Department of Geography

Zechia Walters Chiafie

The theme for my master thesis is Natural Resources Management Conflicts between the State and Rural Communities. Case Study of Mbi Forest Reserve in N.W Region of Cameroon.

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I am now able to think critically and widely on various development theories that have been operating for some decades now. This program to me, is a tool for critical analysis, thinking and research.

Natural resources are a blessing to countries that have them, for economic development, sustaining livelihoods and protection of environment. But as observed almost every where in the world today, their inequitable management has led to a logic of strategic resources control, especially by the powerful, leading to claims, counterclaims and conflicts. It is therefore, necessary for various interest groups to come into consensus to quell down already existing resources-related conflicts or avoid potential ones, especially with heightening poverty, unemployment and a widening gap between the poor and the rich.

Consequently, this thesis will investigate processes and motives that led to establishment of Mbi reserve, how its establishment affected/changed, the livelihoods, the resources usage patterns by adjacent communities and the emerging conflicts between state's intention to conserve and protect the area, and local claims for restoration of their livelihoods. Lastly, it will try to investigate ways of curbing the conflicts.  

Supervisor: Håvard Haarstad