Industrial tree plantations are worldwide at the origin of a growing number of conflicts between local populations and commercial planters. This case study involves the resistance of local Bulu communities against a large-scale rubber tree plantation in Southern Cameroon. The aim is to understand the institutional roots of the conflict. The methods used are historical analysis and anthropological fieldwork. The Bulu logic of possession and use-value corresponds to a multifunctional forest management based on lineage institutions, individual productive investments, ecological cycles, and a broad metaphysical dimension. The economic logic based on Western-type property titles—enabling bank credit that generates specific pressures—gave birth to the industrial monoculture model. Commercial tree plantations are seen as the highest stage of the transformation of forest ecosystems in order to match the requirements of the financial economy in terms of repayment of interest and loans.

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Society & Natural Resources: an international journal
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Gerber, J.-F., & Veuthey, S. (2011). Possession versus property in a tree plantation socio-environmental conflict in Southern Cameroon. Society & Natural Resources: an international journal, 24(8), 831–848. Retrieved from