bocage". Development from 1900 to 1960" />

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The origins of the Bamiléké hedgescape "bocage". Development from 1900 to 1960

Gautier D., Verboven D., Wardell A.. 2017. Cybergeo : 29 p..

DOI: 10.4000/cybergeo.28896

This paper analyses the evolution of the Bamiléké bocage (hedgescape) between 1900 and 1960. The process was nonlinear and consisted in waves of extension and withdrawal resulting from farmers' innovations and foreign influences. We distinguish four time periods, which we feel correspond to evolutionary phases of the wooded landscapes: the arrival of the Europeans (1900-1915), the period from European pacification to the liberalisation of the coffee trade (1915 to 1945), the period of liberalised coffee trade (1945 to 1960), and the period of havoc at the time of independence (around 1960). At the beginning of the 20th century, clusters of hedgerows were all that remained in the mainly savannah landscape around settlements. Between 1915 and 1945, the hedgerow system quickly spread and dominated the landscape. The Bamiléké region appeared to have crossed a demographic threshold that required a more intense land development system with a more developed bocage. Coffee production, which was introduced by the French, provided the farmers with an alternative cash crop. The best lands were used to grow coffee, not to rear livestock, formerly the traditional source of income. The enclosure system was gradually abandoned, with hedges used mainly to delineate allocated lands and as a source of wood and non-wood forest products. After 1945, the system continued to expand in the colonised areas. But it later shrank in areas where conflict broke out in the early days of independence. It later again expanded, but sometimes in a modified form.

Mots-clés : aménagement du territoire; aménagement du paysage; agroécosystème; histoire; adoption de l'innovation; haie; Élevage; café; colonisation rurale; cameroun; développement local

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