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Presentation

Andept inceptisols and humult ultisols are the most common soil types in the study site [ 65 , 66 ]. They are characteristic of humid-tropical volcanic mountains and are rich in organic matter. Forests are the most extensive land cover. This precision is particularly important when analyzing changes in forest covers reforestation and deforestation processes through the lens of forest transition [ 68 ]. Other main land covers are crops vegetables, ornamentals, coffee, sugarcane and pastures for dairy or meat production [ 53 , 69 ]. The most important economic activities of the 80, inhabitants about 1.

The study site was selected because of its relevance for the production of multiple ecosystem services agricultural production, carbon sequestration, cattle farming, tourism, hydroelectricity production , the shifts in land-cover change drivers an initial strong demand for agriculture and forest products driving deforestation, gradually replaced by incentives for reforestation and nature protection and touristic development and the availability of fine-scale and reliable land-cover data at various dates. The temporal scope of the study was conditioned by existing land-cover maps at different dates, which were developed using a homogenous methodology for land -over classification over the — period [ 62 ].

We assessed the changes of six ES from to We selected one provisioning ES agricultural production and five regulating services: carbon storage capacity to store carbon and mitigate climate change , water yield quantity of water released , nitrogen and phosphorus retention contribution of plants and soil to nutrient retention from runoff and sediment retention capacity to prevent soil erosion.

These ES are particularly relevant for the study area, given its agricultural potential, its propensity to soil erosion and the economic utility of water-related activities, such as hydropower production. Agricultural production was assessed by the total added value of goods produced on agricultural lands, calculated from prices and yields for each agricultural product S1 File.

InVEST consists of a set of deterministic models that estimate the supply and economic value of ES given land-cover maps and related biophysical and economic data [ 3 , 71 — 74 ]. ES are quantified through coefficient tables for each land cover associated with models of flux of water, nutrient and sediment through the landscape [ 72 ]. In this study, we only used a small subset of services modeled by InVEST, and following [ 3 ] we reported ES in biophysical terms exclusively. In the carbon storage model, each land cover was associated with a total carbon stock per unit of area S1 File.

Water yield was calculated as the difference between precipitation and evapotranspiration, estimated from a reference evapotranspiration value adjusted for different land covers [ 71 ]. The nutrient retention model assessed nutrient exports from one pixel as a function of export coefficients by land-cover types, water runoff and the cumulative nutrient charge of neighboring pixels. Sediment retention was calculated from a soil-loss estimate with the Universal Equation of Soil Loss [ 75 ]. To analyze and compare ES changes, ES estimated levels were log-transformed if they had a skewed distribution and standardized with a Z-score normalization resulting in values with a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1, See S2 File.

To analyze changes in forests area, we considered all forest ecosystems described previously: old, young and planted forests. The k-means algorithm was used to cluster the 13 sub-watersheds according to the changes of ES observed in these sub-watersheds between and All analysis used R software [ 80 ] and the raster package [ 81 ]. Land-cover changes occurred in a small and decreasing part of the area 7. Six major land-cover changes occurred Fig 4 , presented in decreasing order of area: 1 from agriculture to young forests following abandonment of coffee plantations and pastures ; 2 from young to old forests forest regeneration ; 3 from old or young forests to agriculture expansion of pastures, coffee and crops ; 4 shift in agricultural production e.

Urbanization, abandonment of agricultural lands and shifts in agricultural production occurred close to roads, while forest degradation took place further from roads. Forest regeneration occurred more on steep slopes, while shifts in agricultural production and urbanization happened more in flat areas see S5 File for more details on models of land-cover changes. The gray area in the center of the map represents the Angostura reservoir built between and Numbers identify the 13 sub-watersheds.

The results showed that forest areas increased from There were more sub-watersheds with moderate increases in forest areas between and than large increases sub-watersheds 2 and 5 and decrease sub-watersheds 1, 9 and 11 Fig 5B and 5C. Five sub-watersheds had non-monotonic changes of forest areas but only sub-watershed four showed changes similar the forest transition framework decreasing then increasing forest area Fig 5B.

Mean values of carbon sequestration and agricultural production over the whole study area showed clear tradeoffs, with carbon increasing over time and agricultural production decreasing Fig 6A. Nitrogen and phosphorus retention increased strongly and other ES had limited changes Fig 6A. Only water yield had a non-monotonic change first an increase followed by two time periods of decrease. Sub-watersheds belonged to three clusters described by the tradeoffs between agricultural goods, carbon and water, given that nitrogen and phosphorus retention increased everywhere regardless of sub-watershed S4 File.

Our land-cover change analysis showed no clear evidence of a forest transition in the study area, as forest areas were steadily increasing during the period of analysis and no inversion of forest area trends was observed, as in another study about forest trends in Costa Rica [ 25 ].

Given that our study area experienced deforestation before the s, the current forest trends may suggest that the turning point occurred before the beginning of our period of analysis i. A major limitation of our work and, more generally, of such historical studies is the short time period over which statistical data and land-cover maps are available [ 25 ].

Another technical limit is the accuracy of remote-sensing reflectance measurements that hardly differentiate between agroforests and plantations, leading to error in classification of land-cover areas [ 62 ]. The forest transition framework has often been applied at national scales [ 36 ]. However, forest area trends depend on the scale at which they are observed, highlighting the need to conduct multiple-scale assessments [ 36 , 82 ].


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As in our study, a scale effect was observed between national and subnational levels in Puerto-Rico, with a national net reforestation that masked the loss of primary and secondary forest at the subnational scales in some areas [ 82 ]. In our study, only one sub-watershed followed the forest transition model with forest contraction followed by expansion while most others had monotonic increases or decreases in forest areas. At the scale of Costa Rica, forest transition is still discussed [ 25 , 30 ], which may be explained by the fact that different regions are at different stages of forest transition: during, after the turning point as may be the case of our whole study area or before.

Forest expansion occurred mainly through abandonment of agricultural lands as also observed in Costa Rica by Arroyo-Mora et al. This could be explained by different underlying drivers of the forest transition: economic changes [ 48 , 83 ] and PES [ 48 , 84 ] may have led to agricultural land abandonment and forest regeneration in the case of our study area while forest product scarcity may have led to forest plantations elsewhere [ 31 , 85 , 86 ]. Further research should investigate the spatial effects of drivers on forest regrowth, for example, whether reforestation occurs in areas abandoned because of their low profitability [ 82 ] or whether environmental policies and the creation of a biological corridor project in our study site influenced forest expansion.

No clear ES transition was observed in our quantitative analysis, probably because of the short time period allowed by the data. The review of literature and databases suggested that, since the s, provisioning services have been decreasing and regulating services have been increasing. Our modeling results showed these trends for agricultural products and for carbon sequestration over our whole study site, but we could not identify the point at which these trends started.

For this reason, it is important to combine quantitative assessment with qualitative analysis of ES changes since the latter can help identifying transitions that do not appear through the former. All sub-watersheds showed an increase in nitrogen and phosphorus retention that resulted from two distinct mechanisms: 1 an increase in nutrient retention capacity by forests in the sub-watersheds with increasing forest cover and 2 an increase in nutrient loads in the sub-watersheds with agricultural expansion or shifts toward highly fertilized crops from coffee to horticulture and from pasture to sugarcane, see S1 File.

The ES dynamics of some sub-watersheds followed the trends of the first phase of the ES transition more goods, less regulating services while others showed opposite ES trend, which is expected in the second phase of the forest transition fewer goods, more regulating services. Even though we could not observe a turning point within the study area as a whole, the analysis at the sub-watershed scale identified different ES dynamics and tradeoffs representing pre- and post-transition regimes.

This specialization of landscape or land sparing for the production of specific bundles of ES was also observed in Canada [ 7 ] and similarly led to the concentration of agricultural production in some areas while forests regenerated elsewhere. In Argentina, the temporal dynamics of ES from to also presented a strong variability between the 21 eco-regions [ 24 ].

This spatial heterogeneity of ES often results from the spatial variability of ES demand, based on socio-economic characteristics [ 7 ]. Like other studies [ 7 , 10 ], our research showed that changes in ES also reveal changes in drivers. While we did not analyze drivers of ES changes in detail, the literature review on Costa Rica suggested that economic transformations and environmental policies have driven an ES transition since the s in the country.

While the demand for provisioning services was a main driver of changes in landscapes and economic services from the s to the s, current changes are driven by demand for regulating services related to water and carbon as well as demand for cultural services and tourism. In Spain, similar changes have been observed. The demand for ES has changed over the last 60 years: demand for local provisioning ES particularly food has dwindled because of competitive international food prices while national and international demand for cultural and regulating services has increased [ 10 ]. Further research could focus on analyzing the drivers of ES dynamics linked to ES demand from local to global levels.

Stakeholder opinions on scientific forest management policy implementation in Nepal

Different tradeoffs between ES could be highlighted in different sub-watersheds and over different time periods in our case study. In our analysis, tradeoffs occurred mainly between agricultural production and carbon sequestration. Nitrogen and phosphorus retention showed a clear synergy, while other regulating services had less clear relationships with other services.

This could be due to the limitations of the InVEST model, which has a simplified representation of water yield and sediment or nutrient retention [ 21 , 71 , 87 , 88 ]. Water- and soil-related services are complex and may require more sophisticated approaches to analyze ES interactions and the mechanisms behind them in space and time [ 89 ]. Using static approaches, several studies have also showed the existence of tradeoffs between production services and carbon storage [ 4 , 90 , 91 ] even though other authors concluded that such patterns of interaction between provisioning and regulating services should not be generalized without caution [ 92 ].

Another limitation of this study is the poor consideration of biodiversity, which is a critical component of mosaic landscapes, and should be better integrated into the analysis of forest and ES transitions [ 93 — 95 ]. Not considering biodiversity could lead to overlook tradeoffs between ES it sustains [ 90 , 96 ]. For example, the demand for timber or carbon sequestration as ES can lead to the expansion of monoculture plantations with exotic species, which can affect soil biodiversity and processes or biodiversity at landscape level [ 68 ].

Biodiversity could be integrated in our framework as a part of ecosystem processes or services e. The ES transition framework we explored in this study is useful to account for the demand-driven nature of temporal ES dynamics. It links socio-economic drivers at different scales to the levels of ES in different time periods. More research is needed to refine and test this framework and to make it more operational. Further research could help to 1 better understand ES transitions, for example by classifying transitions depending on drivers, ES tradeoffs and magnitude or velocity of ES changes, 2 describe scale effects on transitions, 3 link non-spatial drivers to spatially heterogeneous ES changes, 4 understand the feedback effects of ES levels on ES demand and 5 analyze the temporal and spatial lags between changes in demand for ES and their effect on ES dynamics.

Given that the rate of forest recovery is considerably slower than the speed of deforestation, future research could specifically focus on comparing ES time lags before and after forest transition. There is also a need for further analyses of the implications of forest transitions for ES in different contexts and study sites, before, during and after transitions.

Associated Data

The objective of this study was to analyze land cover and ES in space and time in an area in Costa Rica where forest transition has been suggested. We introduced an analytical framework to link the dynamics of ES to forest transitions and socio-economic drivers at different scales. The study did not find evidence of a forest transition or an ES transition at the scale of the whole study area but the results suggested that the turning point of the transition may have occurred before the beginning of our study period.

Some trends are, however, only nascent, particularly for some regulating services like soil and water conservation.

At the scale of sub-watersheds, ES trends are diverse and can be similar or opposite to the trends observed at the whole study area scale, which highlights the importance of scale in the analysis of forest transitions and ES transitions. Performed the experiments: AV BL.

Analyzed the data: AV BL. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract The forest transition framework describes the temporal changes of forest areas with economic development. Introduction Managing multiple ecosystem services ES across landscapes is challenging given that tradeoffs often occur in space and time [ 1 — 4 ] among bundles of multiple ES, including provisioning i.

Background and Analytical Framework Given the importance of forests for biodiversity, water, timber and climate, forest dynamics have been widely studied [ 25 ], for example through the lens of the forest transition framework [ 26 ]. Download: PPT. Fig 2. Materials and Methods We assessed the changes of six ES from to Table 1. Spatial data used to assess ES or to present the results of ES assessments. Results Land-cover changes occurred in a small and decreasing part of the area 7.

Fig 4. Land-cover changes between and in the study site data from [ 62 ]. Discussion Our land-cover change analysis showed no clear evidence of a forest transition in the study area, as forest areas were steadily increasing during the period of analysis and no inversion of forest area trends was observed, as in another study about forest trends in Costa Rica [ 25 ]. Conclusions The objective of this study was to analyze land cover and ES in space and time in an area in Costa Rica where forest transition has been suggested.

Supporting Information. S1 File. Parameters used in ES modeling. S2 File. Transformation of ES variables. S3 File. Details on land-cover changes. S4 File. Results of the sub-watershed cluster analysis. S5 File. Linear models of land-cover changes.


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  • References 1. Spatial covariance between biodiversity and other ecosystem service priorities. J Appl Ecol. View Article Google Scholar 2. Synergies and trade-offs between ecosystem services in Costa Rica. Environ Conserv. View Article Google Scholar 3. Modeling multiple ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, commodity production, and tradeoffs at landscape scales. Front Ecol Environ. View Article Google Scholar 4. Ecosystem service bundles for analyzing tradeoffs in diverse landscapes. Proc Natl Acad Sci.

    Ecosystems and human well-being: current state and trends: findings of the Condition and Trends Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Washington, DC: Island Press; The influence of temporal variation on relationships between ecosystem services. Biodivers Conserv. View Article Google Scholar 7. Historical dynamics in ecosystem service bundles. Mapping ecosystem services demand: A review of current research and future perspectives.

    Ecol Indic. View Article Google Scholar 9. Consequences of spatial heterogeneity for ecosystem services in changing forest landscapes: priorities for future research. Landsc Ecol. View Article Google Scholar Extending the timescale and range of ecosystem services through paleoenvironmental analyses, exemplified in the lower Yangtze basin.

    A conceptual framework to assess the effects of environmental change on ecosystem services. Science for managing ecosystem services: Beyond the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Development and use of a typology of mapping tools to assess their fitness for supporting management of ecosystem service provision. A multi-scale modelling approach for analysing landscape service dynamics. J Environ Manage. Land use change and its effects on the value of ecosystem services along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Ecol Econ. Effects of land use change on biodiversity and ecosystem services in tropical montane cloud forests of Mexico. For Ecol Manag. The impact of land use change on the temporospatial variations of ecosystems services value in China and an optimized land use solution. Environ Sci Policy. Impacts of forest cover change on ecosystem services in high Andean mountains.

    Geneletti D. Assessing the impact of alternative land-use zoning policies on future ecosystem services. Environ Impact Assess Rev. Quantifying and mapping multiple ecosystem services change in West Africa. Agric Ecosyst Environ. Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions. Ecosystem services, land-cover change, and stakeholders: finding a sustainable foothold for a semiarid biodiversity hotspot.

    This process yielded a total of 90 studies that dealt with community forestry in Cameroon. Out of this number, 36 studies were peer-reviewed publications and 54 were nonpeer-reviewed publications. Nine of the nonpeer-reviewed publications were not included in the analysis because of a lack of information regarding the year of publication for four of them and not finding the actual publication for five of them.

    The analysis was therefore run with 81 studies. We focused on two main dimensions in the review of literature.

    Development Cooperation Policy in Forestry from an Analytical Perspective

    First, we identified any evidence of innovations in terms of significant changes in technological or institutional processes, or the introduction of new products or services. We also sought evidence of descriptions or characterizations of the same. Community forestry was introduced as a means of improving community engagement in forest management, enhancing forest conservation, and reducing poverty for forest-dependent people.

    For communities to be attributed a community forest, they need to fulfil a number of conditions including but not limited to : constituting a legal entity and appointing a manager who shall represent them in negotiations with government in matters of community forestry entity could be a common initiative group, an economic interest group, a cooperative, or an association ; delineate and map the intended community forest area; develop and submit a simple management plan for the first 5 years see Manual of Procedures for details; MINEF Community forestry in Cameroon was born through a long process of forest reforms that started in with the development of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan.

    Evolution of community forestry in Cameroon: an innovation ecosystems perspective

    The reform process had five broad national forest policy objectives and corresponding strategies for their achievement Government of Cameroon , The process resulted in the revision of the forest law of A new forest law was enacted and promulgated in Law No. The prime minister signed a corresponding implementation decree specifying details of the new law in No.

    Together, the law and its implementation decree laid out a new classification of forests, logging rights, and conditions and norms for management of forests in Cameroon. Community forestry was one of the new management units created through the revision process Ekoko , Djeumo, A historical timeline of community forestry evolution is shown in Figure 1. The bottom part of the figure represents a timeline of legal and administrative instruments, while the top part represents a timeline of selected institutions and events that have shaped the development of community forestry in Cameroon.

    Figures 2a and 2b show the numerical evolution of community forests in terms of total number of community forests, total area of community forests, as well as community forests with final management agreements, provisional management agreements, and those that have obtained annual exploitation certificates CEA. The figures show a spike in number and area of community forestry between and However, the number of community forests with final management agreements quasi stagnated between and , whereas numbers of CFs with provisional management agreements have dominated since The number of community forests with valid simple management plans have also been significantly reduced since because of a lack of start-up funds, knowledge, and institutional capacity to make use of the temporary opportunity to exploit the forest and raise the necessary funds to move forward with procedures.

    The most important characteristic in any innovation ecosystem is its set of main actors, their roles, and their interactions Mytelka These relationships are determined by the environment, context factors, and stimuli. Figure 3 shows the various critical actors in community forestry in Cameroon and the set of contextual variables, external and internal, that shape relationships, actions, and therefore innovations.

    By understanding the dynamics around these actors and their interactions, we can better understand innovation pathways and dimensions in community forestry in Cameroon. Main actors in community forestry in Cameroon include, the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife MINFOF , NGOs, and community-based organizations civil society , community forest entities and local communities, community forestry networks, timber companies, universities, and consultants.

    Table 1 summarizes the roles and responsibilities of each of these actors. The Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife is perhaps the one actor that has evolved the most since the creation of community forestry. In the beginning, a community forestry unit was created with full responsibility for community forestry related matters. Then it was later upgraded to a subdirectorate of community forestry. They keep a more or less up-to-date digital database of community forestry with details such as shape files of each, the status of the CF, its area, etc. They are also in charge of monitoring compliance of all sorts, including approval of management plans, management agreements, monitoring implementation, and sanctioning any noncompliance.

    The subdirectorate for CF remains very small and does not necessarily have a visibly clear operational budget hence it is unlikely to be effective in overseeing the implementation of the close to 1. Civil society NGOs and community-based organizations have been extremely active in the community forestry sector Minang et al. They have mobilized tremendous amounts of money for operationalization and implementation of CF activities.

    They have also played a big role in lobbying for laws and actions related to user rights, etc. International and local NGOs have teamed-up on advocacy efforts through the Community Forestry Network that was created in The CF network and civil society in general were very influential in the development of the Manual of Procedures and other rules around CF in Cameroon. Local communities have been very effective at taking the opportunity to manage community forests, thus the total number of community forests has grown rapidly over the past decade.

    However, conflicts have also been rife in community forest enterprise Ezzine de Blas et al. A few interesting intercommunity collaborative efforts have been recorded in the East Region in which several CFs have been constituted into cooperatives with the help of NGOs. This kind of bundling would still be desirable going forward. An important element in the communities is the role of elites. In some cases, they constitute a very positive driving force whereas in several cases elite takeover and control has also been reported Mvondo , Oyono et al.

    Timber companies are by far the strongest links between community forests and the private sector. Often involving some kind of contract for offtake of timber with an element of prefinancing and or technical support in extraction Ezzine de Blas et al. There has been lots of criticism of these arrangements, often arguing that they bring little benefits to communities Ezzine de Blas et al. This relationship has not evolved very much. Evidence of private sector linkages to community forestry on the nonwood forestry subsector is scarce.

    Universities and consultants have been very active in the CF subsector by conducting research and assessments that informed decision-making processes both at the community forest management level and also at the national level, especially when the revisions of relevant laws and policy instruments were done. In Cameroon, three main sources of knowledge and information were identified: published materials; training; and knowledge in tertiary institutions, e.

    We found about publications, of which 55 were peer reviewed and 45 were gray literature see Figure 4a for overall description of publication types. As per the databases we used, peer-reviewed literature emerged in , five years after the birth of community forestry and reached peaks in both and The number of peer-reviewed publications evened out between and Nonpeer-reviewed literature has been more erratic with peaks in largely influenced by a special set of papers published by the Overseas Development Institute , , and see Figure 4b. In terms of themes, two sets of related themes top the list.

    First, a set of papers around institutions, governance, and laws have been consistently present through the history of CF. In second place are papers around participatory processes, transparency, and benefit sharing mechanisms. On the other hand, impact seems to have received relatively little attention. Specific areas for which relatively little impact work has been done are environment, livelihoods, poverty, and rights. Enterprise development and ecosystem services within community forests have also not received much attention.

    Figure 4c shows the coverage of themes in the community forestry literature in Cameroon. See also Duguma et al. Three main institutions directly provide knowledge and training on forestry related topics. The University of Dschang offers courses on general forestry and the University of Ngoundere offers training on food processing relevant for nontimber forest products management in community forestry. Projects have constituted the main innovation vehicle as well as the main channel of resource flow into community forestry in Cameroon, e. We identified about 22 projects that have been implemented in the area of community forestry across the country over the last 20 years at varied scales, mostly at multiple sites and at the national level see Table 2 for a rough distribution of projects across the national territory.

    The distribution of projects and investments has largely respected the distribution of community forests across the country, with the East and South regions dominating see Table 2. In terms of temporal distribution, the bulk of the projects were implemented between and Early projects targeted awareness raising and policy support, evolving in the early s to facilitating processes for obtaining community forest management agreements. More recent projects are trying to help with implementation and capacity building.

    In terms of investments, we only found financial information i. We estimate that investments in community forestry projects would be at least double the amount, i. This is based on the number of projects identified and the average grant size for the set of projects. Three main innovation pathways were identified in the development of community forestry in Cameroon over the past 20 years: namely, improved community rights and participation; shifts toward sustainable management; and legal and institutional innovations.

    Community forestry has seen significant progress and change in favor of community rights since the promulgation of the law and its decrees of application in Ekoko , Nkenfack et al. The main shift involved the introduction of pre-emption rights in which communities were prioritized in the attribution of potential community forest areas in the face of competition from sales-of-standing volumes and other classic forest licensing options in the same nonpermanent forest estate.

    This amounted to not only recognizing the pre-emption rights, but to legally facilitating and enabling communities to fully benefit from the pre-emption rights provision. The ban on industrial logging, through a ministerial circular in February and the Ministerial Decision No. Previously, community forests could be the subject of sale-of-standing volumes, hence a venue for industrial logging.

    Hitherto, allegations of sponsorship of community forests by logging companies as an easier and less costly option for obtaining potential logging areas once management agreements were signed were rife Ezzine de Blas et al. Artisanal logging meant potentially less damage to the forest, and potential for a more holistic management including agroforestry as well as participation of communities given that artisanal logging would be more labor intensive relative to industrial logging Auzel et al. Suffice it to mention that even though the ban on industrial logging in community forests has been in place, its legality has been questioned by many.

    This raises questions about how viable such an area would be for industrial logging per year. Logging an area of ha the standard sale-of-standing volume area upfront in the first year in any community forest would raise serious sustainability questions, hence the logic of the circular letter by the minister. Secondly, the replacement of the full-fledged environmental impact assessment EIA with a simpler environmental impact notice as a requirement for community forestry management activities constitutes another innovation in community forestry.

    In decree No. This significantly adds to the management plan development costs that are already extremely high for communities, i. This significantly brings down the costs by at least times and the complexity of procedures for community forests. The introduction of the environmental impact notice also opened up space for community forests to comply with Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade FLEGT rules and hence the corresponding opportunities for timber exports.

    A third innovation in the sustainability realm is the development and adoption of certification standards for community forest initiatives in by the Forest Stewardship Council and partners FSC The standard is a national standard for certification of high conservation value, biodiversity, and nontimber forest products in community forests and slow or low intensity managed forests in Cameroon. The standard was developed by a group of over 10 civil society organizations led by FSC and a host of local organizations and consultants.

    There is little evidence as yet that these standards have been used in community forestry and what impact they have created. Nonetheless, their existence indicates a willingness to move the sustainability agenda within community forestry. Figure 1 shows a timeline of policy instruments laws, decrees, procedures, institutions, etc. We have reduced the list to those that are very direct and specific to community forestry. The figure shows at least 20 pieces of law, decrees, and orders that govern the community forestry sector.

    From this set, perhaps the most innovative and instrumental to community forests is the Manual of Procedures and norms for the management of community forestry MINEF Figure 2b shows that the number of community forests spiked soon after the publication of the manual in In the years prior to its publication, while the excitement and financing of community forestry was growing, several aspects relating to definitions and procedures remained unclear. The Manual of Procedures brought tremendous clarity. It can be said that it was a huge innovation not only for community forestry, but also for forestry in Cameroon, given that it remains the most detailed document guiding the management of any forest unit in the country.

    It is also fair to mention that it has been criticized for being onerous, complex, and resource demanding Djeumo , Mbile et al. By CF was managed by a small unit until it was elevated to a subdirectorate with more powers and responsibilities in In addition, there have been attempts at modifying the institutional framework at the community level with suggestions of simplified cooperatives as one form. Changes in institutional forms at multiple levels can potentially change the innovation dynamics within community forestry because it has an impact on the roles and functioning of actors and the rapport between them.

    We discuss what has emerged so far in terms of innovations and propose options for enhancing the CF innovation ecosystem in Cameroon. Four main areas of potential improvement and corresponding options are: partnership and collaboration, knowledge generation and management, investments, and incentives.

    Table 3 summarizes these options. Collaboration, partnerships, and networking are indeed crucial for innovation to happen Mangaoang and Cedamon Three kinds of partnerships may be relevant: between community forests e.

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    In terms of between community forests a lot needs to be done because little is currently going on. The creation of the Cooperatif Agroforestier de la Tri-National CAFT in was a welcome development in terms of bringing together a set of community forests in the Lomie subdivision in the East Region to collaborate and innovate. After initial years of experimentation in small enterprises, it was clear that timber was a no-go in the area because it created a dependence on logging subcontractors Merlet and Fraticelli However, to date few projects have been successfully completed under the CAFT local level cooperation model Merlet and Fraticelli Challenges include capital and the absence of model joint-venture arrangements that can be adopted and implemented.

    The Community Forestry Network needs to be revitalized with a view to enabling intercommunity forest exchanges and substantive cooperation. So far communities and government maintain minimum collaboration necessary for CFs to function. This entails issuance of the necessary documentation such as exploitation certificates, way bills, and certificates of origin that allows CFs to operate. Little evidence of technical and capacity building support to communities was recorded on the part of MINFOF in recent years.

    Community forests and private sector cooperation is one that perhaps needs attention. Although they have collaborated, it has been a relationship of unequal power, one which allows timber companies to take the bulk of the profits because they provide lots of technical and financial resources upfront and recoup later Ezzine de Blas et al.

    Much more can be done to enhance this collaboration between community forests and private sector especially in relation to financing and technical support Mayers and Vermeulen , Antinori and Bray These partnerships have been largely responsible for the majority of innovations and would need to be incentivized going forward to power innovations Piabuo et al. Knowledge generation and sharing are critical conditions for successful innovation in CF Nightingale , Smith et al. This suggests that publications have directly fed the reform process. Coincidentally, areas for which progress is low have also recorded little or no publications, e.

    More importantly, incorporating CF into mainstream natural resource management NRM , forestry, and economics curricula might help. Specialized CF management courses might also catalyze innovations. Sitoe and Guedes demonstrated evidence on the role of training as a key incentive for community forestry in Mozambique. Nightingale also demonstrated that knowledge transfer and sharing on forest management between forestry technical staff and community traditional local-knowledge experts was beneficial for CF management in Nepal.

    Increased investments, both in terms of capital and capacity building, can help drive innovation in community forests Ojha and Kanel , Baynes et al. Current investments are largely from overseas development assistance. There is a need to attract private investments, e. Sitoe and Guedes cited investments and diversification of revenue sources as important incentives for maintaining community forests in the long term.

    Joint fundraising is also an option. For example, timber operations by single community forests may not be viable because they are small, given the maximum size of ha. However, two or more community forests that come together could increase viability of the business case for timber in community forests, thereby attracting investments. Research is needed to demonstrate the viability of timber joint-venture options. Incentives, though necessary, have not been prominent in the CF innovation landscape in Cameroon.

    Incentives refer to anything that can motivate an agent to take a particular course of action Casey et al. Although the entire CF scheme was designed perhaps as a policy incentive, there has been little in terms of financial and nonfinancial incentives within CF. The single most recognizable incentive was the pre-emption rights, followed by the granting of rights to exploit under a temporary management agreement to fetch enough resources to allow for the development of simple management plans. The expected result then should have been growth in the number of simple management plans.

    However, Figure 2b shows that although the number of provisional management agreements kept growing, the number of management plans started declining compared to the preprovisional management agreement years. This suggests that the incentive did not succeed in catalyzing more management plan developments and therefore more activity in community forests. This also suggests that finances are important but not sufficient to move community forests forward. Well-designed, rights-based incentives have proven to be effective in community forestry in the past Adhikari et al.

    Certification has also been cited as a potential pecuniary incentive for community forestry Wiersum et al. Piabuo et al. We set out to investigate, review, and reflect on how community forestry has evolved with a view to seeking ways of enhancing the functioning of the CF innovations ecosystem. Judging by the evidence summarized in Figures and in Table 2, interest and momentum in community forestry in Cameroon has remained high. Project activities on the ground remain high, with CF numbers growing, reaching and covering an area of about 1.

    Knowledge generation in community forestry has been satisfactory, albeit in specific areas. Although CF innovation ecosystems have evolved and innovated sufficiently in terms of legal and institutional frameworks, and processes for accounting for sustainability and protecting community rights, inertia has been observed in terms of enterprise development, value addition, overall livelihood benefits with a few exceptional cases , and sustainable forest management practices.

    Progress has been recorded in knowledge generation, especially in the areas wherein innovations were seen, however, there is a corresponding dearth in knowledge generation and evidence of collaborative learning in domains wherein inertia has been observed. Therefore, knowledge partnership-type activities such as joint fundraising, conflict resolution, problem solving, and capacity development need attention and investments.

    Developing innovative enterprises would be critical for sustaining CF as external support dwindles. This typically needs private sector know-how, skills and investments, new knowledge, training, and market information systems delivered by educational and civil society partners, as well as supportive taxation, subsidies, and simplified bureaucracy led by the respective government departments. This illustrates the kind of synergy between coinvestment, cooperation, and coordination among all actors and from local to national as well as between practice and policy, that would be required for meaningful innovation in community forestry going forward.

    Partnerships and collaboration need to be enhanced particularly between community forests. This will enable efficiencies in joint actions and improved potential for leveraging financing, marketing, value addition, networking, certification, and others. Financial and nonfinancial incentives would be needed to foster such collaboration, joint learning, and adaptive management. Many lessons exist from elsewhere in this regard. Research and analysis on effective, efficient, and equitable mechanisms for facilitating such coordination, cooperation, and coinvestment is therefore a priority for enhancing the functioning of community forestry innovation ecosystems in the future.

    We are also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved the paper. Special thanks to Judith Nzyoka for editing and support. Adhikari, S. Kingi, and S. Incentives for community participation in the governance and management of common property resources: the case of community forest management in Nepal. Forest Policy and Economics Agrawal, A. Chhatre, and R. Science Arnold, J. Forests and people: 25 years of community forestry. Antinori, C. Community forest enterprises as entrepreneurial firms: economic and institutional perspectives.

    World Development 33 9 Auzel, Ph. Nguenang, R. Small-scale logging in community forests in Cameroon: towards ecologically more sustainable and socially more acceptable compromises. Rural Development Forestry Network paper. Bakouma, J. Forest management by community forest enterprises. Baynes, J. Herbohn, C. Smith, R. Fisher, and D. Key factors which influence the success of community forestry in developing countries. Global Environmental Change Beauchamp, E. Impacts of community forests on livelihoods in Cameroon: lessons from two case studies. International Forestry Review Berkes, F.

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