The Journal of Modern African Studies



Macro-economics, markets and the humid forests of Cameroon, 1967–1997


Ousseynou Ndoye a1 1 and David Kaimowitz a2
a1 Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Yaoundé, Cameroon
a2 Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Bogor, Indonesia

Abstract

This paper analyses how macro-economic and agricultural policies, market fluctuations and demographic changes affected forests in the Humid Forest Zone of Cameroon in four periods between 1967 and 1997. For each period it examines how these variables influenced cocoa, coffee, food, and agroindustrial crop production and area, and logging. It concludes that government policies, market fluctuations and demographic changes all had a strong impact on forests. Pressure on forests increased after structural adjustment policies were initiated in the mid-1980s. Malthusian reasoning alone cannot explain the level of deforestation and forest degradation in Cameroon.



Footnotes

1 Both authors gratefully acknowledge comments by Carol Colfer, William Sunderlin and two anonymous reviewers.