Community Management Groups as an Effective Legal Paradigm for Local Level Participation in the Management, Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands: Case Study of Cameroon

  • Nah Anthony Tetinwe

Abstract

Most natural resources and ecosystems such as wetlands are witnessing accelerated degradation in Cameroon with similar trends in other countries across the world. Some of them are threatened despite the fact that they are vital to the daily life of the population especially rural communities, who have relied on them for as old as human existence itself. Just like in other countries, planning for the management, conservation and wise use of wetlands (MCWUWs) in Cameroon is hampered by an inappropriate and inadequate legal framework due to insufficient political commitment by the Government to put in place appropriate policy, legislative and institutional frameworks, compounded by a low level of awareness by the population of their importance. This paper focuses on community management groups (CMGs) as an effective legal paradigm for local level participation in the MCWUWs. In underscoring the need for a legal paradigm shift in the MCWUWs, the principal objective of this paper is to demonstrate that CMGs can be an effective legal tool for local level participation in the MCWUWs. Focusing on Cameroon, the paper makes a content analysis of relevant policies, legislations and bench research, including on the spot observations and intuition in assessing the role of CMGs as an effective legal paradigm for local level participation in the MCWUWs. The paper concludes that the degradation and disappearance of wetlands is due to an inappropriate and inadequate legal framework owing to insufficient political commitment by Governments to design appropriate policy, legislative and institutional frameworks for their management, conservation and wise use, compounded by a low level of awareness by the population of their value; and that CMGs can be an effective legal model for local level participation in the MCWUWs. These legal lacunae and the low level of societal awareness of the importance of wetlands require the need for Governments to initiate necessary policy, legislative and institutional frameworks that recognise the crucial role local communities through CMGs can play in the MCWUWs.


 

Published
2019-07-01
How to Cite
TETINWE, Nah Anthony. Community Management Groups as an Effective Legal Paradigm for Local Level Participation in the Management, Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands: Case Study of Cameroon. National Journal of Environmental Law, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 1-19, july 2019. ISSN 2581-6683. Available at: <http://lawjournals.stmjournals.in/index.php/jel/article/view/253>. Date accessed: 19 nov. 2019.

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