Valuation Contests over the Commoditisation of the Moabi Tree in South-Eastern Cameroon
We analyse the nature of grassroots conflicts over the commercial logging of moabi ( Baillonella toxisperma ) by foreign firms in South-eastern Cameroon. Moabi offers a good starting point for understanding forest resistances because it crystallises nature conservation, commercial, as well as local interests as it provides oil, medicine and other use values to local populations and particularly to women. Combining a political ecology approach with elements of ecological economics, we find that the conflicts on moabi extraction can be analysed in terms of conflicting languages of valuation - the defence of livelihood and customary institutions versus economic growth and the national laws. We discuss the historical and institutional components of the conflicts as well as the specific role of women.
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