 0 and 2 respectively for Baillonella toxisperma; 16, 13, 9, 7, 4 and 1 for Irvingia gabonensis; 13, 18, 16, 21, 8 and 4 respectively for Pentaclethra macrophylla. The regeneration status of these NTFPs is favoured highest in the forest than the other land use systems. Harvesting techniques like debarking and fruits collection have negative effects on regeneration potential and are determinant in the sustainability of these NTFPs. The NTFPs collected from these forests constitute the economic “life jacket” resource extracted by the local population in a bid to alleviate poverty and improve their living conditions. Due to the periodic gathering or harvest of these NTFPs, revenue from sales is ensured all year round. These NTFPs provide food, medicine, income and materials (utensils and construction materials). The socioeconomic importance of these NTFPs therefore is directly felt at the household level whereas no impact is felt at the community level because there is no specialised organ or service in charge of NTFPs. The involvement of the various CFs in the commercialisation process will greatly increase profitability both at household and at community level to check wanton exploitation.