Current vulnerability in the Tri-National de la Sangha landscape, Cameroon

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This paper analyses the current vulnerability of local communities to changes in climate in the Tri-National de la Sangha landscape, Cameroon. This assessment creates the basis to evaluate future vulnerability and identify possible adaptation strategies that could be synergistic with mitigation efforts in the site. The assessment used a participatory approach and different dimensions of vulnerability were applied as the lenses for analysis. The assessment shows important social, ecological and economic changes over the past decades, which have shaped the dynamic vulnerability of villages in the site. Groups, natural resources and activities have differentiated exposure to different climatic disturbances. Agriculture is the most exposed and affected activity by adverse climate-related disturbances such as prolonged and unexpected dry spells and erratic rainfall. Some forest resources are also vulnerable but to less extent. The vulnerability of the communities is mainly defined by the livelihood diversification strategy of households. However, villagers as a whole are highly vulnerable to a changing climate because most of the households in the villages depend on agriculture for their subsistence and economic development. The low capacity for collective action is another driver of stress. In most of the villages, collective action to maintain social infrastructure is weak, resulting in poor management of common goods that benefit the village as a whole. Collective action mainly emerges when specific households combine efforts to improve their agricultural practices and trade. Hence, strengthening collective action in the villages has the potential to improve practices that promote a more sustainable management of common land and natural resources. Based on the insights gained through the baseline vulnerability assessment and feedback received from village representatives, certain elements were identified as important entry points in forthcoming analysis of possible climate adaptation strategies. This requires further research within the context of future vulnerability trajectories to promote synergies with climate mitigation.

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