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NWFPs help to generate income for poor households

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As stated in Chapter 2, NWFPs play a central role in the lives of the people of Central Africa. They contribute to income and provide many jobs for men and women in both rural and urban areas. Many studies show that in countries where the human development index12 ranges from 0.361 to 0.703, people living around forests obtain 60 to 80 percent of their income from natural resources (Ndoye et al., 1997; Awono et al., 2009). NWFPs account for an average 40 percent of annual household income, the precise proportion varying depending on region, market, the products concerned and their seasonal nature (Awono et al., 2009). Worldwide, the proportion is about 25 percent (Angelsen and Babigumira, 2010). In most cases, the poorest people play the leading role in gathering and marketing NWFPs at the local level. They rely on forest resources on a permanent basis to feed and treat themselves, obtain income, build dwellings and celebrate their rituals (Eyog et al., 2006).

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