“How can community control over woodlands be obtained and maintained?” This was the question the African Network on Community Rights met in Douala (Cameroon) to answer"


Copies of the “Declaration of the African Network on Community Rights to Communities and Civil Society NGO’s” and “Recommendations for Governments to Create Favourable Conditions" are now available for download.


docs/news/Fevrier-Avril 2011/peuple autochtones.jpg

A conference was held in Douala (Cameroon), from 13 – 16 September 2011 on the theme “How can Community Control over Woodlands be Obtained and Maintained?” ». Participating in the Douala workshop, which was organized by the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) with the technical and financial support of ACRN, FERN, FPP, and ClientEarth, were at least two representatives each from the civil society and/or forest communities of Liberia, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon.


Representatives of the international support organisations, namely: FERN, FPP, ClientEarth, RRI and the land law expert, Liz Alden Wily also took part in the conference. Alden Wily also took part in the conference. Finally, representatives of the Cameroon Government, COMIFAC and the World Bank, participated as well, though only during the 4th day.


The main objectives of the conference were as follows:

♦ To better understand the reality with regards to sustainable community management of woodlands, including the environmental and developmental advantages likely to result from the recognition of customary land tenure systems in state law and institutional practices.

♦ To better understand national legal and institutional obstacles to community control over woodlands as well as possibilities for legal reform

♦ To clarify the concept of customary land tenure systems and legislative law and demonstrate how these two legal regimes can complement each other in fostering the recognition of tenure rights

♦ To clarify the concept of procedural law (right to justice, right to information, right to consultation, etc.) as understood within the framework of the application of rights, including tenure rights

♦ To examine the FLEGT and REDD processes at national level and identify where and how they provide opportunities and/or are threats to the acquisition and defence of community control of woodlands, especially through the case study of best practices

♦ To draw up a common document/declaration that can later be used by civil society groups within the framework of their own advocacy missions, for example, by presenting it to local governments and/or through other relevant national and regional platforms It was also intended that this declaration be presented to representatives of the Cameroon Government, COMIFAC and the World Bank during a meeting on 16 September, 2011.


After the opening ceremony followed by the adoption of an agenda for the conference, participants proceeded to a plenary session in which they listened to several presentations. Issues requiring in-depth reflection were analysed in workgroups. Among the presentations made were:


(1) "Presentation of the Context” by Liz Alden Wily. She talked on the situation of customary/indigenous rights on woodlands in Africa and their implications/threats. This presentation was followed by a question and answer session.

(2) “Property Ownership and Communal Use of Land Resources, Opportunities and Threats”,

(3) “Challenges to Community Acquisition and Maintenance of Ownership Rights on their Lands”,

(4) “Presentation of the FLEGT Process”,

(5) “Presentation of the REDD Process”,

(6) “Lessons from the FLEGT and REDD Processes”, (7) Group Session: Identify what tools are required at the national and community level to reinforce community control over forests.


After four days of hard and productive work, the participants drew up: the Declaration of the African Network on Community Rights to Communities and NGO’s of the Civil Society and a series of strong recommendations to governments in view of creating favourable conditions were made to, among other things:

(1) ensure that customary land ownership rights are recognised as part of the right to property by state law,

(2) ensure the legal recognition of community governance and support for transparent, democratic and inclusive governance,

(3) ensure that legal reform takes place on the basis of public participation, especially the participation of indigenous peoples,

(4) ensure that the procedures and processes by which laws are applied be put in place within reasonable deadlines.

For further information, please download:

♦ Final Agenda of the Douala Conference

♦ Briefing Note


Declaration of the African Network on Community Rights to Communities and Civil Society NGO’s on the event of the Douala Conference on the Rights of Communities; Cameroon, 13 - 23 September 2011


Recommendations to the Government, Declaration of the Douala Conference on the Rights of Communities, The African Network on the Rights of Communities, Cameroon, 13-16 September, 2011

♦ (Available only in English): Address to the African Community Rights Network conference on community rights, by Silas Siakor: Final day meeting of civil society and communities from the Congo basin, Ghana and Liberia, and Cameroon government representatives, 16 September 2011

Photograph: A Cultural presentation by indigenous people @FIPACII

Go back


MoP 18th Side Event - USFWS: Roundtable discussion on wildlife capacity development in Central Africa

The purpose of this roundtable discussion is to learn about priorities, gaps, and opportunities for wildlife conservation capacity development in Central Africa.  Session Co-Chairs :   Dirck Byler, Chief, Africa Branch, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Francis Tarla, Central Africa Bushmeat Action Group (CABAG)/University of Dschang, Cameroon...

Read more …

voaafrique-French NGO to manage largest and endangered nature reserve in Niger

Niger has appointed the French NGO Noé to manage its largest natural reserve, Termit and Tin Toumma, which is home to several protected and endangered plant and animal species, the Nigerien Ministry of Environment announced on Tuesday.

Read more …

J-7: New personalities confirm participation in Africa PPP Forum - Hurry!

We are pleased to invite you to take part in the annual meeting on PPPs (Public-Private Partnerships) in Africa. This year’s Africa PPP Forum will focus on the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and Agricultural sectors.

Read more …

Foder: Newsletter of the Forum on Mining Governance in Cameroon

The National Forum on Mineral Governance in Cameroon was held from 10 to 11 October 2018, at the Djeuga Palace Hotel in Yaounde. The forum was organized within the framework of the Mines-Environment-Health and Society Project (ProMESS) which is being implemented by FODER with the financial support of the European Union. It was chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development (MINMIDT) and the Minister’s representative as well as the Representative of his Excellency the Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Cameroon, Mr. Arnaud Demoor, Chief Adviser of the Cooperation.

Read more …

rainforestfoundationuk- At loggerheads: the moratorium, geographical programming and community mapping in DRC

Rainforest Foundation UK is pleased to share with you ‘At Loggerheads: The Moratorium, Geographical Programming and Community Mapping in DRC’, the third in RFUK’s series of information briefs looking at the policy implications of community mapping in the Congo Basin.

Read more …

Oecdobserver: Data vs deforestation: A breakthrough in supply-chain transparency

We are eating our way through tropical forests. Whether it’s a cappuccino for breakfast, a burger for lunch or a chocolate bar as an after-dinner treat, the things we consume in OECD countries are often linked to deforestation in the tropics, where trees are falling at alarming rates.

Read more …

UEREDD Facility-Insights into forest-risk commodity supply chains

UEREDD Facility  is pleased to share with you some updates on the Transparency for Sustainable Economies (Trase) initiative, which works to improve the transparency, clarity and accessibility of information on the commodity supply chains that drive tropical deforestation.

Read more …

Guinea fowl, giraffe and bakery: news from Bamingui-Bangoran Park

Enjoy and broadcast the 25-minute movie in Sangho to understand the program, listen to testimonials, opinions and expectations of various actors, see the progress status...MINUSCA has provided a truck to carry construction equipment from the community bakery’s store and shed...

Read more …

CBFP News Archive


CPLC Newsletter - Fall 2018
GCF Recent Activity
FTNS Annual Report 2017
Cidt : FGF Brazzaville 2018
Fourth CBFP Council meeting
Forest Watch - April 2018