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Modern State Law: Regulating Tradition or Protecting the Environment in the Mankon Kingdom of Northwest Cameroon?

Chapter in book
Authors Ngambouk Vitalis Pemunta
Ngwa Donald Anye
Published in Endemic Species. Eusebio Cano Carmona (red.)
Pages 181-+
ISBN 978-1-83962-354-7
Publisher Intechopen
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Public Health Epidemiology Unit
Pages 181-+
Language en
Keywords legal pluralism, socio-cultural factors, ritual, conservation, traditional society, environmental education.
Subject categories Other Natural Sciences, Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Physical Sciences, Other Social Sciences, Sociology, Other Agricultural Sciences, Human Geography, Economic Geography


Most African countries including Cameroon find themselves in a situation of legal pluralism and at crossroads with implications for the sustainable management of natural resources. Traditional institutions and knowledge systems have been hailed as invaluable mechanisms for the conservation of flora and fauna. This chapter examines the conflict between traditional institutions and State law in the hierarchically stratified Mankon Kingdom of the Grassfield region of Northwest Cameroon where the latter prohibits the harvesting of culturally valuable plant and animal species for myriad ritual ceremonies and for therapeutic purposes. It demonstrates that the lack of cultural sensitivity can be antithetical to conservation initiatives. In other words, there is the need to align current legislative regulations for the management of natural species with the traditional use of territory, gender roles as well as to raise the cultural and educational level of the population through sensitization on the need to conserve the natural environment on which their culture depends for its survival.

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