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Impact of Ecotourism on the neighborhood People of Cameroon



The ecotouristic sector in Cameroon is a growing but relatively slight industry. Cameroon's wildlife draws both safari-goers and big-game hunters, as Cameroon houses a lot of Africa's iconic animals: cheetahs, chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas, hippopotami, and rhinoceroses. Impediments to help expand expansion of the eco-touristic sector include poor transfer infrastructure and corrupt officials who may harass guests for bribes.

Ecotourism can and is however making a considerable contribution to development, and in combating poverty even though not without its own problems. Many studies report on the general influences of the sector in producing countries, whether sociable, cultural, economical, or environmental. However, the sector can often be discredited as being less pro poor. Corrupt officials often embezzle the majority of the funds that flow into the sector. As a consequence of the above, the newspaper will explore some of the results of ecotourism on the socio-cultural and environment. As an Anthropologists, I will not fall into the snare of judging the sector but what's worth noting here is the fact that for the sector to be successful there have to be some kind of interpersonal amenities and attraction parks.


Research on travel and leisure in growing countries has usually focused on the general economical, environmental and socio-cultural implications of the sector. This sector has many potentially beneficial effects to locals, but in practice these have been frequently outweighed by the negative implications for local people of many African countries especially Cameroon credited to poor management systems and corrupt officials.

There are several types of travel and leisure and reasons of tourism. They vary across cultures and be based upon the particular specific or groups involved with tourist activities. For the purpose of time, this paper will concentrate more on ecotourism. Ecotourism is in charge travel to natural areas that conserves the surroundings and improves the wellbeing of local people. "Travel to fragile, pristine, and usually secured areas that strive to be low impact and (usually) small level. It helps teach the traveler, provides cash for conservation, immediately benefits the economic development and politics empowerment of local communities, and foster esteem for different ethnicities and for individual protection under the law" (Honey 1995:25) This form of tourism is usually designed to protect the surroundings, have revenues to safeguard the environment and finally to aid local communities. There are some criticisms that surround this form of travel and leisure as to whether it's actually sustainable if locals are in reality the beneficiaries.

There are various meanings of ecotourism that contain been provided by many scholars but this paper will briefly give a few that are very essential to the evaluation of the newspaper. Tikell (1994), defines ecotourism as happen to be enjoy the world's amazing diversity of natural life and real human culture without triggering harm either.

Ecotourism is tourism and recreation that is both nature-based and sustainable. (Lindberg and McKercher, 1997)

What will probably be worth noting from the above explanations and other scholarly explanations is the actual fact that ecotourism is aspect based and the thought of sustainability features in almost all of the meanings as well. This goes quite a distance to stress on the value of character to humans and also the fact that it needs to be conserved for future years.

Ecotourism is also considered one of the world's fastest growing tourism sub-market. This progress has been advertised by Europeans and north Americans to virtually all parts of the world either for leisure or for the intended purpose of studies.

Cameroon is a potential tourist destination due to its wealthy touristic potentials including the natural smart sandy shorelines of Kribi in the South and Limbe in the South West provinces of Cameroon, similarly its natural main concern of web host several animal species like the, red tail monkeys, giraffes, lions and massive elephants which roam the savannah. The bongo antelopes and significant western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees make it through in this primeval woodlands with monkeys, baboons, elephants, hippopotamus and forest buffalos that are almost extinct in certain parts of the world, it harbors different bird species.

Cameroon is blessed with considerable, diverse forest and wildlife on the continent of Africa, Character reserve cover almost 15 percent of Cameroon 475, 442km2, an eventual nationwide goal of 20% has been place by law; These include seven Country wide parks, three world Biosphere reserves and one United Country world Traditions site but the most regrettably thing is that they are not adequately secured some have significantly deteriorated due to lack of cash and mismanagement, poaching and official problem. Forest have been sold off to overseas interest for ecologically unsustainable logging with no benefit to the local people while plundering of unusual pets through sales of bush meat has grown and the criminal offense rate has soared, the situation may change with increasing knowing of economic great things about ecotourism dependent on healthy parks and reserves. The Ministry of Forest and Animals in Cameroon has been attempting to put on a legislation to kind of regulate the actions of local neighborhoods living around countrywide parks and game reserves.

The conservation system empowering the Baaka pygmies of the East and South of Cameroon thus is a seldom success story. The country which has a big volume of potential tourist destinations because of its rich nature has been plagued by a poor political will for finished to two. 5 decades now. The rainforest reserve however get away many of these disruption by the political electric power that be which is turning into one of the Cameroon's main and few holiday destination.

Not leaving out the too many 'charming' things Africa provides such as pre-historic paintings, the African night time sky, a distinctive tempo of life all these encounters abound in Cameroon and that's the reason why Cameroon is referred to as Africa miniature since it has a little bit of what exist in the complete of Africa


The value of vegetation used for therapeutic purposes by local areas can be calculated on the basis of their possible future value on the global market. Ecological economics, a field that addresses the relationship between ecological and monetary systems concentrating on environmental insurance plan and ecological development (Constanza 1989)

Intrinsic value is a more subjective matter, some people take the intrinsic value of humans for awarded the view that Characteristics is frequently personal in the sense it has inherent privileges and is really as such subject to the same moral, honest and legal coverage is more questionable (Nash 1989)

The world Ecotour 97 the first world congress and exhibition on Ecotourism happened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 15 to 18 December 1997 it was structured by the Brazilian Population for the environment(BIOSFERA). The conference was went to by roughly 2000 people from across the world. They distributed ecotourism theories, guidelines, plans, developments and management models. The main element result of the meeting was the realization that ecotourism is not really a passing gimmick but has well and truly showed up, bearing the promise of environmental conservation, community wellbeing and monetary benefits.

Around Cameroon's Lobeke National Playground, trophy hunting in community hunting area is currently producing some US$50, 000 each year. This money is supervised by local wildlife management committees. It really is invested in education, through the development of academic institutions to provide shelter for children, who used to study under unpleasant conditions, provision of portable drinking water through improvement of drinking water sources and the development of wells "The upshot is better participation of local areas in wildlife safety" WWF options.

Most natural areas are positioned in the rural locales; the development of travel and leisure in such areas can have considerable impact on the neighborhood people (Lindberg and Enriquez 1994)

Sensitive use regulations that cause bare minimum negative cultural impact, but allow high degrees of local involvement are required. Jobs for residents are a higher priority, but are often difficult to provide in a complex knowledge industry, such as ecotourism or adventure tourism. The introduction of tourism policy very sensitive to local concerns is essential for obtaining community support (Lindberg and Enriquez1994). Local economical and communal benefits cause a rise in support for ecological conservation.

Travelers look for businesses that highlight the character of the locale in terms of architecture, traditions, cuisine looks, ecology, etc. Tourism revenues give added value to the people possessions. A value that the local people might not have previously recognized.

Travelers not only find out about the destination, they understand how to help sustain its identity while deepening their own travel activities. Residents learn that the ordinary and familiar may be of interest and value to outsiders.

Ecotourism should essentially make good long-term business which should seek to hire and train residents, buy local equipment, and use local services. The more the locals take advantage of the operation the more they'll support the activities, and the better they'll conserve the investments.

Foreign guests who learn about and observe local etiquette (including using at least a few courtesy words in the neighborhood language) feel a greater empathy with the experience. Local residents subsequently who understand how to cope with foreign anticipations that varies from other own also appreciate the excess knowledge.

Satisfied, excited tourists take new knowledge home and send friends off to experience the same and/or similar things they enjoyed which provide continuing business for the vacation spot.

The long term benefits associated with the resource of ecotourism to the local community, and also to the operation must be enshrined, benefits may be monetary, scientific, social, cultural, ethical or natural.


The Ministry of Forest and Animals in Cameroon has been struggling to put on a legislation to kind of regulate the actions of local areas living around countrywide parks and game reserves as these suggestions are being carried out the rural communities face negative impact as they actually rely on the forest for a livelihood or survival.

Huge amounts or amounts of money is being spent and recruiting continue to be used for ecotourism campaigns but this has not succeeded 100%. There had been stiff level of resistance in this marriage because ecotourism often may cause issue and changes in land use privileges, fails to deliver promises of community level benefits, problems environment and has a great deal of other public impacts.

In a genuine world situation emphasis should be made towards educating vacationers of the environment and social effects of their travels.

At the local level ecotourism has turned into a source of discord above the control of land, resources and tourism profits, there are numerous problems abound with ecotourism with the truth of Cameroon, the environmental effect on the neighborhood population and discord over profit redistribution are only some of those negative effects of ecotourism.

The regulations stands as a hindrance for the buyers in the sector of ecotourism. There must be the prohibition of the advertising of unsustainable ecotourism assignments and materials which project the false images of destinations, and equally demeaning local and indigenous ethnicities and natural resources.

Ethnic organizations are progressively being seen as a backdrop to the landscapes and animals, hence they do not participate totally in the development of ecotourism.

The indigenous people have difficulty for cultural success and liberty of cultural manifestation while being detected by the visitor.

There are always resentments from the local people for they don't want this change that has been imposed to them.

Tourism has been permitted to develop without any control.

Lodges have been built, too much firewood is being used and no limit are located on tourism vehicles, they drive off keep tabs on and sometimes harass the wildlife, their vehicles crisscross the areas and undoubtedly the bush or forest become eroded and degraded all these at the detriment of the locals.

The legislation for environmental cover may be vaguely defined, very meticulously to put into practice, hard to enforce and uncertain ineffectiveness frequently than not there are consistent confrontation between the indigenous populace and the eco-guards, forest guards or the authorities and the gendarmes who are recharged with the implementation of wildlife laws and regulations in Cameroon.

The government of Cameroon regulates, administers and enforces environmental coverage having less the dedication or capacity to control ecotourism sites effectively.

Government spends budget on politically beneficial but unproductive tasks which has little or nothing to advantage either the locals or even the vacationers.

The government is vested in the benefits not the ecotourism industry which they are supposed to regulate causing restrictive environment laws and enforcement to become more lenient.

The constructions of any eco-touristic edifice may take precedence over more pressing environmental concerns like acquiring habitat, guarding endemic types and removing intrusive ones.

Ecotourism frequently will be whatever preserves and enhances local civilizations but in this light it is plainly visible that with the creation of guarded areas or areas residents are obligated to illegally lose their homes most often without settlement as is the situation in most producing countries

Sometimes the neighborhood people are pushed to marginal lands with harsh climates, poor soils, insufficient water and disease infested livestock since no veterinary care and attention is taken of their livestock. This escalates the dead toll with their livestock be it cattle, chicken or piggery. Some of the time the marginal lands do not assure for enough food for their livestock and for his or her own subsistence. Most often than not fees are levied on their hard earned livestock this greatly embitters them.

The creation of parks does indeed nothing but establishes a long lasting harsh survival actuality and deprives the folks of their traditional use of land sometimes this parks are created on their ancestral shrines which will go quite a distance to disturb the quietness with their gods, this greatly influences the custom of people in question, sometimes could even lead to violent confrontations between your authorities and the local villagers who see it as kind of sell out and thus depriving them of the indigenous beliefs.

Hunting which really is a passion of these indigenous people is prohibited and killing of an animal is unlawful and punishable, these pets or animals are their main source of proteins and income, however they are prohibited to do poaching or hunting round the reserves, National Parks including the small villages around Korup National Recreation area in Ndian department of the South West Province of the Republic of Cameroon, this forest is completely out of bound to the local people who live and look as of this forest because of their livelihood same applies to the Menvelle wildlife (Gorilla sanctuary). The Support Kupe Forest Task, Kejum keku reserve, the Waza National Area, the Limbe Wildlife Reserve, Kilum Pile Project just to name a few.

Most often than not populations are generally displaced to create parks without even taking into account their resettlement strategies.


All human activities in natural areas cause some impact. This can be positive or negative and can vary in scale. Just how much impact is satisfactory? The perseverance of impact, the analysis of the acceptability of the impact, the management of the impact and the monitoring of the impact must be achieved. (Stankey, et al 1985, Prosser 1986).

The hunting of nonhuman primates is biologically a vintage practice that human beings tell their closest cousins the chimpanzee, hunting methods or techniques and patterns however have altered substantially recently. It has been mentioned in the twentieth century that because of the use of firearms the efficiency and frequency of hunting has increased.

Tourism, hunting and butchering on nonhuman primates has been from the emergence of some infectious diseases, for case hunting red colobus (procolobus badius oustaleti)has been implicated in a localized epidemic of monkeypox that has sustained for four decades of nonhuman to real human associates, this implying that even the traveler who visit these areas are at risks.

Hunting action generally will concentrate around villages or new individuals settlements in logging camps or along roads factors and studies show that hunting in a town in the Dja Reserve in the south of Cameroon have proven that both levels and impact of hunting lowers as a function of distance from the community. The results have importance for both wildlife conservation as well for assessing the emergence of risks associated with hunting, . (Muchaal and Ngandjui 1999)

Both subsistence and commercial hunting with cable snares and firearms are popular activities throughout the forests of Cameroon. Furthermore road sites and increasing opportunities for moving hunted game titles have resulted in an increase in sales and rates of hunting. Some of the parts of rural hunting villages in Cameroon are also linked to hunting and butchering apes especially those of the south.

For means of sustaining livelihood the neighborhood villagers around the reserves in the rural areas tend to do illegitimate hunting in the shielded zones

Hunting rises in these locations in direct proportion to logging activities. When the logging companies start new areas, snare and firearm hunters follow in their monitor. Logging camps in your community provide a cash market for fresh bush beef and their pickup trucks tend to be used as a means of transportation of smoked bush meats to the urban markets of Yaounde and Douala where demand is high. The densities of large primates(gorillas and chimpanzees)in the East Province are among the best in all of Africa. Hunting of these ape species likely ends in a higher risk of coverage than the hunting of the other kinds. Driving the bush meats trade in Cameroon is the top growing urban demand with the opening up of logging concessions in the east province. The marketplace among households for sauce preparation in Yaounde exclusively is projected at approximately $4million annually(IITA unpublished data)

There were differences by means of bush meat consumed with the indegent more likely to buy smoked bush meats as opposed to the more expensive fresh product. The final outcome here is that even though of its illegality smoked bush meat can be an important way to obtain protein for both the rural and the urban poor. Urban demand makes hunting a income source for rural homes.

Some in the ecotourism industry have refused to have Cameroon really as a vacationer destination until the government begins to have tougher stands resistant to the country's flourishing bush meat trade. The killing of rare animals kinds for food and ethnical artifacts was once thought to be an activity specifically of the indigenous pygmies. Today most observers recognize that the bush beef trade has turned into a part of mainstream of the forest or the rural villages of Cameroon, beef from forest elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas and other local animals are a favorite and often more suitable substitute to beef, poultry, or pork, a traditional pygmy will most likely include chimpanzee or gorilla instead of a chicken on the Holiday dish, of course killing and selling rare animals is illegal but laws and regulations go mainly unenforced due to a combination of corruption, insufficient resources for police and some sort of apathy to the situation, in addition to logging concessions that the government authorities hands out to dealers who have little if any idea on conservation.

The exposure to non real human primates has resulted in the introduction of important diseases, including Ebola hemorrhagic fever, and adult T-cell leukemia. To look for the extent of contact with nonhuman primates, folks were reviewed in 17 rural hunting remote rural villages in Cameroon that represented three habitats (savannah, gallery, forest and lowland forest.

The convention on international trade in Endangered species found that the increasing commercialization of trade has led to some 68species in Cameroon being threatened by poaching.


Nonhuman primate ecotourism for example gorilla seeing has been associated with the possible transmitting from nonhuman primates to humans of diseases that includes scabies for example sarcoptes scabies, intestinal parasites and measles, equally laboratory handling of tissue or fluids of nonhuman primates has led to the transmitting of a number of microbe infections to humans. including Simian immunodeficiency pathogen (SIV) and SV40. Additionally the keeping of nonhuman primate dogs has been linked to the transmission of variety of microorganisms.

A selection of activities involves direct contact between humans and non individual primates and allows for the transmission of micro microorganisms such conducts can facilitate transmitting of microorganisms from nonhuman primates to humans with effects for individual health, as well as from humans to non real human primates, this similarly has great effects on wildlife conservation.

Care for captive nonhuman primates has resulted in the transmitting of a variety of microbe infections, including Simian foamy virus, herpes simplex virus B. (HBV) primate malaria and tuberculosis.

A common problem in ecotourism is the guarantee of information precision of quality interpretation of degrees of safety of functional integrity and of adherence to impact guidelines. Consumers look for such assurances and any deficiency in these areas can critically inhibit use.

Visitors satisfaction surveys are becoming a far more important part of playground and ecotourism management, they are normal in developed countries but rare in Africa (Friesen1995)


The local neighborhoods must be given status as identical lovers in the endeavor and their talk about of the revenue must be contractually guaranteed over and above the creation of careers and by so doing the neighborhood communities should receive priority in terms of careers.

Local communities should be obviously revealed, their legal usage of the learning resource, through their legal tenure should be regarded and acknowledged.

The syndication of earnings to the neighborhood people should be reasonable, transparent and accountable.

Capacity building for residents should be part of the system, to the degree that there must be maximum involvement of the local people or areas in the look and development of ecotourism with benefits accruing from it to the local people not going out of out minority and disadvantaged communities.

Ecotourism operations should and in most cases must be an crucial engagement of big business concessions coming from the west( partners from in another country) in the form of people and investment for development, but it must also involve local areas and individual entrepreneurs.

It is worth note that Ecotourism should be prepared within an environmentally hypersensitive manner so that its natural and ethnical resources are conserved, ecotourism development will not generate serious negative environmental or sociological influences, the overall quality of the surroundings is retained or improved, the benefits of ecotourism are generally pass on in the world and ecotourism satisfaction levels are managed.

Ecotourists should be environmentally aware they need to favor businesses which have active programs to reduce pollution, throw away, energy consumption, water usage, the use of landscaping design chemicals, and unneeded night time light.

Stakeholders who are able to know that development pressures can deplete resources, and apply restrictions and management ways to prevent this to occur can gain value. Thus businesses that co-operate to maintain natural habitats, traditions sites, scenic charm, local culture etc, are identified generally nearly as good businesses that are environmentally hypersensitive. This therefore calls for good plannification and execution techniques which must be looked at throughout the planning process, this planning shouldn't leave out modern-day and creative concepts of development.

Communities need to measure Ecotourism success not by the countless numbers of visitors, but by the space of stay, money spent, and quality of experience. Many guests might not be automatically better since we recognize that every site has a maximum carrying capacity, which must not be exceeded or over utilized, this kind of over usage may lead to some type of abuses hence if the capability is exceeded it might lead to the resources becoming depleted or overexploited or fatigued as the situation may be.

Participation by the Ecotourists should be inspired whatsoever levels and in all sectors given that they form part of the entire network their exclusion means that the industry will fail to exist they must be part and parcel of the complete scheme. Their involvement at all levels is very primordial, since decisions to be studied equally entails them.

All resources should be respected and every effort must be produced to use them sparingly and judiciously to avoid eventual depletion of the resources involved.

Value adding by all the stakeholders by any means levels will be very needed for success to be noted.

Education and training of all parties that are involved, the local communities, the Ecotourists, federal and those operating in the ecotourism industry this is a key asset resulting in success.

Ethical and moral attitudes, and responsibility into the natural and social environment, should be marketed by all concerned with the procedure that is from the part of the government, the locals and just why not the guests since most of them have a stake in the enterprise.

Partnerships between all get-togethers mixed up in endeavor should be advertised.

For Ecotourism to achieve success there should be a high degree of co-operation between your local, regional, countrywide and international communities, so that everyone should advantage to the utmost. This co-operation must also extend in to the field of marketing and advertising of the said vacationer destination.

At the finish of your day it is the effort and responsibility shown by the city that will determine the success or failing of the Ecotourism venture. A couple of no promises. All parties included have to risk failure and all parties must know this threat of possible inability at the very beginning.

Ecotourism is integrated as something in itself, and the Ecotourism sector is integrated into the entire development guidelines and plans of the region and local programs are built-into the national and local Ecotourism plans and future plans if there are any.

It is sometimes appropriate, to do tactical planning which concentrates more on id and image resolution of immediate issues or problems.

All degrees of the Ecotourism industry are essential, and the grade of training and the ensuing services that exist must be of the best quality or requirements. These standards must also be looked after and improved over time and space, this will demand investing in place monitoring and evaluation programs.


It should be mentioned that in the beginning of any ecotourism endeavors, these should be backed by both the Friendly and environmental impact assessments. These in a bid to ensure sustainability both economically and ecologically. Research into these societies in themselves and the local politics can help identify and discard negative attitudes which could discourage the indigenes and even potential ecotourists. These procedures shouldn't be too troublesome and time consuming but should be in proportion to the size of the suggested development as the situation may be limited money have to transport the task through these details gathering period. The amount of environmental and communal impact allowed is a management decision. This decision should or must look at the legal and environment insurance plan of the covered areas. Ecotourism sometimes appears as some sort of exploitation and depletion regarding the rural villages of Cameroon, it ought to be given more orientation to serve as a good tool to local neighborhoods and equally to become sustainable.

In Cameroon there have been little if any awareness so far as the tourist industry is concerned, there has been low impact educational, ecological and ethnic sensitive awareness. Each one of these issues must be attended to by the stakeholders in the holiday industry for it to be sustainable until when each one of these will be fulfilled with, then might it be a success history.

In many elements of Cameroon, the engagement of local people is essential in creating a memorable ecotouristic experience. Even though local people firmly support ecotourism development, they are participating little with the planning and management of ecotourism in your community. Therefore, for the sustainability of ecotourism development, future planning should consider the inclusion of residents.

Mechanisms should be created to fortify the coordination between different Stakeholders, especially the local people who most often constitute farmers etc. The development of policies regarding ecotourism planning can be quite important, so long as this process is conducted within an available and participative manner to ensure that the growth of the travel and leisure sector in Cameroon is sustainable.

In addition to offering enough services and goods to vacationers, the local federal and companies in the ecotourism sector must cater to the needs

of the neighborhood community. Most inhabitants in Cameroon cannot use the same services or purchase the same goods which could seem cheap to a foreign visitor. The economic expansion as a result of international tourism is not regarded as entirely positive by everyone in the village. Some goods and services have become more costly to residents. This then provides them the impression that Tourism generally speaking is not for everybody because the life of the population and the neighborhood workers most often does not change much.


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