Last updated April 2010 
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Ottotomo, Cameroon

In 2003, an MLA survey was carried out with a community near the small (30 km2) forest reserve of Ottotomo in south-west Cameroon. In this area, population pressure had lead people to claim access to remaining old growth forests and conflicts between communities and forest reserve authorities had risen. Previous CIFOR work had examined the relationship between communities and local administration (Jum and Oyono, 2005). The MLA approach was intended to benefit local resource management planning, through increased understanding of local perceptions and needs.

The four-week study was carried out with the help of a local NGO, Association Terre et Développement. The original MLA methods were adjusted to the local natural and socio-cultural context and the soil study was omitted. However, local views about soils were solicited by incorporating relevant questions into the local site description interview.

Growing access to information, schooling and health care have influenced people’s aspirations and perceptions. The series of scoring exercises and consequent discussions with older and younger groups provided indications of changing knowledge of and attitudes towards the forested environment.


About this project (from CIFOR News 2004)

Comparing botanical specimen

PDM exercise with older women



Sassen, M. and C. Jum,  2007. Assessing local perspectives in a forested landscape of central Cameroon. In: Forests, Trees and Livelihoods Vol. 17, pp.23-42