Cameroon introduced community forestry in 1994 as a means of improving community engagement in forest management, enhancing forest conservation and reducing poverty for forest-dependent people.
Since then, about 430 community forests have been created, covering approximately 1.7 million ha (7% of total forest area). Community forests are seen by many as a possible vehicle through which to improve the conditions of forests and provide increased economic benefits to communities. While there are success stories, the consensus is that the adoption of community forestry in Cameroon is hampered by constraints. These are apparent both at the community level, where the impediments include limited capacity, internal conflict, and corruption, and at the national level, where there is clear evidence of an unwillingness on the part of governments to devolve substantial authority to communities.
Through the Cameroon Community Forestry Biodiversity Network (CFBN), CBBM aims to:
- Share knowledge, develop capacity, and enhance biodiversity benefits of community forests.
- Integrate community-based monitoring networks and associated technologies as a tool for effective monitoring of biodiversity in community forestry.
- Establish a resource center for community forestry in central Africa to be based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.