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Anglophone Cameroon Poetry in the Environmental Matrix

Eunice Ngongkum

This book explores contemporary Anglophone Cameroon poetry’s engagement with the environment through an eco-textual analysis of a cross section of poems from different poets. In this regard, the work broadens the field of ecocriticism beyond the original Anglo-American axis by developing a more locally-rooted in ecocriticism while making a valuable addition to the growing field of African ecocriticism.

It spotlights environmental degradation, the inextricable relationship between nature and culture as well as the intersection between history, politics, ethics and the environment in the Anglophone Cameroon cultural imaginary.

Focusing on the current need for the humanities to effectively respond to environmental challenges, the book foregrounds an environmental poetic vision that can be an ideal starting point for influencing and changing thought and behavioural patterns globally.

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Chapter 2. ‘Falling Bush’: Arboreal Politics, Poetics and Ethics


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Chapter 2 ‘Falling Bush’4: Arboreal Politics, Poetics and Ethics

The stark realities of global warming and climate change have accentuated the visibility and relevance of forests in world contexts today (Pitman & de Noblet Ducoudre 2012, Hertsgaard 2012, Walsh 2004). Brian Walsh (2004), for instance, notes that forests are not just carbon banks but are central in slowing down the pace of global warming. Mark Hertsgaard corroborates this when he states that “the most effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is by halt[ing] the destruction of forests worldwide and especially in the tropics, where the fast growing trees are so effective in absorbing carbon” (2012:214). Forests, especially tropical rainforests, thus play unique roles in moderating climate change and in sustaining planet earth’s biodiversity. They determine rainfall, cool and regulate the earth’s climate and, at the same time, provide habitat for wild life, prevent soil erosion, landslides and make even the most infertile soil rich with life.

Today, however, rainforests are among the world’s most threatened ecosystems. According to Didier Babin (2005), FAO statistics indicate that, between 1950 and 1982, the surface area covered by tropical rainforests, found in developing countries, shrank by between 25 and 40 percent. In 1992, Norman Myers already affirmed that tropical rainforests’ “annual destruction rate seemed set to accelerate yet further, and could well double in […] decades” (1992:14). While the causes of the loss and degradation of tropical rainforests are many, varied and ← 53 | 54...

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