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Research Report

Adaptation and mitigation policies in Cameroon: Pathways of synergy

Félicien Kengoum
Anne Marie Tiani
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 52
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. viii-viii)

    This paper has been produced as part of the COBAM project “Climate change and forests in the Congo Basin: Synergies between adaptation and mitigation," launched by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

    Climates change and, in so doing, force international and national political agendas to be increasingly concerned with fighting the changes and their effects on local populations. Policy decision-makers need information to prepare policies and projects on climate change adaptation and the reduction of forest carbon emissions that have a balanced impact, contribute to poverty alleviation, improve ecosystem services (other than carbon) and protect livelihoods and local rights....

  2. (pp. 1-7)

    The reality of climate change is widely acknowledged. It is the consequence of increasing temperatures caused by atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHGs) altering the functioning of ecosystems. These effects are difficult to assess because of natural adaptation and non-climatic factors (IPCC 2007a). According to the IPCC report (2007b), 70% of the increase in GHG emissions observed between 1970 and 2004 was caused by human activities. The report also suggests that a continuation of present policies to mitigate climate change would probably lead GHG emissions to rise further in the coming decades (IPCC 2007b).

    To respond to climate change, the 1992 United...

  3. (pp. 8-13)

    Cameroon is located in central Africa and covers a land area of 475,442 km² (MINEF 2005). The population of Cameroon rose from 10.5 million in 1985 to 19.4 million in 2005 (MINEPAT 2010), with an average annual growth rate of 2.7%. The urbanization rate has risen sharply and reached 48% but there are enormous geographic differences: 92.6% in the Littoral region and 71.9% in the Centre region, against 27.9% in the North region and 22.8% in the Extreme North region (MINEP 2005). The vast majority of poor people live in the rural areas, and the highest rural population rates are...

  4. (pp. 14-19)

    The focus on the REDD+ policy environment in this section will make it possible to understand the events, actors and policy networks connected to the establishment of this mechanism in Cameroon, and to define the nature of the consultation process. REDD+ was mapped in research carried out in 2011 under the CIFOR GCS-REDD+ project (see Dkamela 2011). This section, based on the conclusions of that research, has adopted the perspective of an approach to develop synergy under the country’s adaptation policy process.

    Although the context of forest management has been roundly debated in Cameroon, since 2005 the country has participated...

  5. (pp. 20-26)

    This section recognizes the importance of focusing on the adaptation of forests (as ecosystems) to climate change, but is restricted to the relationships between the populations living in the Cameroonian forests and the effects of climate change, and to the solutions being developed at the national level to provide support for the adaptation process.

    Ecosystems are very important in the adaptation process since they provide goods and services that contribute to reducing the local populations’ vulnerability to natural and anthropic shocks to their environment (see Figure 7) (Pramova 2012a). The international community recognizes that these effects will be felt more...

  6. (pp. 27-30)

    The nature of the risks and the opportunities connected to the introduction of REDD+ and adaptation policies depends on the specific characteristics of the context in which they are applied. In Cameroon, the introduction of REDD+ policies offers numerous opportunities to impact the climate change adaptation process, despite the recognizable differences between the two mechanisms (see Table 1).

    Considering the political approach, Ravindranath (2007) puts forth the idea that mitigation initiatives, even mitigation policy initiatives must not contribute to the vulnerability of ecosystems or agriculture. Mitigation policies should, however, include practices that adapt and improve people’s resilience. To avoid conflict...

  7. (pp. 31-31)

    The aim of this study is to give visibility to adaptation and mitigation policy processes and to assess the risks and opportunities that can contribute to building up synergy between adaptation and mitigation mechanisms in Cameroon, a country that does not yet have its own national REDD+ strategy, or any other strategy on adaptation in the forest ecosystem because of the nonexistence of a complete and reliable study on vulnerability. Thus, under the present circumstances, the criteria for the strategy or the policies cannot be used to support the creation of opportunities for synergy between mitigation and adaptation. In the...