Community Wildlife Management in Central Africa: A regional review
This review of CWM initiatives in Central Africa has involved the identification of individual CWM initiatives, and an analysis of social, economic, institutional and environmental influences. CWM initiatives from seven countries of the region namely Cameroon, Central African Republic (C.A.R), Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C), Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe, were examined.~Increasing population, urbanisation and both commercial and subsistence pressures on forest areas in the region, have influenced the establishment of new systems of wildlife management which have given the control of wild resources to the authorities. Local communities themselves are hindered from participating in this management process by a number of key factors - inadequate wildlife legislation; approaches by external actors; clash of interests between stakeholders; characteristics of donors; lack of support to local organisation initiatives; institutional capacity, political and institutional instability; characteristics of communities; the economic situation; local communities motivation and environmental conditions. ~The report concludes that unless local socio-economic factors and positive traditional systems are considered during policy making and field interventions, and local communities' authority to control the access to their territories is restored in some format, the long-term sustainable use of wildlife will remain questionable. As such, suggested amendments to policy are made.