As climate change risks enlarge, the environment is an ever more important framework to consider when discussing global sustainability. In Africa, following the leadership of national and transnational economic communities, considerable effort is being made to establish regulations and legal frameworks on environmental resource use, based on international conventions and laws. Such initiatives are often undertaken within a top-down initiative of 'participatory' and 'community-based' approaches, despite these concepts originally suggesting bottom-up tactics. However, such idealistic approaches have been translated and introduced to regional and local contexts without sufficient consideration for the unique local and social conditions. This then tends to be received in the local context as enforcement, or an obligation, which may be cause for local conflicts. It is therefore critical that gaps between global environmental policy initiatives and their actualised efforts on the ground are identified.
Taking examples from the tropical forest zone of southeastern Cameroon, I will report on how environmental and rural development policies are impacting rural livelihoods, the social welfare of the local residents, and the forest landscape. I will then attempt to demonstrate micro-level governance challenges from perspectives identified within the local society. Finally, while acknowledging the limitations as an outsider, I will discuss what kind of research and practice can contribute to the positive co-governance of natural resources between diverse actors, referring to the potential creation of a citizen science platform in Africa.
◆キーワード：environment policy, multi-layered governance, communication gap, minority rights, African tropical forest