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News from Cameroon: Why dialogue matters in community forest management
On August 12-14, 2008, community leaders, government representatives, researchers and members of the RRI coalition met in Edéa, Cameroon to discuss alternative models for tenure and enterprise in Central African forests. During the workshop, Central African community leaders presented their experiences in forest management and presented case studies they themselves had conducted comparing the Central African context with the community forest management in Latin America and Canada. Workshop participants discussed the obstacles communities face, and the challenges and opportunities for government to implement legal forest policy and land reforms in Cameroon.
It is not often that government officials, civil society representatives, local community leaders and customary chiefs gather for frank discussion about local rights, ownership, and benefits. But it happened in Edéa.
- Government officials acknowledged that communities face burdensome obstacles to accessing land and forest resources, and that this must change. Cameroonian government representatives confirmed that the government is committed to recognizing community rights in land and forest tenure and demonstrated their willingness to engage in policy reforms.
- Community leaders, formerly side-lined as spectators in formal conference settings, took the lead in the conference presenting their own experiences in community forest management and the obstacles they face.
- Research findings presented by the civil society participants supported the discussions by offering real facts for honest discussion.
Posted By Megan Liddle & Solange Bandiaky at 2:05pm on August 14, 2008
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