Interactive Map: new data – Community Forests in Cameroon

Community Forests in Cameroon

Community forests surrounding Yaoundé

Today there are approximately 300 community forests in Cameroon – representing virtually the only form of officially recognised and clearly defined collective forest management rights in the Congo Basin. As the satellite images on the interactive map show, most of these have been allocated in mostly degraded roadside areas that were deemed to be unsuitable for industrial logging or strict nature conservation in the forest zoning plan in 1995. Restrictions on the permitted size of these “concessions” (5,000 hectares) and the management duration (25 years) mean that these do not always represent the full traditional areas of land used by communities, and are effectively only concessionary use rights – falling short of possession rights, or a land title.

Increasing pressures on forest land from mining, agro-industries and infrastructure development are further limiting the space available for community forests or more secure forms of land tenure. Despite legal provision in the forest codes of Gabon, DRC and CAR, there are only a handful of community forest pilot projects currently running outside Cameroon, which have generally been developed to promote alternatives to illegal logging and poaching activities. These are not currently represented in this data layer.

Data source: World Resource Institute.