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Un modèle et son revers : la cogestion des réserves de biosphère de Waza et de la Bénoué dans le Nord-Cameroun

Abstract : The co-management of protected areas can be approached through an innovativemodel making it possible to improve the conditions of the people surrounding theprotected areas as well as to assure the sustainable conservation of its biologicalresources. The research in this thesis tests this model in the actual situation of thetwo biosphere reserves in the North of Cameroon: the Waza and Benoué NationalParks. In order to be able to explain differences between expected and obtainedresults we have developed a methodology analysing bio-ecological data, filedmeasurements, questionnaires and interviews with the different stakeholdersinvolved as well as an examination of the different co-managed territories. Theresults show that because of the application of co-management, potential conflictsituations between the different stakeholders have been prevented. Also it hasstimulated a better understanding of the actors in charge of the two reserves, aboutthe interest in the reserves’ natural resources by the people living around them.Nevertheless, the results show also that the benefits from the co-managementsystem in terms of protection of biodiversity and survival of the people living at theborders have not been promising in terms of financial and material means investedand in terms of the hope local people had in it. The co-management situation hasprovoked violent conflicts, resentment and decay of the biological entities, subject ofthis co-management. This research shows how actors have multiple agendas, likeusing co-management for their personal gain, while also tormenting other actors whostand in their way. It also puts some light on State stakeholders and theirengagement in this process without having done a feasibility study and with theconstraint of having to hand over part of their power to representatives in the field.At the local level, the analysis of the existing relationships shows that the statestructures stay rigid without compromising and without taking into consideration thelocal communities. The latter, being stimulated by national and international NGOs,understanding that the full game is played, while hiding their illegal exploitations.The two parties unfold in the field of co-management with their identities of beingmaster and subject, oppressor and poacher.This game of swindling cannot beassociated with participative management. The stages within the development of thetheoretical concept of co-management which could have prevented this situation hasbeen perceived as superficial by the different stakeholders, bringing in to discreditthe medium and long term process results. In fact, the loss of one third of thewildlife numbers in the two reserves during the co-management phase as well as theinsignificant gain of 400 FCFA per inhabitant of the Benoué reserve do not stimulatethe continuation and ownership of the process.The way the co-management in theBenoue and Waza biospheres reserves has been implemented , has shown the limitsof the preconceived policy, applied in the field without taking into consideration theknowledge of local people and its particular context. Our study shows the importanceof preparing and reflecting on the exploitation and integration of local and outsideknowledge and competences before setting up the challenging system of sustainablenatural resources co-management.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 5, 2013 - 4:37:20 PM
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Adam Saleh. Un modèle et son revers : la cogestion des réserves de biosphère de Waza et de la Bénoué dans le Nord-Cameroun. Géographie. Université du Maine, 2012. Français. ⟨NNT : 2012LEMA3013⟩. ⟨tel-00808569⟩



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