Date of this Version

1-1-2014

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Burgin, S., & Zama, E.F. (2014). Community-based tourism - option for forest-dependent communities in 1A IUCN protected areas? Cameroon case study. Paper presented at the 4th International Conference on Tourism Research (4ICTR), 9-11 December, 2014, Malaysia. SHS Web of Conferences, 12, 01067, 1-10.

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Copyright © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2014

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

2014 HERDC submission

ISSN

2261-2424

Abstract

In developing countries, ‘exponential’ growth in IUCN protected lands has occurred in the last 25 years. Approximately 6% of protected areas are ‘Strict Nature Reserve[s]’ (1A) with emphasis on conservation and strict restrictions on human access. Before Bakossi Forest Reserve (Cameroon) had 1A protection, 95% of local families used the Reserve for their livelihood. They farmed cash crops, collected fire wood, timber, and food with incomes equivalent to US$35,000/annually/family. Post-protection, the Reserve’s local communities lacked support to develop alternative livelihoods, and 75% reported being intercepted illegally trespassing by Reserve guards. Without illegal activity economic impacts would have been substantially greater. Protection has also meant foregone national income from timber and coffee exports. We used Bakossi Forest Reserve as a case study to identify issues facing local communities excluded from the Reserve that traditionally provided their livelihood. We also investigated potential alternative family livelihoods based on critical evaluation of the literature. We identified ‘exceptional’ community-based tourism potential. We also found that Cameroon was the first African country to develop community-based forestry with the dual roles of conservation and poverty alleviation. Using this model, community-based tourism could be a cost-effectively initiative to deliver the same dual roles as community-based forestry.

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