Chocolate Forest and the Peri-Urban Landscape: Tree Diversity of the Cocoa Agroforests around Yaoundé (Southern Cameroon).

TitleChocolate Forest and the Peri-Urban Landscape: Tree Diversity of the Cocoa Agroforests around Yaoundé (Southern Cameroon).
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsSonwa D, Nkongmeneck BA, Weise SF, Tchatat M, Janssens MJJ
Secondary TitleSTCP Working Paper Series 5
PublisherInternational Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Year of Publication2008
Date PublishedJanuary, 2008
Publication LanguageEnglish
AbstractBiodiversity of trees associated with cocoa was studied in the rural fringe of Yaoundé (villages situated between 22 and 93 km from the city). As much as 101 trees species were found associated with cocoa on a total sampling area of 2.75 ha across 4 villages. The average agroforest comprises 308 non-cocoa trees/ha, of which 3/5 are producing mainly edible products, 1/6 timber, 1/20 medicinal and 1/6 was left for other reasons (shade, etc.). The high proportion of plants of Musaceae and Palmeae families combined with a large proportion of exotic trees (1/3) indicates that these cocoa agroforests do not have the same composition as the local forest. These agroforest stands at the fringe of the Yaoundé city are currently under the pressure of urbanisation. Selection and re-introduction of wild species will be useful to diversify this agroforest and allow complementary socio-economic and ecological services to be provided by the remnant forest. At Main urgent actions in which cocoa agroforest could play an important role around Yaoundé include: (1) buffering the remnant forest patches situated in the North West of Yaoundé, where the endangered rock fowl (Picathartes oreas) is found, (2) protecting the Mefou watershed where part of the water used in Yaoundé is supposed to be taken during the dry season., (3) afforestation/refforestation in the more degraded landscape in the north of Yaoundé, and (4) urban/ peri-urban forestry activities around Yaoundé. To support all these initiatives, income from cocoa agroforestry need to be increased by developing an appropriate Payment for Environmental Services (PES).
Keywordsagroforesty, Biodiversity, Cameroon, cocoa, trees
Citation Key756