In 1996, I conducted predissertation fieldwork in Cameroun.
a two months, I visited three major park areas: Lac Lobeke, Dja and Campo. Within
the boundaries of these National Parks, I worked with parrot poachers from Yaounde,
elephant hunters and poachers from Africa, Europe and the United States, Baka
pygmies, and those governmental and nongovernmental organizations waging a virtual
war in the name of environmental conservation.
"Conservation Wars: Establishing National Parks in Cameroun"
are regular victims of a national park system that conserves tropically forested
areas by prohibiting long term area residents forest accesst. One of the results
is rampant poaching, as bush meat remains the primary meat consumed throughout
rural and urban areas of southern Cameroun.
On one of the three days of travel from Lac Lobeke, in the southeastern corner, to Cameroun's capital of Yaounde, I hitched a ride on a logging truck.
rode in back between the cab and the logs. Just me and the bush meat (monkeys,
antelope) the truck driver was "smuggling" back to Yaounde, with the
help of local goverment officials.
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