Reducing Tropical Deforestation and the Protection of Ecosystem Services to Support Food Security in Southwest Cameroon
Subsistence agricultural practices are considered the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation with contrasting trade-off between food security, poverty alleviation and forest conservation. Trade-off between livelihood demands and Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) in form of REDD+ incentives for avoided deforestation was considered. We carried out an ecological and socio-economic evaluation including a system dynamic model using data collected from 131 subsistence agro-forest systems selected within the support zones of the Korup National Park and Douala-Edea Reserve to reconcile levels of deforestation and degradation as well as the economic value of the produce and carbon stocks therein. Preliminary results show that annual subsistence agro-forest system was the most detrimental and less diverse compared to the biennial and perennial systems. Trees left standing in farms were either mostly priced timber species or providing NTFPs. The threshold limit of 50% forest canopy opening will guarantee better economic returns and the provision of ecosystem services in the long-term, minimum compliance value of US $10.00 per t/C of REDD might not be enough to entice farmers to halt deforestation given present environmental, economic and social conditions. Need to encourage perennial subsistence agroforestry systems and optimal incentive mix to change farmer behavior.
Ajonina, G.N. Reducing Tropical Deforestation and the Protection of Ecosystem Services to Support Food Security in Southwest Cameroon. (2013) 18 pp.