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Apes, crops and communities: land concessions and conservation in Cameroon

Michelle Sonkoue, Samuel Nguiffo

IIED Briefing, 4 pages

Cameroon’s current land law appears to have two conflicting objectives: to attract investors through large-scale land concessions while simultaneously protecting biodiversity, defending local people’s rights and promoting rural development. But the legislation governing large-scale land-based investments is outdated and sometimes incoherent. The land allocation process is investor driven and does not appropriately balance economic, social or environmental considerations. For example, overlaps between the habitats of great apes, community lands and recently established agro-industries pose a threat to conservation efforts and community livelihoods. Based on recent research, this policy briefing suggests land law reforms that the government of Cameroon could implement to effectively address these issues. These include revising the concession allocation process so that relevant public authorities and local communities are involved, and using Environmental and Social Impact Assessments to better inform decisions.

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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