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Land tenure and forest landscape
restoration in Cameroon and
Madagascar
Anne M. Larson, Rebecca McLain and
the project team
May 14, 2024
World Bank Land Conference
Project: Tenure, FLR, and Livelihoods
Overall objective
Map by Center for International Forestry Research
Primary Partner
• Laboratory for Applied Research
(University of Antananarivo’s
Forestry Department)
Funder: BMZ (German Federal Ministry of
Economic Development and Cooperation)
• Better understand the
relationship between tenure and
FLR practices
• Identify ways to strengthen local
tenure and support FLR
Forest Landscape Restoration
FLR is an adaptive process that brings people (including women, men,
youth, local and indigenous communities) together to identify,
negotiate and implement practices that restore and enhance
ecological and social functionality of forest landscapes that have been
deforested or degraded.
This process implies achieving an agreed balance of ecological,
social, cultural and economic benefits of forest landscapes, taking into
consideration different land uses and governance arrangements
(formal and informal).
Source: elaborated by the project team based on IUCN, WWF and the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape
Restoration
Dzeng
Yaounde
Cameroon Study Sites: Yoko and Dzeng Communes
Dzeng: close to capital city; local
governance/ tenure system breaking down
Yoko: more remote; local governance/
tenure system still strong
Madagascar Study Sites: Sadjoavato and Ambatoben’Anjavy Communes
Map by: Fabrico Nomenjanahary, LRA
Sadjoavato
Ambatoben’Anjavy
Antsiranana
Sadjoavato closer to major
city; local governance/
tenure system breaking
down
Ambatoben’Anjavy more
remote; local governance/
tenure system still strong
High security, low adoption
Expected:
What are the additional enabling factors
for FLR? (Food security?)
High security, high adoption
Expected:
What drives security and enables high
adoption?
Low security, low adoption
Expected:
What drives insecurity and low
adoption?
Low security, high adoption
Unexpected*:
What types of practices are adopted/ what
enables adoption in the face of insecurity?
*Although this might be expected in areas where planting trees can claim rights
Hypothesized associations between tenure security and FLR
Data Collection: Mixed Methods
Household Surveys
20 villages in each commune
Minimum of 12 HH per village
Madagascar: 495 HH (48% women)
Cameroon: 479 HH (41% women)
Focus group discussions
6 villages per commune
Madagascar: 36 focus groups (3 per
village)
Cameroon: 12 focus groups (1 per village)
Field visits (land portfolios)
6 villages per commune
Madagascar: 36 field visits (3 per village)
Cameroon: 36 field visits (3 per village)
Photo credit: Madagascar field team
Cameroon
Key takeways:
• Our hypotheses generally hold, specifically or tree planting and agroforestry, but
not entirely
• The bigger, consistent issue is the state – the inadequacy of the law; the state
seen as a source of insecurity
State Tenure Context in Cameroon
Three main categories of state-defined land tenure
• Public domain (responsibility of ministries)
• Private domain
o of the state (e.g. protected areas)
o of private individuals (e.g. titled land)
• National domain – the largest, and where communities are
located
-> Customary regimes predominate, without legal recognition
In our field sites: We found no one with a land title
Communities cannot be
located inside state
private domain lands.
But…
A forest sign erected in
the heart of Bondah
village in Yoko.
Land tenure - findings
FOCUS GROUPS 12 VILLAGES
Among those who see their tree
planting and/or agroforestry as
secure:
• 57% fear their land will be
converted into State private
domain
• 43% fear land invasions
Perceptions of Tenure Insecurity
N (Yoko) = 20 villages
N (Dzeng) = 20 villages
Drivers of insecurity
A common fear is the creation of private state domain lands. This highlights the lack of trust
of the state itself, and the fear in particular that tree planting will be a means by
which the state will take over land – a challenge for state-run FLR programs.
n
% en ligne
% en col.
Planting_Yes Planting_No Total
Plot_Secure: YES 313
40.49
86.70
460
59.51
75.66
773
100
Plot_Secure: NO 48
24.49
13.30
148
75.51
24.34
196
100
Total 361
100
608
100
969
P-value <0.0001
n
% en ligne
% en col. Planting_Y Planting_N Total
Plot_Secure: YES 232
44.11
69.67
294
55.89
65.33
526
100
Plot_Secure: NO 101
39.30
30.33
156
60.70
34.67
257
100
Total 333
100
450
100
783
P-value= 0.2014
DZENG YOKO
Relationship between perceived security and FLR practices
General findings: Cameroon
 Tree-planting and agroforestry – in general – are more likely to occur in areas
where people perceived their tenure to be secure (typically on national domain
land).
 Local communities know they don’t have consolidated rights on land, but they
make their claims in the private state domain, both through clearing land and
sometimes through tree planting.
 Local people plant food-bearing trees in the State private domain as a strategy to
reinforce their land claims.
 The customary and state regimes are competing. The state owns the land but it
doesn’t have the means to manage it. This creates insecurity.
 Strengthening land user rights will be instrumental for encouraging FLR
practices in Cameroon, but livelihoods options need to be supported as well
Madagascar
Key takeaways:
• There was no significant relationship between security and FLR practices except in
one case where the opposite pattern is significant!
• Most striking is the importance of “family land” and the different configurations of
decision-making which likely have an impact on FLR
State Tenure Context in Madagascar
2005 Land Law (revised in 2022)
 Created five main categories of state-based tenure:
o Private state domain
o Public state domain
o Private titled lands
o Private untitled lands
o Specific status lands (i.e., national parks, protected areas, etc.)
 Recognized customary rights to untitled land that has been occupied and
placed into production (farmland, residential areas, tree plantations) – but not
collective tenure
 Introduced commune land offices and land certificates
 Did not recognize customary rights to forests and pasturelands
-> Very little state land is actually mapped
Perceptions of Tenure Insecurity
39.3
27.9
18
9.6
5.7
47.6
25.5
21
2.9 3
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
Very unlikely Unlikely Likely Very likely Don't know
Perceived risk of losing the plot within
five years (% of plots)
Ambatoben'Anjavy (N=804) Sadjoavato (N=909)
Key point
Tenure is perceived as
secure on most plots
Insecure:
28% and 24%
Gender and Tenure Security Perceptions
25.5
27.9
27.2
21.5
0.0
5.0
10.0
15.0
20.0
25.0
30.0
Ambatoben'Anjavy Sadjoavato
Perceive it likely or very likely will lose the plot in 5 years
(% plots)
Women Men
Key points
• Women in S. more
likely than men to
feel their tenure was
insecure
• But most women
respondents in both
sites felt that their
tenure was secure.
A: Women-held plots (N=446) Men-held plots (N=358) S: Women-held plots (N=324) Men-held plots (N=585)
Gender and Land Access (% of plots)
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Women Men Women Men
Ambatoben'Anjavy Sadjoavato
Percentage
Sharecropping Purchase Inheritance
Relationship between Perceived Security and FLR Practices
Photo credit: Madagascar field team
FLR practice Ambatoben’Anjavy Sadjoavato
Tree planting None None
Forage planting None None
Erosion control
measures
More likely on parcels
perceived as insecure*
None
Assisted natural
regeneration
None None
Controlled burns None None
* Farmers in some Ambatoben’Anjavy villages use erosion control measures to
create agroforestry plots on the banks of the Mahavavy river.
Mode of Acquisition and Tree-Planting Behavior (Ambatoben-Anjavy)
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
Inherited
Inherited through marriage
Intervivos gift
Sharecropping
Purchased
Other
Planted trees (N=118) Didn't plant trees (N=755)
Note:
Tree planting on 14% of plots compared to 40% across the Cameroon sites
rr
Distribution of “Ownership” Types (% of plots)
33%
53%
11%
3%
Ambatoben’Anjavy (N=857)
Individual owner Tany la famille
Other joint ownership Other type of ownership
35%
48%
9%
8%
Sadjoavato (N=851)
Individual owner Tany la famille
Other joint ownership Other type of ownership
Rights to Family Lands*
RIGHTS
Shifting Fixed Shifting Fixed Fixed
Use
Household
members
Individual
family
member
Household
members
Individual
family
member
Individual family member
Management
Exclusion
Sharecrop
Transfer to heir
Sale Land cannot be sold
Heirs meet to make joint
decisions about land sales
Individual makes decisions
about land sales but must
inform other heirs
Dimension 1 – Shifting or fixed rights to specific parcels within family land
Dimension 2 – Whether land can be sold and who makes the decision about land sales
*Family group: children, grandchildren, siblings, sometimes other relatives; land usually acquired through
inheritance or clearing; sometimes gifted
• Tenure is more complex than what is found in laws/land policy: need for
understanding local tenure categories and how the bundle of rights for parcels are
distributed
• There are significant differences between men and women regarding tenure
security perceptions and how they acquire land
• On the parcels villagers regard as their own:
 They use a large variety of species (142 species, both planted trees and natural regeneration)
for many different uses (9): Food, timber, animal fodder, NTFPs, shade, medicine, soil protection,
fertilizer, cultural uses
• This suggest the need for greater emphasis on agroforestry and fruit tree
plantings in FLR projects
General Findings: Madagascar
Final reflections
• Security and insecurity are relevant to tree
planting & survival/ FLR
… but where and why is not consistent
across sites
• Overall local communities want trees that
provide benefits, especially food & nutrition
• A vast majority of customary landholders (in
these sites) feel their plots are secure
• Within community differences are important
to consider (women, sharecroppers…)
• The law is out of step with local reality, and
there is little understanding of customary
tenure configurations or how they might
affect FLR
Thank you!
Contact us at:
Anne Larson
A.Larson@cifor-icraf.org
Rebecca McLain
rebecca.mclain@gmail.com
Patrick Ranjatson
jpranjatson@gmail.com
Abdon Awono
A.Awono@cifor-icraf.org
Photo credit: Madagascar field team

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Land tenure and forest landscape restoration in Cameroon and Madagascar

  • 1. Land tenure and forest landscape restoration in Cameroon and Madagascar Anne M. Larson, Rebecca McLain and the project team May 14, 2024 World Bank Land Conference
  • 2. Project: Tenure, FLR, and Livelihoods Overall objective Map by Center for International Forestry Research Primary Partner • Laboratory for Applied Research (University of Antananarivo’s Forestry Department) Funder: BMZ (German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation) • Better understand the relationship between tenure and FLR practices • Identify ways to strengthen local tenure and support FLR
  • 3. Forest Landscape Restoration FLR is an adaptive process that brings people (including women, men, youth, local and indigenous communities) together to identify, negotiate and implement practices that restore and enhance ecological and social functionality of forest landscapes that have been deforested or degraded. This process implies achieving an agreed balance of ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits of forest landscapes, taking into consideration different land uses and governance arrangements (formal and informal). Source: elaborated by the project team based on IUCN, WWF and the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration
  • 4. Dzeng Yaounde Cameroon Study Sites: Yoko and Dzeng Communes Dzeng: close to capital city; local governance/ tenure system breaking down Yoko: more remote; local governance/ tenure system still strong
  • 5. Madagascar Study Sites: Sadjoavato and Ambatoben’Anjavy Communes Map by: Fabrico Nomenjanahary, LRA Sadjoavato Ambatoben’Anjavy Antsiranana Sadjoavato closer to major city; local governance/ tenure system breaking down Ambatoben’Anjavy more remote; local governance/ tenure system still strong
  • 6. High security, low adoption Expected: What are the additional enabling factors for FLR? (Food security?) High security, high adoption Expected: What drives security and enables high adoption? Low security, low adoption Expected: What drives insecurity and low adoption? Low security, high adoption Unexpected*: What types of practices are adopted/ what enables adoption in the face of insecurity? *Although this might be expected in areas where planting trees can claim rights Hypothesized associations between tenure security and FLR
  • 7. Data Collection: Mixed Methods Household Surveys 20 villages in each commune Minimum of 12 HH per village Madagascar: 495 HH (48% women) Cameroon: 479 HH (41% women) Focus group discussions 6 villages per commune Madagascar: 36 focus groups (3 per village) Cameroon: 12 focus groups (1 per village) Field visits (land portfolios) 6 villages per commune Madagascar: 36 field visits (3 per village) Cameroon: 36 field visits (3 per village) Photo credit: Madagascar field team
  • 8. Cameroon Key takeways: • Our hypotheses generally hold, specifically or tree planting and agroforestry, but not entirely • The bigger, consistent issue is the state – the inadequacy of the law; the state seen as a source of insecurity
  • 9. State Tenure Context in Cameroon Three main categories of state-defined land tenure • Public domain (responsibility of ministries) • Private domain o of the state (e.g. protected areas) o of private individuals (e.g. titled land) • National domain – the largest, and where communities are located -> Customary regimes predominate, without legal recognition In our field sites: We found no one with a land title
  • 10. Communities cannot be located inside state private domain lands. But… A forest sign erected in the heart of Bondah village in Yoko. Land tenure - findings
  • 11. FOCUS GROUPS 12 VILLAGES Among those who see their tree planting and/or agroforestry as secure: • 57% fear their land will be converted into State private domain • 43% fear land invasions Perceptions of Tenure Insecurity
  • 12. N (Yoko) = 20 villages N (Dzeng) = 20 villages Drivers of insecurity A common fear is the creation of private state domain lands. This highlights the lack of trust of the state itself, and the fear in particular that tree planting will be a means by which the state will take over land – a challenge for state-run FLR programs.
  • 13. n % en ligne % en col. Planting_Yes Planting_No Total Plot_Secure: YES 313 40.49 86.70 460 59.51 75.66 773 100 Plot_Secure: NO 48 24.49 13.30 148 75.51 24.34 196 100 Total 361 100 608 100 969 P-value <0.0001 n % en ligne % en col. Planting_Y Planting_N Total Plot_Secure: YES 232 44.11 69.67 294 55.89 65.33 526 100 Plot_Secure: NO 101 39.30 30.33 156 60.70 34.67 257 100 Total 333 100 450 100 783 P-value= 0.2014 DZENG YOKO Relationship between perceived security and FLR practices
  • 14. General findings: Cameroon  Tree-planting and agroforestry – in general – are more likely to occur in areas where people perceived their tenure to be secure (typically on national domain land).  Local communities know they don’t have consolidated rights on land, but they make their claims in the private state domain, both through clearing land and sometimes through tree planting.  Local people plant food-bearing trees in the State private domain as a strategy to reinforce their land claims.  The customary and state regimes are competing. The state owns the land but it doesn’t have the means to manage it. This creates insecurity.  Strengthening land user rights will be instrumental for encouraging FLR practices in Cameroon, but livelihoods options need to be supported as well
  • 15. Madagascar Key takeaways: • There was no significant relationship between security and FLR practices except in one case where the opposite pattern is significant! • Most striking is the importance of “family land” and the different configurations of decision-making which likely have an impact on FLR
  • 16. State Tenure Context in Madagascar 2005 Land Law (revised in 2022)  Created five main categories of state-based tenure: o Private state domain o Public state domain o Private titled lands o Private untitled lands o Specific status lands (i.e., national parks, protected areas, etc.)  Recognized customary rights to untitled land that has been occupied and placed into production (farmland, residential areas, tree plantations) – but not collective tenure  Introduced commune land offices and land certificates  Did not recognize customary rights to forests and pasturelands -> Very little state land is actually mapped
  • 17. Perceptions of Tenure Insecurity 39.3 27.9 18 9.6 5.7 47.6 25.5 21 2.9 3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Very unlikely Unlikely Likely Very likely Don't know Perceived risk of losing the plot within five years (% of plots) Ambatoben'Anjavy (N=804) Sadjoavato (N=909) Key point Tenure is perceived as secure on most plots Insecure: 28% and 24%
  • 18. Gender and Tenure Security Perceptions 25.5 27.9 27.2 21.5 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 20.0 25.0 30.0 Ambatoben'Anjavy Sadjoavato Perceive it likely or very likely will lose the plot in 5 years (% plots) Women Men Key points • Women in S. more likely than men to feel their tenure was insecure • But most women respondents in both sites felt that their tenure was secure. A: Women-held plots (N=446) Men-held plots (N=358) S: Women-held plots (N=324) Men-held plots (N=585)
  • 19. Gender and Land Access (% of plots) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Women Men Women Men Ambatoben'Anjavy Sadjoavato Percentage Sharecropping Purchase Inheritance
  • 20. Relationship between Perceived Security and FLR Practices Photo credit: Madagascar field team FLR practice Ambatoben’Anjavy Sadjoavato Tree planting None None Forage planting None None Erosion control measures More likely on parcels perceived as insecure* None Assisted natural regeneration None None Controlled burns None None * Farmers in some Ambatoben’Anjavy villages use erosion control measures to create agroforestry plots on the banks of the Mahavavy river.
  • 21. Mode of Acquisition and Tree-Planting Behavior (Ambatoben-Anjavy) 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Inherited Inherited through marriage Intervivos gift Sharecropping Purchased Other Planted trees (N=118) Didn't plant trees (N=755) Note: Tree planting on 14% of plots compared to 40% across the Cameroon sites rr
  • 22. Distribution of “Ownership” Types (% of plots) 33% 53% 11% 3% Ambatoben’Anjavy (N=857) Individual owner Tany la famille Other joint ownership Other type of ownership 35% 48% 9% 8% Sadjoavato (N=851) Individual owner Tany la famille Other joint ownership Other type of ownership
  • 23. Rights to Family Lands* RIGHTS Shifting Fixed Shifting Fixed Fixed Use Household members Individual family member Household members Individual family member Individual family member Management Exclusion Sharecrop Transfer to heir Sale Land cannot be sold Heirs meet to make joint decisions about land sales Individual makes decisions about land sales but must inform other heirs Dimension 1 – Shifting or fixed rights to specific parcels within family land Dimension 2 – Whether land can be sold and who makes the decision about land sales *Family group: children, grandchildren, siblings, sometimes other relatives; land usually acquired through inheritance or clearing; sometimes gifted
  • 24. • Tenure is more complex than what is found in laws/land policy: need for understanding local tenure categories and how the bundle of rights for parcels are distributed • There are significant differences between men and women regarding tenure security perceptions and how they acquire land • On the parcels villagers regard as their own:  They use a large variety of species (142 species, both planted trees and natural regeneration) for many different uses (9): Food, timber, animal fodder, NTFPs, shade, medicine, soil protection, fertilizer, cultural uses • This suggest the need for greater emphasis on agroforestry and fruit tree plantings in FLR projects General Findings: Madagascar
  • 25. Final reflections • Security and insecurity are relevant to tree planting & survival/ FLR … but where and why is not consistent across sites • Overall local communities want trees that provide benefits, especially food & nutrition • A vast majority of customary landholders (in these sites) feel their plots are secure • Within community differences are important to consider (women, sharecroppers…) • The law is out of step with local reality, and there is little understanding of customary tenure configurations or how they might affect FLR
  • 26. Thank you! Contact us at: Anne Larson A.Larson@cifor-icraf.org Rebecca McLain rebecca.mclain@gmail.com Patrick Ranjatson jpranjatson@gmail.com Abdon Awono A.Awono@cifor-icraf.org Photo credit: Madagascar field team

Editor's Notes

  1. .
  2. Contrary to our expectations, we found no statistically significant correlations between tenure security and any of 5 FLR practices except that in Ambatoben’Anjavy, erosion control measures were more likely to be found on parcels perceived as insecure. However, this was a special case in that the use of erosion control measures occurred In villages with land along the banks of the Mahavavy river, and the erosion control measures were used to create agroforestry plots.
  3. Shows overall very little tree planting. Maybe there is no relation with insecurity and FLR because there is just very little tree planting at all??? NOTE: We found that there was a strong positive correlation between tree planting and parcel size.
  4. In both study sites, roughly half of the parcels in the household survey fell into a category that locals called, “Tany la Famille” or family lands; these were lands hold by extended families or lineages. Roughly one-third was owned either by individuals or households. About 10% was held in joint ownership by unrelated persons.
  5. In the in-depth study, we found that family lands took on several configurations, differing along two dimensions – 1. whether a family member has access to the same parcel on the family land over time, or whether access to the different parcels shifts among family members over time. 2. they also differed depending on whether the land can be sold and if so, who is involved in making decisions about land sales For some family lands, no one has the right to sell the land, not even the family as a whole. For others, parcels within the family land can be sold, but only if all the family members agree For still others in which family members have fixed rights to specific parcels, the parcel holder can sell the land, but they have to inform the other family members Where family lands fall along these dimensions has potential implications for FLR.