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EXAMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING IN CAMEROON

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EXAMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES AND POLITICAL DECISION-MAKING IN CAMEROON

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

The implementation of environmental regulations and the process of political decision-making play pivotal roles in fostering sustainable development within a country. Cameroon, a country rich in biodiversity and natural resources, has a range of complex issues in effectively managing the dual objectives of economic growth and environmental preservation. The objective of this research is to thoroughly examine the complex relationship between environmental policies and political decision-making in Cameroon. It will investigate the efficacy, obstacles, and possibilities for enhancing these policies in the future (Tegegne, Lindner, Fobissie and Kanninen, 2016). The environmental policies and political landscape of Cameroon have been influenced by a multifaceted historical context. Indigenous tribes have historically kept enduring connections with their natural environment from the pre-colonial era. Nevertheless, the imposition of colonial control brought about exploitative behaviours, resulting in the deterioration of the ecosystem. According to Federici, Tubiello, Salvatore, Jacobs, and Schmidhuber (2015), subsequent to achieving independence, the government implemented a range of measures aimed at tackling environmental issues. These policies were often shaped by political motivations and foreign influences. Currently, Cameroon has implemented a comprehensive set of environmental regulations that include measures to protect biodiversity, manage forests, mitigate climate change, and regulate pollution. These policies are expressed via laws, global treaties, and institutional frameworks. Nevertheless, the execution of these initiatives often encounters obstacles stemming from insufficient resources, ineffective enforcement mechanisms, instances of corruption, and divergent interests among many stakeholders (Mbatu, 2015). In Cameroon, the process of political decision-making is subject to the impact of several elements, including government institutions, bureaucratic procedures, interest groups, and foreign connections. The executive branch has substantial authority in the development and execution of environmental policy, sometimes with restricted involvement from the general public. The susceptibility of decision-making processes to corruption and rent-seeking behaviours is a significant obstacle to the successful implementation of policies. According to Nsagha, Atashili, Fon, Tanue, Ayima, and Kibu (2015), the stakeholders engaged in environmental policymaking in Cameroon exhibit a wide range of diversity and complexity. The entities included under this framework consist of government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), local communities, foreign donors, and commercial sector firms. These parties often possess conflicting interests, resulting in disputes about the distribution of resources, planning of land use, and implementation of development initiatives. The efficacy of environmental policy and political decision-making in Cameroon is hindered by many problems. The factors contributing to these challenges include institutional deficiencies, insufficient technical expertise, limited financial resources, ineffective interagency collaboration, and socio-economic factors such as population expansion and urban development (Guthold, Stevens, Riley, Bull, 2018). Moreover, the execution of environmental legislation is compromised by factors such as political instability, corruption, and a deficient rule of law. The objective of this research is to examine a selection of case studies conducted in Cameroon in order to demonstrate the operational dynamics of environmental policies and political decision-making. A comparative comparison conducted with other nations in the area or internationally may provide valuable insights into optimal strategies, acquired knowledge, and novel methodologies that can be applied to the specific circumstances of Cameroon (Oni et al., 2020). Although Cameroon has several obstacles, there are potential avenues for augmenting the interplay between environmental policy and political decision-making. Kayesa and Shung-King (2021) propose that policymakers should prioritise the enhancement of institutional capacity, the promotion of openness and accountability, the cultivation of multi-stakeholder partnerships, and the integration of environmental issues into larger development objectives. In summary, the objective of this research is to enhance comprehension of the intricate correlation between environmental policies and political decision-making in Cameroon. Through the identification of obstacles, analysis of current methods, and provision of suggestions, the objective is to promote well-informed conversation and implementation in order to attain sustainable development objectives while safeguarding Cameroon's abundant natural legacy.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Cameroon's environmental conditions are confronted with a diverse range of concerns, including deforestation, habitat degradation, pollution, and biodiversity decline, among several other issues. To tackle these problems, it is necessary to implement efficient environmental regulations and take resolute political measures. According to Kayesa and Shung-King (2021), the effectiveness of environmental policy is closely intertwined with the political decision-making process inside the nation. Hence, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive examination of the convergence between environmental policies and political decision-making in Cameroon, given its significant ramifications for sustainable development, environmental preservation, and socio-economic welfare. In Cameroon, there is a notable disparity between the development of environmental regulations and their actual implementation, as highlighted by Juma, Mohamed, Wisdom, Kyobutungi, and Oti (2016). The absence of political determination and dedication to enforce these regulations often results in inefficient or incomplete execution. The existence of this disparity prompts inquiries on the influence of political decision-making in emphasising environmental issues and distributing resources for the implementation of enforcement methods. The political environment of Cameroon is characterised by a wide range of interests, including those of governmental authorities, industrial participants, and indigenous populations. These interests may clash with the objectives of environmental protection, resulting in concessions in the development and execution of policies (Kang, 2016). In order to identify possible obstacles to successful environmental governance, it is essential to comprehend the degree to which political interests influence environmental policies and decision-making processes. Likewise, the establishment of robust institutional capacity and the facilitation of collaboration across diverse governmental departments, agencies, and non-governmental organisations are crucial for the achievement of effective environmental governance. Nevertheless, the presence of institutional fragmentation and insufficient resources often impedes the effectiveness of coordination endeavours, leading to fragmented execution and enforcement of policies. Insights into enhancing the coherence and efficiency of environmental policies may be gained by analysing the institutional dynamics and their influence on political decision-making (Prasad, Borrell, Mehdipanah, & Chatterji, 2018). The socio-economic ramifications for various parts of the population in Cameroon may be significantly influenced by environmental regulations and political actions. Policies pertaining to land use planning and the use of natural resources have the potential to disproportionately impact marginalised populations, hence intensifying socio-economic disparities. To ensure social equality and promote inclusive development, it is crucial to examine the distributional impacts of environmental policies and political actions (Prasad, Borrell, Mehdipanah, & Chatterji, 2018). For sustainable development in Cameroon, the intricate relationship between environmental regulations and political decision-making presents a range of difficulties and possibilities. To tackle these difficulties, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the elements that affect the development, execution, and enforcement of policies, as well as their socio-economic and environmental consequences. This study endeavours to provide evidence-based suggestions for improving the efficacy of environmental governance and fostering sustainable development in Cameroon via an in-depth exploration of these concerns.

1.3 Objective of the study

Generally, the study examines environmental policies and political decision-making in Cameroon. The specific objectives is as follows

To investigate the influence of political decision-making processes on the formulation and implementation of environmental policies in Cameroon.

To assess the effectiveness of implemented environmental policies in addressing ecological challenges in Cameroon.

To propose recommendations for enhancing the integration of environmental considerations into political decision-making processes in Cameroon.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to further guide the study

What is the influence of political decision-making processes on the formulation and implementation of environmental policies in Cameroon?

What is the effectiveness of implemented environmental policies in addressing ecological challenges in Cameroon?

What are the propose strategies for enhancing the integration of environmental considerations into political decision-making processes in Cameroon?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Government: Examining political decision-making processes sheds light on the governance structures and mechanisms in place to address environmental issues. This includes analyzing the roles of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, civil society groups, and international stakeholders in shaping environmental policies. By assessing the transparency, accountability, and inclusivity of these processes, stakeholders can advocate for reforms that strengthen democratic governance and foster greater citizen participation in environmental decision-making.

Academia: the findings of the study will be beneficial to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on environmental policies and political decision-making in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will assess the effectiveness of implemented environmental policies in addressing ecological challenges in Cameroon, investigate the influence of political decision-making processes on the formulation and implementation of environmental policies in Cameroon and propose recommendations for enhancing the integration of environmental considerations into political decision-making processes in Cameroon.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced

1.8 Definition of terms

Environmental Policies: These refer to official guidelines, regulations, laws, and measures formulated by governmental bodies or institutions aimed at addressing environmental issues, managing natural resources, mitigating environmental degradation, and promoting sustainable development within Cameroon's geographical boundaries.

Political Decision-Making: This term encompasses the process by which political actors, including government officials, policymakers, legislators, and other stakeholders, deliberate, negotiate, and ultimately determine courses of action or policies related to environmental issues within the context of Cameroon's political landscape.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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