Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 495511
Title A fine mess: Bricolaged forest governance in Cameroon
Author(s) Ingram, V.J.; Ros-Tonen, M.A.F.; Dietz, T.
Source International Journal of the Commons 9 (2015)1. - ISSN 1875-0281 - p. 41 - 64.
DOI https://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.516
Department(s) Forest and Nature Conservation Policy
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Abstract Value chains of Cameroonian non-timber forest products move through harvesters, processors and traders, to consumers locally and worldwide. This paper characterises six governance arrangements governing eight such chains: statutory and customary regulations, voluntary market-based systems, international conventions, project-based systems and corruption. Governance is messy with overlapping, multiple layers of institutions and actors. There are voids where no institutions govern access to resources and markets; some actors fulfil roles normally the reserve of the state. In some chains the state performs its duties, in others not, and other institutions fill the gaps. To negotiate this complexity, many actors have become adept ‘bricoleurs'. They make the best of the arrangements in which they find themselves, and creatively use capitals available, building on natural capital to construct new governance arrangements and/or remould existing ones to meet their current objectives, circumstances and livelihoods. This ‘fine mess’ makes examining the impacts on the livelihoods of participants and their sustainability challenging. A measure of governance intensity and extensive fieldwork was thus used. It indicates strong trade-offs between natural, social and economic capital, creating winners and losers. Trade-offs between livelihoods and sustainability are most acute either when there are no governance arrangements; when arrangements do not take account of the susceptibility of a species to harvesting; or when they do not balance supply and demand. Policy challenges and opportunities include recognising and dealing with pluralism; reconciling conflicting rules; hearing the voices of silent actors; learning from failures and raising chain visibility by recognising natural and socio-economic values.
Keywords: Forest governance, livelihoods, institutions, value chains, non-timber forest products, Cameroon, bricolage
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