Cameroon Regional Workshop: Bertoua

03/09/2009 - 03/11/2009





This workshop is part of a series on events on mapping community rights in the forests of Cameroon. The issue of recognizing local and indigenous communities' rights is at the heart of the debates on sustainable forest resource management. In recent years" there has been more and more recognition that biopersity conservation efforts must take into account the rights" needs" knowledge and best interests of local and indigenous communities if these initiatives are to suceed. In reality" however" many protected areas are created on the ancestral territories of the communities which were expelled from the area" sometimes forcibly. This results in a number of conflicts between conservation initatives and local communities" leading to inefficiency in the former and impoverishment of the latter" deprived of the resource base for  their life and livelihoods.

This workshop aims to foment in-depth thinking on the methods used to recognize customary rights for local and indigenous communities in protected areas" with the goal of informing revisions to Cameroon's forestry law. The question at the center of this dialogue is how to recognized customary rights and traditional practices in the context of forest resource management in Cameroon in general and particularly in its protected areas.  


  • Present and discuss the results and recommendation of four case studies.
  • Facilitate a discussion between communities and decision-makets in an effort develop a common understanding of the situation" and to make recommendations on the recognition of customary rights in the revision of Cameroon's forest and land policies.
  • Define an advocacy strategy in favor of recognizing customary rights of local and indigenous communities that live in the vicinity of protected areas.


  • Au-delà du droit d’usage: Pour une reconnaissance des droits coutumiers des communautés locales et autochtones dans la gestion des aires protégées au Cameroun - Concept note with agenda and participants list" by Cameroon Environment Development (French only).

Photography Credit: Solange Bandiaky" RRI