◆発表場所： the first IUFRO (International Union of Forest Research Organizations) social sciences conference on African Forest Policies and Politics (AFORPOLIS)（Yaounde）
◆発表タイトル："How can local stakeholders make the room for negotiation?: Addressing the paradox of 'participation' and 'community' in forest management policies in southeastern Cameroon"
In central African countries, following the leadership of national and transnational economic communities (i.e. COMIFAC), 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: there do exist significant gaps between global environmental policy initiatives and their actualised efforts on the ground. My questions are addressed to two points as follows: (1) Are these gaps demonstrating evidences of the lack of democracy in the reality of forest governances in Africa? (2) If so what factors are contributing to maintain and reproduce these gaps? To explore these question, 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 renponses by local societies, that can be described as an art of the "politics from the below". Finally, while acknowledging the limitations of methodology as fieldwork-based anthropologist, 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.