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CamFlores: A FLORES-type model for the humid forest margin in Cameroon

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Small-Scale Forestry, Volume 2, Issue 2, p.211 - 223 (2003)



Abstract  A FLORES-type model in the Simile modelling environment is being developed for three villages in the Humid Forest Benchmark area of southern Cameroon. The modelling project seeks to investigate the effects of introduction of new crop varieties and
improved farming systems on the long-term maintenance of stable mosaics of forest and agriculture, within the context of the
international Alternatives to Slash and Burn programme. Biophysical data have been collated, and socio-econnomic and tenure
data have been acquired in spatially-explicit ways. Maps of land-cover at village and benchmark scale are being prepared from
detailed and semi-detailed satellite imagery, using a nested legend system that allows linking of maps at different scales.
These data enable the initial construction and parameterisation of the model, and will permit the extrapolation of the results
of modelling from the villages to the benchmark, and ultimately to the whole of the Congo Basin humid forests. The prototype
version of the model involves 10 households and about 500 land patches, and includes the three agricultural systems dominant
in the southern more forested portion of the Benchmark (mixed food-fallow systems, forest melon fields, cocoa plantations)
with no rental, sale or other transfer of land. Decision-making at the household level is essentially modelled deterministically,
and labour productivity is assumed to be constant between households. This model is now complete, and once it has been adjusted
and suitably parameterised, it will be applied to real data from the three test villages. This will require the addition of
new farming systems, the introduction of modes of permanent or temporary transfer of land, and modification of the decision
model to render it more realistic.
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