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Towards fair and effective legislation on compulsory land acquisition in Cameroon

Cameroon is part of a global trend towards large-scale investments in infrastructure, agriculture, extractive industries, industrial facilities and real estate that are displacing many people. Deeming these projects in the public interest, governments often acquire land by expropriating locally-held land rights. But compulsory land acquisition has severe economic, social and cultural impacts for families and communities. And disputes brought by legitimate landholders can delay or undermine projects, potentially causing losses to commercial operators or failing to deliver the intended public good. Many countries have old-fashioned expropriation rules, ill-suited to addressing the challenges involved. But Cameroon is well-placed to learn from and harness best practice: the ongoing process to reform legislation on compulsory acquisition is an opportunity to develop an effective system that both protects land rights and facilitates developments that are genuinely in the public interest.

This publication has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.

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Project information

Cameroon is revising its land and natural resource laws. This project supports this effort by piloting approaches to improve resource governance in rural areas and by helping citizens participate in the policy reform process.

More at www.iied.org:
LandCam: securing land and resource rights and improving governance in Cameroon

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