Deforestation in Cameroon: immediate causes and consequences 1
The effects of deforestation in Cameroon such as the erosion of agricultural lands, drying up water bodies during dry seasons, desertification, disappearance of plant and animal species, modifications of both local and regional climatic conditions and global warming through its effect on the global carbon cycle are likely to affect agricultural activities and economic growth. This paper investigates the immediate causes and consequences of deforestation in Cameroon between 1970 and 2000. Quantitative estimates show that coffee, and cocoa producer prices, food crop prices, and the timber export price index, on the one hand, and the oil boom, the structural adjustment policies, and the devaluation of the CFA franc, on the other hand, are quite important in stimulating the clearing of forests. Equally, the agricultural value added per hectare increases the profitability of maintaining forests. The implication of these results is that the importance of non-forest policies is underappreciated in Cameroon.
1 The author gratefully acknowledges the excellent comments and suggestions of three anonymous referees of this journal on an earlier version of this paper.