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Tropical Forest Tenure 
Assessment: Status, Trends and 
 Implications for Central Africa

                      Samuel Ng...
Tenure distribution of 
                           Tropical Forests, 2008
Why this matters today?
• Capacity of the state to effectively manage
• Tensions/conflicts over land and resources are 
Progress just starting in Africa


Asia & Pacific            Latin America
Industrial concessions dominate 
          African forests
Comparison of the area of industrial concessions and community
Why it matters for Central Africa
• Enormity of potential (vast forest resources)
• There is enough for everyone, little p...
Scaling up reform is possible, and 
     experiences exist to build on
• Amazon Basin versus Congo Basin: It will take 
Examples of reform
• 20 countries over past 10 years have made legal and policy reforms to 
  strengthen the rights of for...
Mozambique: Recognizing tenure rights 
 based on historic use and occupation
         –   Peace Agreement (1992)
Some lessons
• Recognized the multiple uses and actors present in 
  rural areas
• Created a multi‐stakeholder negotiation...
• Acknowledge that it is difficult but possible 
• And it will be more difficult tomorrow – more 
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Samuel Nguiffo: Tropical forest tenure assessment: Status, trends and implications for Central Africa


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Day 1, Session 1: Current status of tenure and emerging lessons from ongoing reform

Presentation by Samuel Nguiffo, Executive Director, Center for Environment and Development

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Samuel Nguiffo: Tropical forest tenure assessment: Status, trends and implications for Central Africa

  1. 1. Tropical Forest Tenure  Assessment: Status, Trends and  Implications for Central Africa Samuel Nguiffo Secretary General Centre pour l'Environnement et le Development Cameroun Yaounde 25 May 2009 
  2. 2. Tenure distribution of  Tropical Forests, 2008 4% 18% 65% 13% Public: Administered by government Public: Designated for use by communities & indigenous peoples Owned by communities & indigenous peoples Owned by individuals & firms Source: RRI, 2009
  3. 3. Why this matters today? • Capacity of the state to effectively manage • Tensions/conflicts over land and resources are  rising throughout the world • Low economic development in rural areas and  nationally in many high forest countries • Environmental degradation and the global  climate • Government ownership of forest contradicts  trend to decentralize
  4. 4. Progress just starting in Africa Africa Asia & Pacific Latin America
  5. 5. Industrial concessions dominate  African forests Comparison of the area of industrial concessions and community forest land in the Central African ITTO Producer countries Industrial logging Concession Areas Mining Other (including oil and gas) Designated for and Owned by Designated for communities and Communities indigenous people and Indigenous Owned by community and People indigenous people 0 20 40 60 80 Millions of hectares
  6. 6. Why it matters for Central Africa • Enormity of potential (vast forest resources) • There is enough for everyone, little potential for  communities causing harm to land and resources • Rush from foreign countries for forests, mining &  plantations that is likely to cause problems in this  context: conflict, pollution, rights abuses • Rural poverty has increased in the last ten years in all  Central African countries • REDD presents potential benefits, but requires clear  tenure
  7. 7. Scaling up reform is possible, and  experiences exist to build on • Amazon Basin versus Congo Basin: It will take  260 years at today’s rate for Congo Basin to  reach the Amazon Basin’s level of community  forest ownership • If Congo Basin moves at the speed of the  Amazon it will only take 16 years… • Can learn from Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador,  Mozambique, Tanzania, India, Canada,  Sweden, Finland, China, etc. 
  8. 8. Examples of reform • 20 countries over past 10 years have made legal and policy reforms to  strengthen the rights of forest communities; 8 of these countries are in  Africa • Brazil – Once behind now leading the way in recognizing forest community rights • Mozambique – developed participatory policy making and implementation • Tanzania – Village land acts and PFM programs • India – Forest Rights Act makes advances on JFM and gives more authority and land  rights to local groups • Central Africa: – Over the past 10 years, increased actions to support and implement  community forestry in Central Africa: Cameroon, Rep of Congo; Gabon; CAR. • Challenges still exist, but the first steps have been taken
  9. 9. Mozambique: Recognizing tenure rights  based on historic use and occupation – Peace Agreement (1992) – Elections (1994) 1992 – Return process (1993‐1994 onwards) – Ad hoc Land Commission (1993) – Research (1992 – 2004) – Land policy (1995) – Inter‐Ministerial Land Commission (1996 ‐ 2003) – Participatory development process ‐ Land Law (1996 ‐ 1997) – Land Campaign and land law dissemination (1998 ‐1999) – Regulations to the Land Law (1998) – Technical Annex for community land registration (1998 ‐1999) – Community land registration (1999 onwards) – Provincial support to land policy implementation (Zambézia, Nampula, Sofala) – Cadastral reform and decentralisation (2000 onwards)  – Training judiciary (2001 onwards) 2009 – Multi‐donor Community Land Use Fund (development from 2003 onwards), MCC  support to land administration from 2008
  10. 10. Some lessons • Recognized the multiple uses and actors present in  rural areas • Created a multi‐stakeholder negotiation and  consensus building process • Civil society became a partner in policy development • Local communities become rights holders and  investment partners • A long process with complications, stumbles and  advances that is still being implemented today with  the support of national NGOs and civil society
  11. 11. Challenges • Acknowledge that it is difficult but possible  now • And it will be more difficult tomorrow – more  interests to accommodate in a clear legal and  practical environment • Tenure reform is often understood as only for  communities – but it is a question of benefits  for the state, private investors