Land Tenure / Landscape Management
Deforestation in Cameroon is on the rise – largely driven by expansion of agro-industry, slash and burn agriculture, logging, fuelwood demands, mining and infrastructure development. Competition for productive land in Cameroon has increased, notably with foreign companies seeking large tracts of land (10,000 hectares and above) for agricultural development. Since 2012 the Ministry of State Lands (MINDCAF) has engaged in a nationwide process to identify and reserve large areas of land to offer to future investors. In Cameroon (and the region) there has been limited practical experience in both drafting and implementing holistic and inclusive Land Use Plans (LUPs) that reconcile diverse interests in a negotiated and balanced way. The urgency to resolve land disputes, promote sustainable land management and reduce deforestation are high on the public agenda.
It is within this framework that MINEPAT instituted the national and Regional Zoning plan with the decentralization process in Cameroon which is also being established in most of the countries of the Congo basin, with communities’ involvement in decision making becoming an imperative as far as the management of land and resources are concerned. It is within this bracket that BRIDGE and its partners delved in mapping and LUP with aims to:
» Give the government and other concerned stakeholders accurate information on how communities use their lands and resources;
» Empower community members to be part of decision-making processes concerning their lands;
» Secure communities’ livelihood sources and
» Guide communities on how to plan and manage their lands and resources in a sustainable manner