Bamboo is a well know and versatile material, which is a common sight across Cameroon’s diverse ecosystems, from dry to humid tropical and Afromontane forests. Its numerous uses range from storage jars to decorating restaurant-bars, beehives to knives, fences, fodder, and fuel. Responding to the paucity of data on species and uses, the value chain for bamboo in Cameroon was analyzed. Based on 171 interviews and field observations, two African indigenous species (alpine Yushania alpina and savannah Oxytenanthera abyssinica) and exotic (Bambusa vulgaris spp.) bamboos were identified as most utilized. They were tracked from major production zones to final consumers. The ecological, socio-economic, institutional, and governance contexts and impacts are described and analyzed. Issues for research, conservation, and development are highlighted. These include the ambiguous regulatory status, the relationship between tenure and management, threats and conservation of African species and options to increase the sustainable livelihoods for stakeholders dependent upon bamboo. © 2012 Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Topic: bamboo,livelihoods,sustainability,value systems
Publication Year: 2013
Source: Ambio 42(3): 320-333