Regional workshops addressing government forestry classification practices were recently held in the towns of Edea and Kribi, Cameroon.  The meetings were organized by Cameroon Ecology, a local NGO, in partnership with the Rights and Resources Initiative, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Tri-national Agroforestry Collective (CAFT) and Center for Environment and Development (CED). 

Covering the workshops for Le Messager (translated from French), Roland Tsapi reports that from the discussions and presentations, it ""is apparent that the problem of land rights and ownership is more acute in forested regions.  The workshop brought together members of multiple levels of government and civil society to address alternative models of land tenure and forest community enterprise.  The recommendations as outlined by Cameroon Ecology:

• To bring together: 1) the government which is attempting to apply its laws and exploit the lands it views as its own 2) and the local populations who consider the same lands to be ancestral property. 

• Local mayors need to come to grips with the reality of the problem of land ownership and municipal councils must discuss responsible ways to defend the interests of local populations, who are often unaware of their rights.  

• Establish a program to educate and make aware local populations of the process of land classification.  

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• Require local industries to submit their development plans to bordering villages.

The goal of these events is to raise decision-makers' awareness of national and international opinions on the problem of rights and tenure in Cameroon, and inspire the Government of Cameroon to commit to policy reforms that favor local

communities' rights over industrial concessions.

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More information on workshops

Community Rights Mapping: Kribi: A Cameroon Regional Workshop for Decision-makers

Community Rights Mapping: Edea: A Cameroonian Regional Workshop for Decision-makers

Photography Credit: Solange Bandiaky, RRI