Protecting forests and the environment
Title: Forestry and environmental programme in Cameroon
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
Cameroon is still endowed with abundant natural tropical forests. Traditionally they provide vital resources that support local livelihoods and the country’s economy. However, the environmental, economic and social functions of Cameroon’s forest ecosystems are under threat from factors such as migration, population growth, rising demand for fuelwood, expanding agricultural activities and a lack of alternative sources of employment and income for the populace. Illegal logging and poaching exacerbate this situation.
Only slow progress is being made with the implementation of sector strategies, despite forestry and conservation area policies that are relatively advanced by regional comparison and the clear mandates of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development as sovereign institutions. Reasons for this include insufficient coordination between the ministries involved, unsatisfactory performance of duties by institutions and authorities at decentralised level, and a failure to include local residents in decision-making processes.
At present, Cameroon has only a few models of sustainable forest and wildlife resource management at its disposal that could serve as examples for implementing policies. Deconcentrated structures are heavily rooted in their control functions and do not recognise their task as services providers with a role to play in local development policy. In terms of the institutional, legal and regulatory framework, the country still needs rules and implementation regulations, like the agreement on forest area interventions of 9 February 1998, to name one example. Improving management capacities within the decentralised institutions has proven to be a challenge due to a lack of qualified technical and managerial staff in the area of resource management. Interministerial processes as well as coordination between the national level and its subordinate offices regularly run aground. Moreover, processes of communication, management, cooperation and monitoring within the authorities and the ministries are not fully developed.
The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, along with their subordinate technical offices, carry out their mandates in coordination with other stakeholders such as civil society, local non-governmental organisations and local representatives of residents of protected areas.
The project will operate in the Far North, Southwest, Centre and East provinces of Cameroon.
The project team supports the partner ministries in devising and implementing a sector strategy for environmental and forest conservation. It also works with the partners on continued development of policy and strategy guidelines and legal frameworks. Training programmes for the staff of public authorities and institutions at decentralised level impart the know-how needed to enable them to carry out working processes and fulfil their tasks in a more professional manner. This will ultimately allow them to optimise processes geared to the sustainable management of forest resources.
The consulting firms AFC and ECO Consult support the implementation of the project.