|Town/Region||Ikoy River Valley|
|Date||6 Aug 2010|
Little is known of the benefits that local people, living in remote rural forested environments of the Congo Basin, continue to capture once a logging company has abandoned a forest concession.
Tropical logging companies create infrastructure in rural areas, which, while the company is there, brings benefits to rural people. This logging-related infrastructure could not have been created by national governments, nor can these governments maintain it; therefore once the tropical logging companies leave a remote rural area, the infrastructure created by them degrades and the economy that they brought collapses.
This project takes the assumption that in Gabon, logging roads connect remote rural local people who live in tropical forest environments, (henceforth “local people”), to a broad range of commercial opportunities including various markets. The degradation of these logging roads, once tropical logging companies have abandoned an area, has an impact on the commercial or subsistence use of the forest around each village, such as hunting, gathering or agriculture by local people. This is due to the cost of local transport services increasing as access becomes harder.
With the decrease in transport then there will come a time when the cost of transport will be higher than what can be gained by selling a particular product in markets accessed by the logging road. Under such situations local people may increasingly participate in local commercial opportunities only and may revert to more subsistence use of the forest that surrounds their village. With changes in the use of the surrounding forest by villagers, the impact on the surrounding environment changes too.
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