Participatory GIS and local knowledge enhancement for community carbon forestry planning: an example from Cameroon

Peter A. Minang and Michael K. McCall


This article explores how participatory GIS (PGIS) can add value to indigenous knowledge for use in carbon planning within the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Accessing payments and benefits for environmental services such as carbon mitigation requires enormous amounts of technical information – which local communities in developing countries often lack. Local spatial knowledge and indigenous knowledge can be vital sources of information – but there is still a divide between local and scientific knowledge.

     In this article we try to explore the extent to which PGIS can enhance the use of local and indigenous knowledge in the CDM certification processes. We report on part of an ongoing study, working with a long-time partner, the Bimbia Bonadikombo community, located in Cameroon’s Southwest Province. The study is researching possibilities for including carbon forestry as an objective in a community forest management plan. The results would be used to develop strategies relevant for CDM requirements and community forest management in general.