Most African countries including Cameroon find themselves in a situation of legal pluralism and at crossroads with implications for the sustainable management of natural resources. Traditional institutions and knowledge systems have been hailed as invaluable mechanisms for the conservation of flora and fauna. This chapter examines the conflict between traditional institutions and State law in the hierarchically stratified Mankon Kingdom of the Grassfield region of Northwest Cameroon where the latter prohibits the harvesting of culturally valuable plant and animal species for myriad ritual ceremonies and for therapeutic purposes. It demonstrates that the lack of cultural sensitivity can be antithetical to conservation initiatives. In other words, there is the need to align current legislative regulations for the management of natural species with the traditional use of territory and gender roles as well as to raise the cultural and educational level of the population through sensitization on the need to conserve the natural environment on which their culture depends for its survival.
Part of the book: Endemic Species