Ongoing review of Cameroon’s Forestry Law in Parliament;

GDA Joins consortium of SCOs to push for improvement.

By Elias Ngalame


Cameroon’s forestry law is currently under review by the country’s legislators to ensure better environmental governance and stronger community rights.

According to Green Development Advocate, GDA, Parliament is currently examining bill no 2058/PJL/AN aimed at updating law no 94/01 of January 20,1994 relating to the management of the country’s forest, wildlife and fishing, that has been over 30 years old.

There was thus need for civil society organizations to call the attention of the country’s legislators to perfect and update the law incorporating the provisions of international legal instruments such as the 1992 Rio Convention, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, the 2021 FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement,VPA as well as the EU Convergence Plan, Central African Forest Commission( COMIFAC 2015-2025).

Speaking at a press briefing in Yaounde Friday June 27, 2024, Ghislain FONOU, Program officer, SAILD pointed out that “ This revision of the Cameroon forest law aims to enable the country respond to current challenges in terms of sustainable management of natural forest resources and protection of the rights of forest communities “

Despite some progress in the reviewed law, there were still lapses that needs to be perfected, he said.

It was against this backdrop that CSOs like GDA, APED, CeDLA, CERAD,FLAG, SAIL have been working tirelessly to advocate for these critical changes.

 This consortium of civil society organisations met and examined the bill under review in parliament and presented the results of their findings to parliamentarians and senators, it was revealed.

“ We reached a significant milestone. Our CSO working group had a productive meeting with senators of the Exchange  and Production Commission to present our findings and recommendations on the newly tabled draft law during the June 2024 Parliamentary and Senate sessions,” Ghislain said.

The bill under examination has incorporated certain progress like recognition of certain territorial rights to benefit local communities, the ban on export of logs, the completion of forest decentralization with creation of regional forests, taking into consideration environment and ecological aspects, improvement of protection of the sector etc.

However, the CSO’s pointed out some major shortfalls that still need to be corrected.

These include the fact that the text still encourages forest conversion, forest management is not yet adapted to the context, participatory management is not yet well organized, sharing of forest benefits with communities nor clearly spelt out, community access and collective rights are very limited, there still exist inconsistencies in some areas of the law.


The CSOs are proposing for the legislators to restore the rigidity of forest conversion modalities or strengthen them, establish geolocation of inventories, consider indigenous population in in line with UN recommendation, formalize co-management agreement of forest and wildlife resources, create a distribution of grid in the text in accordance with the explanatory memorandum, bring the text in harmony with other legislation on natural resources.





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