Impact of Aboriginal Belief Systems on Natural Resources Management: Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP)

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Limited research exist on the effect of beliefs systems on management of the natural resources especially in Africa. Past decades has experienced efforts made by NGOs, IGOs, Aboriginal people and government to facilitate an effective mechanism to collaboratively manage the forest resources. Nonetheless, a biodiversity hotspot is still being threatened and the collaborative management is ‘pretentious’ in MCNP. This research argues that, unless the complexities and dynamics of the belief and indigenous knowledge are understood and the incorporated into management of natural resources management, collaborative and sustainable management is impractical on MCNP. Sample selection was done using EpiInfo 6.04d (CDC, 2001). We use survey of 238 household randomly selected from 14 of the 41 villages in MCNP (487 questionnaires), focused group discussions, key informant interviews and participant observations were used to collect data. Secondary data was obtained from the Ministry of forestry and Wildlife and also from park management. We find significant evidence (67%) that native beliefs which affect resource management exist in all the four clusters in MCNP. The rural area of Bomboko cluster are more prominent in practicing beliefs 78.3% followed by the Buea cluster with 62.5%. Only 18.5% confirmed that management observed beliefs. A majority of the people (89.5%) perceived that degradation of natural resources is as a result of disregard of native beliefs. Traditional forest conservation was practiced in areas that have traditional beliefs associated with forest resources P<0.001. Spearman’s Rho showed significant relationship between perceived traditional importance of forest and perceived importance of collaborative forest management. Focused group discussions disclosed dissatisfaction in management especially from the hunters and also exposed a momentous decline in the use of the bakweri language which has caused the erosion of culture and indigenous knowledge. We recommend empowerment of local people and integration of cultural beliefs and indigenous knowledge as well as active involvement of the aboriginal people in management and decision making of natural resources in MCNP.
This article is published by IISTE and is also available at
Journal of Resources Development and Management ISSN 2422-8397 An International Peer-reviewed Journal Vol.21, 2016