USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Heterogeneity and Collective Action: Community Integration Appraisal for REDD+ Forest Management Implementation

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Rebecca Johns

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This study employs in-depth qualitative and quantitative research methods including survey and other ethnographic methods, concept mapping and informal qualitative observations to investigate community interaction in the village of Fabe near the Korup National Park in Cameroon, in relation to the reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) program. It is argued that community integration is a function of three structures: geographical, social and hierarchical. In order to establish hierarchy, the authors applied differentiation along three categorical variables, age (young vs. old), gender (male vs. female) and place of origin (locals vs. non-locals). It was found that diversity exists within the sample in terms of education, age, gender, occupation, religion, land tenure and place of origin. Youth had greater levels of education compared to older population members, and women had lower education levels than men. Integration may be affected by group membership, but women and strangers were less involved in decision-making. Strangers had additional barriers to accessing institutional processes, as well as forestlands and their resources. However, because integration does not vary between demographic groups, there is potential for individuals to generalize their interests as being synonymous with those of others in the community, which could aid in improving collective action, especially through educating community members about risks, opportunities, and their rights in relation to the REDD+ program if it becomes operational.


Springer Nature