Mangrove forest management is becoming increasingly difficult due to increasing pressure from burgeoning mangrove fuel wood dependent coastal population justifying the urgent need for a multi-dimensional participatory approach that brings together all stakeholders into a broad management and governance framework. This paper investigates, analyzes and puts stakeholders’ participation within the framework for mangrove ecosystem management in local communities of Bimbia-Mabeta areas, a prominent mangrove deforestation hotspot in Cameroon. Results from data collected from a survey of three chosen communities and analyzed using relevant statistical tools showed the level of involvement and intervention in the management process of two categories of stakeholders: direct stakeholders (primary) being exploiters and indirect stakeholders (secondary - providing service control, law and enforcement; and tertiary - mainly ecological service beneficiaries). Their respective incomes per annum derived from mangrove resource exploitation activities ranged from 500.000 to 750.000 fcfa ($1000 - 1500) per person for direct exploiters; and indirect (municipal services) 180.000 to 1.800 000fcfa ($360 to 3600) and 360000 to 1.080 000 fcfa ($720-2160) for government services. A matrix and map was constituted to categorize and appreciate stakeholders in terms of their roles, responsibilities, interests, influence for mangrove restoration and level of impact of mangrove degradation on their livelihoods. Perspectives for elaboration of appropriate management and stakeholders’ engagement plans for more efficient governance to enhance sustainable management of mangroves through integrated, multidisciplinary and ecosystem approaches are further discussed.
Key words: Mangrove ecosystem management, stakeholders’ involvement, stakeholder’s matrix, stakeholder’s map, stakeholders’ engagement plan, good governance, Cameroon.
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