Overview and analyses of key national policies, strategies and action plans relevant to deforestation, child and forced labour, and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon
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The overarching objective of this study is to identify laws and policies on deforestation, child labour, force labour and smallholder inclusion in Cameroon, and analyze how these policies support the private sector to align with the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber.
This shall entail:
- Identifying and reviewing the various national and sub-national sector policies and how these policies are align or not align to some of the private sector commitments related to deforestation, child labour, and gender and smallholder inclusion.
- Identify practical entry and leverage points, and implementation opportunities and constraints for private sector involvement in the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber.
- Recommend workable measures to address the situation, which will enable the private sector to align with the existing policies to promote the sustainable production of timber, palm oil, cocoa and rubber.
This review clearly demonstrates that both government and private sector can achieve targets of curbing deforestation and ensuring effective respect of human rights along the supply chains of the selected commodities.
Some of the notable gaps within the current policy review remain the non-definition of smallholders as this may make it difficult for companies making it subjective as to who to bring into a program of inclusion. Another critical element especially related to the landscape approach though not highlighted in the review relates to the governance structure in Cameroon, which though decentralized with subnational governments (regional and local authorities) have limited competence in terms of policy-making. The Central Government maintains supervisory powers and delegates competences as it deem fits and in accordance with the law on decentralization adopted in 2004. Thus companies operating at landscape level will have to see how to internalize these governance dynamics in their operations.
The review also notes that the civil society organizations at the local, national and international levels have a significant role to play in the governance system towards reducing deforestation and curbing human rights abuse in the value chains of commodities. As local civil society strengthen its organization, with the creation of active CSO land observatories, first with the North West regional Land Observatory that inspired and triggered the creation of the South and the South West Regional Observatories respectively. These observatories, at provincial and local levels are strong potentials for linking local with national and global. Understanding, recognizing and reviving community traditional knowledge and ecological governance systems is equally primordial.
Also the coherence of operations, policies sector and regulations (for example in agriculture, forestry, mining and planning sectors) is something to be addressed.
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