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2 May 2023 Six Years of Industrial Logging in Ngoyla (East-Cameroon): What Have Been the Outcomes for Local Populations?
L. Defo
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  • The industrial exploitation of Cameroon's forests was until the late 2000s, credited with little positive impacts on the communities living near logging concessions. From this period, factors likely to create an enabling environment more conducive to local development emerged.

  • Immigration linked to logging has led to increased pressure on infrastructure, equipment, and human resource in basic social areas (health and education). However, the positive impacts of this activity on these areas are insignificant.

  • Through the installation of a new ferry on the Dja river, the improvement of physical accessibility to Ngoyla, immigration linked to job opportunities and salaries paid to employees, industrial logging has boosted significantly the economy of this subdivision.

  • The situation of Baka Indigenous people in general deserves special attention in relation to negative impacts. The Baka received very few positive spinoffs while more than other social components, they suffered from the degradation of forest resources caused by logging.

  • After six years of logging in Ngoyla, the results in terms of positive socio-economic impacts at the local level are globally below expectations. While it could be argued that financial capital has increased in the subdivision, notable negative impacts were experienced in the natural, human, and social capitals.

  • One of the significant reasons for poor outcomes of industrial logging is the gap between the regulations and the commitments on the one hand and what is practiced on the ground on the other.

  • Forest populations generally have an ambivalent attitude towards industrial logging. They are divided between, on the one hand, the advantages that logging provides, such as improving accessibility and jobs, and, on the other hand, the disadvantages linked to this activity as well as the disappointments in relation to their expectations in terms of support for education, health and rural water supply.


The industrial exploitation of Cameroon's forests was, until the late 2000s, credited with little positive impacts on the communities living near logging concessions. In order to evaluate the outcomes of logging for local populations and to inform the sustainable management of Ngoyla-Mintom forest block, socio-economic data was collected from 2011 to 2018. Data from guided interviews, observations and questionnaires reveal that local populations have seen improvements in their living conditions, particularly in terms of formal employment, better housing and increased mobility. The main adverse effects observed were a reduction of some forest resources, an increase in certain diseases, and increased violations of the rights of Indigenous People. Despite identified favorable factors, the positive impacts from industrial logging in Ngoyla are below expectations.

Jusque vers la fin des années 2000, l'exploitation industrielle des forêts camerounaises n'a eu que peu d'impacts positifs sur les communautés vivant à proximité des concessions forestières. Dans le cadre de l'évaluation des retombées de l'exploitation forestière sur les populations locales et de la promotion de la gestion durable du massif forestier de Ngoyla-Mintom, des données socio-économiques ont été collectées de 2011 à 2018. Les données issues des entretiens, d'observations et de questionnaires révèlent que les populations locales ont connu des améliorations dans leurs conditions de vie, notamment en termes d'emploi formel, de logement et de mobilité. Les principaux effets néfastes observés ont été la diminution de la disponibilité des ressources forestières, l'augmentation de l'occurrence de certaines maladies et l'amplification des violations des droits des populations autochtones. Malgré les facteurs favorables identifiés, les impacts positifs de l'exploitation forestière industrielle à Ngoyla sont en dessous des attentes.

Hasta finales de la década de 2000, son pocos los efectos positivos atribuidos a la explotación industrial de los bosques del Camerún para las comunidades que vivían cerca de las concesiones de explotación forestal. A fin de evaluar los efectos de la explotación forestal para las poblaciones locales e informar la gestión sostenible del bloque de bosque primario Ngoyla-Mintom, se recolectaron datos socioeconómicos de 2011 a 2018. Los datos obtenidos de las entrevistas guiadas, observaciones y cuestionarios revelan que las poblaciones locales han experimentado mejoras en sus condiciones de vida, en particular en lo que respecta al empleo en el sector formal, la mejora de la vivienda y el aumento de la movilidad. Los principales efectos negativos observados fueron la disminución de algunos recursos forestales, el aumento de ciertas enfermedades y el incremento de las violaciones de los derechos de los pueblos indígenas. A pesar de los factores favorables identificados, los efectos positivos de la explotación forestal industrial en Ngoyla permanecen por debajo de las expectativas.

L. Defo "Six Years of Industrial Logging in Ngoyla (East-Cameroon): What Have Been the Outcomes for Local Populations?," International Forestry Review 25(sp1), 91-112, (2 May 2023).
Published: 2 May 2023
forest resources
industrial logging
local populations
socio-economic impacts
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