EUCALYPTUS TREE COLONIZATION OF THE BAFUT-NGEMBA FOREST RESERVE, NORTH WEST REGION, CAMEROON
Journal: Environment & Ecosystem Science (EES)
Author: Zephania N. Fogwe, Suiven John Paul Tume, And Martin Fouda
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Recent environmentalism in Cameroon and forest reserve creation has been varied in implementation and management between community and national stakeholders and policies. Good national intents for hot spot conservation saw the 1953 creation of the Bafut-Ngemba production forest reserve on the Bamenda Highlands, where today’s accelerated urbanization and development has largely engulfed. Pressure on the forest reserve resources has thwarted its spatio-temporal natural tree cover climax. The study uses a field survey and secondary data treatment methodology to probe how communities at the reserve fringe have responded to unmet natural wood demands by pushing in eucalyptus tree plantations to result in forest reserve reversal. Varied income-driven circumstances generated an overwhelming embrace of a eucalyptus culture swallowing up the natural trees. A thirty-year evaluation of the tree cover revealed a near 40% loss the reserve trees while eucalyptus laden-farmland have been gained ascendancy. This ecological colonization scramble was timid in the 1980s, then rapid in the 1990s and then exponential by 2018. There is a direct relationship between this spatial gains from the eucalyptus and population growth demand trends. The study therefore opts for a quick revisit of the initial forest reserve philosophy that is now being diluted in this eucalyptus embrace. These eucalyptus trees are ecological terrorists that should never be permitted to terrorize production forest reserves.