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TI Journals Agriculture Science Developments www.waprogramming.com Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013,

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Agriculture Science Developments

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013, Pages: 14-24

ISSN

2306-7527

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

Balgah Sounders Nguh

Head of Department of Geography, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Buea, P.O Box 63 Buea, Cameroon.

A R T I C L E

I N F O

Keywords:

Land Tenure System Land Use Land Use dynamics Land Administration Land Use Planning and Management Limbe City

A B S T R A C T

This study seeks to verify the dynamics of land tenure and land use systems as well as analyse the problems associated to land use dynamics and suggest solutions. The data for this analysis is based on a detailed review of archival materials, a reconnaissance survey and the administration of 300 questionnaires to residents (250) and organizations (5). The analysis of the data was performed in excel in which frequencies and percentages were calculated. The arc GIS software was also used to produce land use maps for the study area. The results show that, urbanization and population growth are the main causes of rapid land use dynamics in the study area. Also, between 1970, 1990 and 2011, residential, agricultural, social amenities and industrial land uses have increased while

during this same period, area covered by forests has reduced from 32, 27 to 20km 2 . However, as of

2011, forest still

agricultural (18km 2 ), social amenities (7km 2 ), industrial (4km 2 ).

occupied a larger proportion of the study area (20km 2 ) while residential (19km 2 ),

© 2013 Agric. sci. dev. All rights reserved for TI Journals.

1. Introduction

Land has been described as the most basic resource because all developments (land uses) occur on land. Humans since creation have relied on land to sustain their ever changing whims and caprices. As such, the terrestrial surface of the earth has been at the centre of egoism for the sustenance of human civilizations. The multiplicity of interests on this resource operates ‘vis-à-vis’ with different systems of land tenure over the globe. Land tenure system can be defined as the mode by which land is held or owned, or the set of relationships amongst people concerning land and its products (Payne, 2000). Land tenure dynamics per se reflects the changes in land ownership or occupancy modes of an area in the face of urban growth. Generally, land tenure dynamics have generally varied from communal land ownership to more individualized modes of land ownership. Meanwhile, land use dynamics refer to the spatio-temporal variations occurring in the different land uses of an area as the process of development continues. Thus, the nature of land use development in an area is a reflection of the changes in the land tenure systems. The twin processes of development and urbanisation have therefore led to the evolution of tenure systems and land uses in a bid to satisfy an ever increasing world population, particularly in cities.

The evolutions of land tenure systems and land use changes have therefore been on the same side of the equation of urbanization. Communal land ownership characterised by an extensive exploitation of the land resource dominated the pre-industrial society (prior to the 18 th Century); while the emergence of the private (individualised) mode of land tenure since the 18 th Century characterised by land commoditization has permitted an intensive use of the earth’s terrestrial surface. The process of urbanization (associated with land pressure) has therefore mounted great pressure on existing tenure systems (Payne, 2000).

Land tenure and land use dynamics in Limbe City have been accompanied by some challenges to the relevant stakeholders. The emergence of non-formal tenure systems for instance has led to squatter settlements on risky zones, irregular and uncontrolled land subdivisions and the loss of urbanization resources due to the local government amongst others. This has in turn led to haphazard land use development which also threatens environmental sustainability. In the context of the growing global interests for sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there can be no sustainable urbanization without a sustainable land use management.

2. Statement of the problem, objectives and study area

2.1 Statement of the Problem

The Limbe City has since colonization had to cope with developments in transitional tenure systems. The emergence of the modern or individualized systems of tenure has been associated with land inflation and the uncontrolled parcelling and commoditization of land into irregular plot sizes and shapes. The irregular and small plot sizes have remained a constraint both to meaningful land use development

* Corresponding author. Email address: juniorsa2002@yahoo.co.uk

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

initiatives and planning. Again, each land owner or occupant in this city dictates the use to which his/her plot is put into (incompatible landlordism), determined by their whims (profit-oriented motives) rather than by purposeful land use planning regulations or nearby compatible land uses. This gloomy outlook has been mirrored by land use conflicts characterising the urbanisation process in Limbe City. This city has grown to embrace varied land uses; regrettably, a city so full of life is constrained by natural and artificial constraints to land supply pushing dwellers to operate non-formal tenure systems (Molombe, 2009 and 2011). Land use expansions have therefore threatened environmental sustainability in Limbe as evidenced by deforestation and the spatial extension of unsuitable land uses on marginal zones (steep hills or wet areas) (Epule et al. 2011). Moreover, corrupt practices by the workers in the different land administration offices and the individual land developers have also downplayed the efficiency of land regulations. This is manifested in the granting of building permits on protected areas (risk zones), the sidetracking of urbanization resources and land conflicts amongst others. Besides, the system of land administration currently on-going in Limbe City needs to fully employ the data base on land tenure and land use changes on which to continually revise and base new planning options for a sustainable land use planning and management.

2.2 Objectives

This paper sets out:

- To examine the dynamics of land tenure systems and land uses in Limbe City over time.

- To probe into the problems associated with land tenure and land use dynamics and to suggest options for urban space management in Limbe City.

2.3 Study Area

This research work covers about 90% of the spatial extent of the Limbe City Council (LCC) confines. The study covers all the three municipalities under the umbrella of Limbe City: the Limbe one, Poh Council (54% of the total population), the Limbe two, Mokundange Council (32%) and the Limbe three, Bimbia Council (14%) (Figure 1). Limbe City which is located within Fako Division of the South West Region of Cameroon lies between latitudes 3 ° 20 1 North and 4 ° 15 1 North of the Equator and between longitudes 8 ° 15 1 East and 9 ° 35 1 East of the Greenwich Meridian (LCC, 2008). According to the Limbe Town Plan (2001), the total surface area of Limbe is about 671km 2 . Limbe City has a population of over 120,000 inhabitants (LCC, 2010) giving a population density of 178 persons/km 2 . It is projected that by 2016, there will be 140,000 inhabitants in Limbe City. These points to the fact that the current demographic pressure experienced in Limbe City shall continue to rise in the foreseeable future (Molombe, 2011). The physical a nd human background of Limbe City has a bearing on the land tenure system and land use choices.

a bearing on the land tenure system and land use choices. Figure1. Layout of Limbe City

Figure1. Layout of Limbe City showing her III Municipalities

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Balgah Sounders Nguh

3. Research methods

Agri culture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

3.1. Data Collection

This study employed both natural and social scientific methods to determine the land uses occurring in Limbe City’s landscape. Firstly, a reconnaissance survey was conducted during the months of September and November 2010 to lay down the foundation for the subsequent fieldwork. The primary source data was gotten through field observations undertaken at different time periods (January-April, 2011). The local chiefs, the inhabitants of various municipalities (land buyers, sellers and middlemen), the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) authorities, the Mission d’Aménagement et Gestion des Zones Industrielles (MAGZI) Management, Delegates of related ministries as well as the Mayors of various councils constituted primary data sources from which interviews and questionnaires were administered. A total of 300 questionnaires were administered, of which 250 were administered to the urban dwellers and 50 to the relevant institutions/land managers. The study also exploited existing literature on the subject. Relevant manually stored documents were also consulted from the Limbe one, two and three respective Councils, the CDC Management, MAGZI, the internet service, Delegations of the Ministry of State Property and Land Tenure (MINDAF), Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MINDUH) as well as the National Archives in Buea.

3.2 Data Analysis

The collected data was analysed in excel. Here, the questionnaires were analysed and frequencies and percentages were calculated and presented on pie charts and bar graphs. In addition, the Arc GIS software was used to produced maps of the various land uses of the study area based on archival data collected above.

4. Results and discussion

4.1 Land Tenure Systems in Limbe

Land tenure varies between cities (UNO, 1973; Payne, 2000). The dynamics of the interaction between the customary, statutory and the non-formal modes of tenure within a city must be understood as a precondition for the revision and formulation of new tenure policies by relevant stakeholders (Payne, 2009). Since land tenure systems occupy a central portion in the preparation of land policies and in the detection of land use changes, this section brings out the different forms of land occupancy and/or ownership in Limbe City (Fig. 2). To the land administrator, these tenure systems can be grouped into statutory (legal, formal) and non-statutory (illegal, non-formal) systems.

formal) and non-statutory (illegal, non-formal) systems. Figure 2. Dominance of Modes of Land Tenure in Limbe

Figure 2. Dominance of Modes of Land Tenure in Limbe

Field results on Fig. 2 allude to the fact that customary tenure (communal land) has been ebbing away in Limbe City in the face of rapid urbanization as it occupies just 12% of the land surface today. Current growth dynamics has increased the private and public modes of land tenure, constituting 39% and 28% of the urban space respectively. The inhabitants of Limbe City consider the extensive public land ownership (28%) as a constraint to land supply. Rapid growth in Limbe City plagued by land shortages, land inflation and the non- utilization of land regulations has led to the emergence of the non-formal mode of tenure constituting 21% of land developers. The non- formal tenure is associated with unauthorized land use development especially by the city’s low-income earners who find it difficult to compete for land in present day individualized land ownership.

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

4.2 Land Tenure Dynamics in Limbe

The western evolution of tenure systems (Fig. 3) can be transposed to explain the dynamic nature of Limbe’s tenure systems. Prior to the agricultural revolution in Europe (1000), land was under communal ownership. By 1600 and 1700 (prior to the 18 th Century), land became involved in the context of ownership; though this concept of individualized land ownership (private tenure) was still far-fetched in Limbe at the time.

The Limbe Municipalities only matched up with the Western’s individualized form of tenure by the late 1880’s (Fig. 3) with the arrival of the colonial masters who needed lands for modern land uses. It was only during this colonial period (from the 1880’s) that the private mode of land tenure stepped into Limbe’s landscape (the then Victoria). These colonial masters marked the birth of individualized la nd ownership which has since then been evolving towards an ever increasing land subdivisions and commoditisation in the last decades.

land subdivisions and commoditisation in the last decades. Figure 3 . Impact of Development on Tenure

Figure 3. Impact of Development on Tenure Systems

Source: Williamson, 2000

Figure 3 provides further explanation of land tenure dynamics in Limbe City as it shows how the birth of individualized land ownership as against the communal land ownership have evolved into the heightened land subdivisions experienced today. Unfortunately, most of these land subdivisions have remained unregularized. The non-formal tenure system is now increasing in the current scheme of urbanization, betraying the Land Administration System (LAS). Table 1 illustrates that as human-land relationship changes (land tenure and land use dynamics) so too should be the LAS (cadastres) to constantly swallow up new challenges. Hence, the human-land relationship in a country or city should be the determinant of the nature of her LAS which needs to suit local realities.

Limbe City is already experiencing heightened land subdivisions, land shortages and land inflation which has led to unsustainable land resource exploitation as experienced in the Western world since the 1980’s. However, the current LAS in Limbe City is still lagging behind, for instance, in terms of multi-purpose cadastres. Perhaps, one may agree with Williamson, (2000) that the LASs of the future will need to manage a growing complexity of rights, restrictions and responsibilities over land due to a greater awareness on environmental and social imperatives, as distinct from a more traditional focus on economic imperatives.

4.3 Land Use Dynamics in Limbe between 1970, 1990 and 2011

The colonial Limbe Town has fared through several phases of land changes strongly initiated by the arrival of the colonial masters (the Germans) in the later half of the 19 th Century as customary land tenure began ebbing away in favour of individualized land ownership. Prior to their arrival, the area was dominantly rural; but since the dawn of independence and the commoditization of land, Limbe’s land space has had to cope with both the expansion and intensification of urban land uses to serve her teeming population. Hence, one may agree with Lambi and Takang, (2010) who noted that the land use changes in the Mount Cameroon Area are represented by the intensity of land use or the replacement of one land use type by an alternative and gainful economic activity.

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Agri culture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

Table 1. Implications of Changing Tenure Systems on the Evolution of Land Administration (Cadastres)

Time Periods

Level of Development and Changing Modes of Land Tenure

Land Value and Implications for Cadastre Evolution

Up to late 1700’s

Agricultural Revolution then Feudalism (communal/individual land ownership)

Land = Wealth (Fiscal/Juridical)

Late 1700’s to World War II

Industrial Revolution & Land Markets (individual/private land tenure)

Land = Commodity as well as Wealth (Land transfer)

Post World War II

Post- War Reconstruction (heightened land subdivisions)

Land = Scarce Resource as well as Wealth and Commodity (Planning)

1980s Onwards

Information Revolution, Sustainable Development, Social Equity (emerging non-formal tenure due to expensive land markets)

Land = Community Scarce Resource As Wealth and Commodity (Multi-Purpose)

Source: Modified from Williamson, 2000

4.4 Land Use Dynamics by 1970

By this time, the colonial masters were the masterminds of land use changes (urban development). These colonists initiated land sub divisions as they appropriated native lands for the establishment of plantation agriculture, pushing the natives onto marginal landscapes (native reserves). Much of the land cover (native rainforest vegetation) at this time dwindled in favour of commercial plantation agriculture (oil palm). These colonial masters brought in new land uses into the town like education and other socio-political (administrative) functions or land uses. The population by 1970 was merely above 30,000 inhabitants composed of immigrants from the interior parts of the country (particularly the grassfield) as well as from other neighbouring countries eager to gain jobs in the plantations. The land use changes by 1970 were of a lower intensity when compared to the subsequent periods (Table 5 and Fig. 11). Thus, Table 2 and Fig. 5 explain why forest was the dominant land use taking up to 32km 2 of the land surface. Also noticeable was the emergence of plantation agriculture which outpaced peasant farming. The rapid clearances of the land cover for agricultural expansion explains why agricultural land use takes up about 16km 2 being the second after forest cover. Residential land use at this time was 14km 2 as the colonial masters (and subsequently the Cameroon Development Corporation, CDC) set up camps adding to the native settlements. Social amenities like schools, health centres and touristic clubs also emerged by this time covering about 3km 2 while administrative buildings constituted 2km 2 (Fig. 4). In addition, the commercial and industrial sectors were still lagging behind covering 4km 2 and 1km 2 respectively. Thus, it can be said that this era marked the birth of urbanization in the then Limbe Town, now known as Limbe City.

in the then Limbe Town, now known as Limbe City. Figure 4 . Land Use Map

Figure 4. Land Use Map of Limbe by 1970

Source: Adapted from the Orstom Centre, 1973

Table 2. Land Use Dynamics by 1970

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land Uses by 1970 in Km 2

Residential

14

Agriculture

16

Forestry

32

Commercial

04

Social Amenities

03

Industrial

01

46% 50 40 23% 30 20% 20 6% 4% 1% 10 0
46%
50
40
23%
30
20%
20
6%
4%
1%
10
0

Figure 5: Areal Coverage of Land Uses in Limbe City by 1970

4.5 Land Use Dynamics by 1990

By this time, the influence of independence had increased alongside the subdivisions or parcelling of land in direct connection with swelling human numbers (90,000 inhabitants) to spearhead the land use mutations. As such, the land cover continued to decline in favour of alternative and more competitive land uses like housing, administrative buildings, commerce or even industries (The National Oil Refinery, SONARA). Hence, Table 3 and Fig. 7 show how forest cover dwindled from 32km 2 in 1970 to 27km 2 by 1990. Perhaps, agriculture increased from 16km 2 to 20km 2 while residential land use continued to blossom from 14 to 16km 2 . There was also the emergence of commercial land uses at this time including, banks, clubs and hotels amongst others (from 4km 2 to 5km 2 ). Social amenities also increased from 3km 2 to 5km 2 though at a relatively slower pace ‘vis-à-vis’ the rate of population growth (Fig. 6 and 7).

the rate of population growth (Fig. 6 and 7). Figure 6. Land Use Map of Limbe

Figure 6. Land Use Map of Limbe by 1990 Table 3. Land Use Dynamics in Limbe by 1990

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Agri culture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land Uses by 1990 in Km 2

Residential

16

Agriculture

20

Forestry

27

Commercial

05

Social Amenities

05

Industrial

02

36% 40 35 26% 21% 30 25 20 7% 7% 3% 10 15 0 5
36%
40 35
26%
21%
30 25
20
7%
7%
3%
10 15
0 5

Figure 7. Areal Coverage of Land Uses in Limbe City by 1990

4.6 Land Use Dynamics by 2011

This period coincides with a teeming human population (over 120,000 inhabitants); land pressures (increased land demand), high land values, irregular land subdivisions as well as the CDC Land Surrender. The increasing demand for land has not only fuelled the land market but has also led to the spatial extension and intensification of land uses onto marginal areas. This gloomy scenario finds explanation in the dwindling forests and mangrove vegetation as well as in the wanton exploitation of the wetland ecosystem. Table 5 and Fig. 11 illustrate the changes in forest cover from 27km 2 in 1990 to 20km 2 in 2011. The increasing degradation of the rainforest vegetation has led to more secondary forests and dwindling green open spaces (from 10km 2 in 1990 to 8km 2 in 2011) and state lands.

The CDC Land Surrender as well as the dwindling state lands has given way for residential expansion through New Layouts (NLOs). The expansion of residential land use remained unrivalled increasing from 15km 2 to 19km 2 associated with deforestation. The government operating under the public mode of land tenure gives out NLOs under private tenure to individuals or groups. Examples include: the Limbe Layout, the Hospital and the Mile one Layouts. In the Limbe one Municipality however, the expansion of settlements has proliferated on hill slopes and flood-prone zones as in Mile one Towe, Bahai, Behind Comprehensive College, Unity Quarters, Mawoh, Motowoh and Behind Police Barracks. Nonetheless, the sharp hikes in residential land use have not been commensurate to the changes in social amenities like pipe-borne water supply, waste collection facilities and access roads.

Table 4. Land Use Dynamics in Limbe by 2011

Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land Uses by 2011 in Km 2

Residential

19

Agriculture

18

Forestry

20

Commercial

08

Social Amenities

07

Industrial

04

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

21 Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013 Figure 8. Land Use Map of Limbe by 2011

Figure 8. Land Use Map of Limbe by 2011

24% 30 25% 26% 25 20 11% 15 9% 5% 10 5 0
24%
30
25%
26%
25
20
11%
15
9%
5%
10
5
0

Figure 9. Areal Coverage of Land Uses in Limbe by 2011

The agricultural land use barely increased at this time from 20km 2 to 21km 2 . This negligible increase of the agricultural land use can be explained by the expansion of urban and peri-urban subsistence agriculture on the one hand, and the ceding of former plantation lands by the CDC (the CDC Land Surrender), on the other. Presently, well demarcated farming areas have declined but the activity is still practised in portions of open spaces and lands under fallow/speculation. Livestock farming (cattle rearing) is also practised at an insignificant scale.

The commercial sector of the Limbe City has also increased in proportion, a common feature of third world cities. The commercial land use has increased from 5km 2 to 8km 2 especially in the Limbe one Municipality (the central place). It is worthwhile to note that the expansion of the commercial sector does not necessarily imply much land space as the activity besides being land-intensive, also constitutes hawkers.

Closely linked is the industrial land use which is rapidly emerging in the recent decades. The visible land use change in industrial growth moved from 2km 2 to 4km 2 . The Mission for the Development and Management of Industrial Zones (MAGZI) now has over 40 hectares of built-up surface. Heavy industries (Chantier Navale, the Shipyard for the Repair of Oil Rigs, the Thermal Plant, the AFCO Cement and the SONARA Extension Project) are expanding in the coastal segment of the Limbe two Municipality and MAGZI. Authorities are negotiating for another area of operation in this municipality in Mile four. Some of these industries have obtained lands formerly occupied by the CDC Palm Estates. Plans are also underway for the Ngeme and SONARA terminals of the Limbe Deep Sea Port.

The service industry is also blossoming in Limbe today. Touristic facilities like hotels have been churned out particularly along the beaches in Limbe. Community forests have also been established. Private and public educational and health functions are now proliferating in this city as a response to the rising population numbers.

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Agri culture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

others Residential 17% 33% Industrial 7% Agriculture 12% Resort/Tourism Commercial 12% 19%
others
Residential
17%
33%
Industrial
7%
Agriculture
12%
Resort/Tourism
Commercial
12%
19%

Figure 10. Major Emerging Land Uses in Limbe

Figure 10 reveals that the fastest growing land use in Limbe City is residential (housing) constituting 33%. By implication, there has been the expansion of settlements; amongst which some are controlled as in the NLOs and others uncontrolled as with the environment unfriendly settlements. Others (17%) include land uses/activities like health and education (social amenities), all working hand in glove to explain the rapid rate of urbanization in this city.

4.7 Land Uses and Patterns in 1970, 1990 and 2011

This section summarizes the land use patterns experienced in Limbe City from 1970 to 2011. It is observed that in 1970, 1990 and 2011 residential, agricultural, social amenities and industrial land uses have increased while during this same period, forest has reduced (from 32, 27 to 20km 2 ). However, as of 2011, forest still occupied a larger proportion of the study area (20km 2 ) while residential (19km 2 ), agricultural (18km 2 ), social amenities (7km 2 ) and industrial (4km 2 ) (Table and Fig.11A and B).

Table 5. Areal extent and Percentages of Land Use Dynamics in Limbe in 1970, 1990 and 2011

Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land Uses by 1970 in Km 2

Areal Extent of Land Uses by 1990 in Km 2

Areal Extent of Land Uses by

2011

in Km 2

Residential

14

16

19

Agriculture

16

20

18

Forestry

32

27

20

Commercial

4

5

8

Social Amenities

3

5

7

Industrial

1

2

4

Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land

Areal Extent of Land Uses

Areal Extent of Land Uses by

Uses by 1970 in (%)

by 1990 in (%)

2011

in (%)

Residential

20

21.3

25

Agriculture

22.9

26.7

23.7

Forestry

45.7

36

26.3

Commercial

5.7

6.7

10.5

Social Amenities

4.3

6.7

9.2

Industrial

1.4

2.6

5.3

Land Tenure and Land Use Dynamics in Limbe City, South West Region of Cameroon

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Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

23 Agriculture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013 Figure 11. Frequencies (A) and Percentages (B) of Changing

Figure 11. Frequencies (A) and Percentages (B) of Changing Patterns of Land Uses in Limbe City in 1970, 1990 and 2011)

Summarily, Table 5 and Figure 11 show the growth or rising trend in the areal coverage of urban land uses (residential, commercial, industrial and social amenities) at the expense of the rural land uses which show a downward trend (agriculture and forestry). As the pressures for residential land use and new settlements (NLOs) heighten, much of the land surface previously occupied by forestry dwindles. This analysis lends credence to the rapid urbanization process underway in this coastal city.

The current rate of urban growth associated with galloping population increase and land use extensions in Limbe City constrained by natural and artificial barriers to land supply has increased the non-formal mode of tenure. This gruesome outcome has been mirrored by haphazard urban development patterns. At a national scale in Cameroon, it has been argued that the galloping population rise is a key trigger of forest area loss in Cameroon and even in Asia (Epule et al. 2011; Epule et al. 2012b; Epule et al. 2012b). The difficulties in accessing land within and on the peri-urban zone in Limbe City hampers the sustainability of urban agriculture as the activity strives on limited juxtaposed idle lands. Also, commercial and residential land uses have grown in line with the concept of dualism implying the juxtaposition of high-order or standard structures alongside low-order, make-shifts or substandard structures (incompatible landlords operating either under the leasehold tenure or non-formal tenure, squatters). Environmentally, current urban growth as with large scale burning of wild lands and the draining and filling of wetlands for urban land uses coupled with poor enforcement of laws have resulted in loss of biological resources and ecosystem alterations (Balgah, 2001).

As urbanization places great pressure on existing tenure systems, the inhabitants have sought alternative modes of occupying and utilising the land resource. Regrettably, most of such tenure arrangements today remain outside the statutory/formal framework including uncontrolled housing into protected areas, land use conflicts, irregular high density development and an overall reduction in urbanisation resources due to the local government authorities amongst others. More sustainable or innovative tenure systems for various land uses need to be adopted if a more sustainable urban development pattern is to materialise.

5. Conclusion and recommendations

Limbe City is one of the rapidly urbanising colonial towns in Cameroon. The profound land use metamorphosis in this city was sparked by the evolution in land tenure. In the face of rapid urbanization, the informal land market and illegal land use developments shall be on the rise. This signals an exigency for the land administration process to be empowered to fully address the imminent dynamics of the human- land relationship in Limbe City addressing both the land tenure dynamics and land use dynamics. Hence, as society develops, land administration policies must also be revised to ensure a more sustainable urban growth. Land use planning must be firmly implemented as a precursor for a more planned development. Mindful of the strength of layouts as a major source of land supply in Limbe City, attempts at designating particular layouts to certain land uses could serve as the way forward or

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Agri culture Science Developments, 2(3) March 2013

perhaps, the starting point for land use zonation (Molombe, 2011). These layouts also need to be planned before land development (as the case of Krata NLO), with streets demarcated, open spaces planned and land spaces for services taken into consideration just as Balgah, (2006) argued that the best period for land use planning should be before effective development so as to permit the allocation of land spaces for different land uses.

The land administrators need to exploit database on land use changes to plan for the current and future land uses as a major thrust in urban space management. Such planning must integrate economic, social and environmental considerations now and in the future for the sustainable management of the urban space. Land use development rights like building permits and occupancy rights can be used as a tool for land use planning (Molombe, 2011). Land use planning and management must provide the greatest sustainable benefits, minimize land use conflicts and ensure a balance between land exploitation, land productivity, population growth and environmental sustainability (Lambi and Takang, 2010).

Acknowledgements

The author is thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. Thanks also go to Terence Epule Epule for providing comments on an initial version of the manuscript. Finally, the author is thankful to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Buea for providing the funding.

References

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