Community-Based Natural Resource Management
After the Rio Summit in 1992, Cameroon committed to ensure a better participation of local populations in the management of natural resources in order to effectively fight against poverty.
This commitment took a better turn after the adoption of a new forest law in 1994, with the objective to increase the participation of populations in the conservation and management of forest resources and consequently improve their living standards.
For this to be achieved, the concept of community forests was introduced in the 1994 law. In a bid to make it operational, the government put in place an appropriate institutional framework with the help of development partners.
According to this law, communities can acquire a community forest (maximum 5000 ha) and manage it following a Simple Management Plan (SMP).
Since 2003, WWF has been committed to accompanying local communities in the process of acquiring and managing community forests. Given the link between biodiversity conservation and local development, WWF has concentrated its efforts mainly around protected areas.
For WWF, community forests can constitute an important leverage for local development and biodiversity conservation if the resources and necessary efforts are put together to valorize forest resources and ensure sustainability in their exploitation.
Areas of intervention
- Ameliorate legal and institutional frameworks for community forests
- Support local communities to acquire and manage community forests
- Build and reinforce the capacity of various stakeholders regarding community forests