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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 431-440

Indigenous Peoples' Concerns About Loss of Forest Knowledge: Implications for Forest Management


1 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, CA, USA
2 Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences – IBAY Sup, Yaoundé, Cameroon
3 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health; Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, CA, USA
4 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health; Department of Health Policy and Management, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Hilary A Godwin
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health; Center for Tropical Research, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, University of California, CA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_17_105

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Although indigenous populations' participatory rights are recognised as a worldwide priority in forest management, local practices vary in interpretation, scope, and efficacy. The next generation of sustainable forest policies will require a greater degree of self-determination from indigenous groups (i.e., the ability for use, ownership, management, and control of their traditional lands and resources). Our case study provides insights into how an indigenous population, the Baka in Cameroon, face barriers to participation in policy making, hindering recognition of rights to traditional forestland. The Baka interviewed herein expressed concern for how forest management impacts their livelihoods, threatens traditional ecological knowledge, and limits self-determination. Educational opportunities may provide co-benefits for indigenous stakeholders in forest management. To motivate indigenous inclusion specifically in forest management, we recommend educating forest managers in cultural competency and the importance of indigenous inclusion and knowledge. We recommend development of Baka educational programmes that are focused on promoting greater self-determination and enriching understanding of the forest management processes. These findings would help develop better relationships between indigenous peoples and forest management worldwide.


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