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Ethnoecology of bushfires in and around the mount cameroon national park

Author: 
Efuet Simon Akem
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Diverse cultures have elaborated outstanding variety of ways of relating with nature. Many of these are ecologically adaptive, but this is not to say that all of them make ecological sense. Ethnoecology of bushfire among the rural Bakweri people indicates that bushfire is an ancient practice though local practices altered slightly over time in response to larger political and environmental events. The effects of bushfire on the livelihoods and on the ecosystem in Cameroon have more and more become damaging over the years. The increasing frequencies of bushfires in the face of forest conservation and climate change require that researchers focus attention on such anthropogenic activity over which man has control. Current understanding of the fire practices in and around the Mount Cameroon National Park remains rudimentary. The study uses some ethnographic techniques such as in-depth interviewing and Participant observation to establish local practices, perception and behaviour of bushfires in the area. To rural Bakweri people, the forest seems to be all-encompassing and an indispensable link in the circle of growth and death. The study concludes that local cultural knowledge and perception of the forest substantially influence bushfires practice among farmers in the area.

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