Journal of Agriculture & Life Sciences

ISSN 2375-4214 (Print), 2375-4222 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jals

Monitoring the Implementation of Prunus Africana (Rosaceae) Management Plans in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon: Respect of National Norms
Jean Lagarde BETTI, Cedric Manga Ngankoue, Farick Oumar Njimbam Njukuyou

Prunus africana (Hook.f) Kalkman (formerly Pygeum africanum Hook.f.), known under its trade/pilot name as pygeum or African cherry is a non-timber forest product (NTFP), listed in the Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Its harvesting and exports have been regulated in Cameroon as “a special forest product of a particular interest” since 1994 through a system of annual based exploitation permits for dried bark. The CITES Secretariat realized the challenges that range States of Prunus africana face to implement CITES requirements and it has teamed up with the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) to help build capacities at the country level and promote the sustainable management of tropical forests including these species. This partnership in the frame of the so called “the ITTOCITES program” has strengthened considerably and is currently the Congo Basin countries to develop nondetriment findings (NDF) on Prunus africana.This paper aims to assess the way the simple management plans developed for Prunus and guidelines contained in NDFs reports are being implemented in the field, the North West (Mount Oku) and the South West (Mount Cameroon) regions to be precised. Although Cameroon has made many efforts to promote the sustainable harvesting of Prunus africana in the country, many problems still remain in the implementation of the guidelines prescribed in the NDF or SMP developed within the ITTO-CITES program. It is in the North West region where the non-respect of existing norms/standards in term of realization of exploitation inventories, the minimum exploitable diameter (MED) and sustainable harvesting techniques is largely observed. The low buying price tends to be the main cause of the non-respect of national standards by community forest managers and harvesters. The local CITES MA continues to grant the annual quota of 150 tons from community forests of North West in spite of the ban of harvesting occurred in some forests. This element, coupled with the usage of false documents to convey Prunus barks by some traders, outlines the urgent need to settle a fair tracking system which will be able to really fix the harvesting of Prunus in the space. The study concludes that developing management plans is good, but implementing correctly the guidelines contained in those plans in the field is better. There is an urgent need for the ITTO-CITES program to extend its activities on the implementation of the simple management plans..

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