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Community forest groups fighting poverty, deforestation and forest degradation: Making it a reality in cameroon


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Nzoyem Maffo Horly Nadège, Vabi Michael, Kouokam Roger and Asanga Christian
SNV Cameroon

Presentation for the conference on
Taking stock of smallholders and community forestry
Montpellier France
March 24-26, 2010

Published in: Education
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Community forest groups fighting poverty, deforestation and forest degradation: Making it a reality in cameroon

  1. 1. Community forest groups fighting poverty, deforestation and forest degradation:  making it a reality in Cameroon. Nzoyem Maffo Horly Nadège, Vabi Michael, Kouokam Roger and Asanga Christian SNV Cameroon
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENT <ul><li>Context of community forests in Cameroon </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-economic benefits of CF </li></ul><ul><li>Debt and exclusivity in CF: a vicious circle </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning community forest timber on national and international markets: SNV intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons learnt </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Context of community forest in Cameroon <ul><li>Community forests (CF) introduced in Cameroon by the 1994 forestry law </li></ul><ul><li>CF defined as a forest of non-permanent state forest, object of management agreement between a village community and the services in charge of forestry </li></ul><ul><li>CF described as a three phases process since February 2009 </li></ul><ul><li>1- Constitution of the CF management entity, delimitation of the forest (maximum 5000 ha) and the signing of the provisional management agreement </li></ul><ul><li>2- Implementation of the provisional management convention (max 2 years), elaboration of the simple management plan and signing of the final management agreement </li></ul><ul><li>3- Implementation of the simple management plan and the final management agreement (25 years) </li></ul>
  4. 4. 1. Context of community forest in Cameroon <ul><li>After 16 years of the implementation of the forest law: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than 150 CF attributed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complex and long administrative procedures : at least 3 years from the application to the final agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CF mostly exploited for international markets by external actors with little or no benefits to forest dwelling communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansion of illegal exploitation in CF : exploitation below the authorised diameter, exploitation beyond the annual authorised compartment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of competencies (capacities) for administrative and financial management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very few development projects from CF revenue </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. 2. Socio-economic benefits of CF (1/2) <ul><li>Roles of different actors </li></ul><ul><li>CF are exploited either by communities themselves or by external actors with the majority of cases being the latter </li></ul><ul><li>In the case of subcontracting with external actors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All exploitation activities are carried out by the subcontractor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Despite the provisions of the law, the subcontractors generally are not certified in forest exploitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The legal entity is resumed to the management of revenues with very few control on the CF management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CF exploited by community are generally those supported by development projects. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. 2. Socio-economics benefits of CF (2/2) <ul><li>2 types of revenues accruing from CF </li></ul><ul><li>Individual revenues </li></ul><ul><li>* salaries for workers in exploitation activities and for members of the management entities </li></ul><ul><li>* revenues derived from the exploitation of trees located in family farms called « private wood ». 52.7% of total revenues in COFONEABAME CF went to such families in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Community revenue </li></ul><ul><li>It is the net revenue theoretically allocated to development projects. Only 32% of total revenue in COFONEABAME CF in 2008 was used for this purpose </li></ul>
  7. 8. Table 1: Individual revenues in the COFONEABAME CF in 2008: 1957 m3 log volume 16 559 Evacuation of sawn timber 37 346 Total 15 806 Private wood 831 Private wood commission 1 557 Administrative members of the legal entity 2 593 Technical members of the CF legal entities (Forest operations controllers) Total revenues in 2008 (euros)
  8. 9. Table 2: Utilisation of community revenues in COFONEABAME from 2007 to 2009 23 310 500 977 2 769 3 677 4 667 4 958 5 763 Amount in Euros Percentage Expenses from community revenues 100 Total 2,14 Forest exploitation materials 4,19 Local administrative authorities 11,88 Forest administration 15,77 Development projects 20,02 Commercial activities 21,27 Functioning cost of the legal entity 24,72 Gift and help
  9. 10. <ul><li>Generally when the funding of the process is made by an economic actor, a contract is signed, giving the exclusivity of CF exploitation to the economic actor for a period of 1 to 5 years. </li></ul><ul><li>The debt is often over estimated by the economic actor without any justification document </li></ul><ul><li>The reimbursement of the debt is progressive, depending on the level of exploitation of the CF </li></ul><ul><li>When the forest is not exploited, the amount of debt remains the same with losses on the community side: individual and community benefits. </li></ul>3. Debt and exclusivity in CF: a vicious circle
  10. 11. 3. Debt and exclusivity in CF: a vicious circle eg CF MENLA <ul><li>Debt estimated at 5 385 € : funding of the management agreement and annual exploitation documents </li></ul><ul><li>Contract of exclusive exploitation of the CF for a period of 5years </li></ul><ul><li>Selling price of 38,5€/m 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Just 76 m3 of sawn timber exploited over an authorized volume of 2844 m3 in 2008 and 2009 , with losses estimated at more than 10 000 € in two years </li></ul><ul><li>The CF is still subjected to the exclusive contract for 3 more years. </li></ul>
  11. 12. 4. Positioning community forest timber on national and international markets: SNV intervention <ul><li>Between 2007 and 2009, SNV Cameroon has facilitated the creation of 6 CF groups of about 40 CF in east and SOUTH regions , with capacity strengthening in 3 main areas: </li></ul><ul><li>Improving the management of CF </li></ul><ul><li>Legal supply of timber by CF for secondary processing </li></ul><ul><li>Exportation of CF timber </li></ul>
  12. 13. 4.1 Improving the management of CF <ul><li>The objective is the production of good quality sawn timber for the market. The main activities carried out by SNV are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practical training in forest exploitation with a follow up for the production of at least one order by the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tool Elaboration: evaluation of production costs, contract establishment and negotiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict management between the CF and their clients </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. 4.2 Community forest fighting deforestation: Legal supply of timber by CF for secondary processing <ul><li>The majority of sawn timber sold on the national market and used by secondary processing actors are from illegal sources </li></ul><ul><li>SNV facilitated field visits to the CF by representatives of secondary processing actors to enable the evaluation of the production capacities and contract negotiation </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Contract between CJMB and CF GICAN II </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CJMB plan to create a sales point for community forest timber to furnish their members with legally exploited wood. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One year contract of 120 m3 covering six species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For 2010, negotiation of 1000 m 3 with others CF </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The satisfaction of this order means avoided deforestation in other parts of the national forest, thus an contribution of CF in fighting against deforestation by the supply to the secondary processing sector by legal timber. </li></ul>
  14. 15. 4.3 Exportation of CF timber <ul><li>SNV facilitated the creation of SCNIC, a business service provider, and provided technical support for the elaboration of its business plan for the exportation of CF timber </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007, the first contract was negotiated between SCNIC, Medjoh CF and a buyer based in the Netherlands: 16 m3 giving a net revenue of nearly 100€ per m3 for the community. The price here is double as compared to what was generally offered by the subcontractors </li></ul><ul><li>Since then, more than 200 m3 of sawn timber from CF exported by SCNIC </li></ul>
  15. 16. Lessons learnt <ul><li>Grouping of CF: more exchange of experiences, grouping of production to meet market requirement, advocacy and better negotiation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Exploitation of CF by communities generates local ownership of the community forestry concept and better protection of the forest. It is only possible when the process is not finance by an external economic actor and when the community owns exploitation equipment. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Lessons learnt <ul><li>Commercialisation of timber : in the absence of a funding mechanism for communities, there is need for advance payment for the production by buyers. There is need to combine production for the national market and production for the international market in order to maximise profit and exploit a wide range of species </li></ul><ul><li>Management of revenue: many governance problems in CF. The money allocated for « private wood » is too high and constitutes a barriers for project implementation ; </li></ul><ul><li>Necessity of technical and financial support: in order to improve the economic, social and environmental management of CF </li></ul>