The introduction of the concept of community forestry in the Cameroonian forest policy in 1995 reflects the Government’s desire to involve rural communities in the sustainable management of forest resources in order to improve their living conditions. However, despite the popularity of rural communities, its development is impeded by several financial and technical constraints. It is in this context that the Community Forestry Project to Fight Poverty in the Diocese of Batouri (FCCP) was brought up. CARFAD, having contributed with other partners in the implementation of this project, found many blunders related to bad governance namely: non-compliance with laws and regulatory texts, ignorance of communities on procedures to obtain certain exploitation documents, the mismanagement of revenues, frequent conflicts, etc. Following this observation, CARFAD, the Network of Forestry Community (RFC) and the Diocesan Social Welfare Services (CODASC Batouri) had implemented the project “Support to Governance in the community forestry project to fight poverty in Batouri“”funded by the European Commission through the VPA-FLEGT support program of FAO. This project made possible the discovery of some constraints related to the implementation of the legality matrix on Community forests of which the most important ones include among others: the approval default of subcontractors and an the very expensive financing of Environmental Impact Assessment (close to 15 million FCFA per community forest).
To avoid the sidelining of community forests from FLEGT process in Cameroon, it is important that a contribution should be made by all the actors involved in the FLEGT process. This is what justifies the project initiated by CARFAD and its partners (RFC and CODASC of Batouri).
This project constitutes part of the Thematic Programme for Environment and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, including Energy (ENRTP) on the budget lines of the European Commission (EC).
The target groups are: i) Local communities (26 communities of Kadey estimated at about 126 177 people); ii) forest exploiters; iii) local forestry administration. The final beneficiaries are (the government of Cameroon, local populations).
3. Objectives of the project
This project aims at bringing forest communities to get their certificates of legality and sell legal timber. More specifically, it is to:
- Strengthen the functioning of the existing federation;
- Strengthen forest governance of communities, forest exploiters and state actors and remove bottlenecks related to compliance with the legality matrix;
- Increase the capacity of wood production and processing;
- Facilitate the issuing of FLEGT legality certificates and to ensure the mastery of the compliance verification system by the stakeholders in the process;
- Structure the marketing of wood;
- Share lessons learned from the project and allow the visibility of actions.
4. Project Content
In order to achieve the specific objectives, three components are implemented: i) improving forest governance; ii) contributing to sustainable forest management; iii) facilitating the production, processing and marketing of wood.
5. Expected results of the Project
The main expected outcomes of the project are:
- The functioning of the existing federation is strengthened;
- Forest governance of communities, forest exploiters and state actors is strengthened and major constraints related to respect for legality grid are eliminated;
- Production and wood processing capacities are increased;
- FLEGT certificate of legality are allocated, the compliance verification system is mastered by the stakeholders in the process;
- The commercialization of wood is better structured;
- Lessons learned from the project are shared and visibility of actions insured.
As for monitoring and evaluation activities, the expected results are:
- Internally: activities planned and monitored, reports and training materials produced;
- Externally: the meeting of the Project Steering Committee held once a year for participatory monitoring and evaluation.
6. Project duration
The project duration is 36 (thirty-six months) and started on January 1, 2014.
7. Project budget
The grant awarded by the European Union is €1,472,145 being 79.95% of the total amount while the contribution of CARFAD and its partners is €369,287 being 20.05% of the total amount (€1,841,432).
8. The activities of the first year
- Meeting for the information of stakeholders;
- Sensitisation of stakeholders;
- Internal monitoring and evaluation;
- Establishment of running fund;
- Capacity building of ASFOCKA members on functional texts of the federation and data archiving;
- Elaboration of the federation management procedures manual;
- Capacity building on matters concerning revenue and conflicts management;
- Providing the Federation with tools on regulatory texts (laws, NIMF, etc.) and training in their use;
- Holding of Steering Committee meeting;
- Realization of environmental impact assessments (EIA);
- Dissemination of information concerning the project activities in the media (radio, television, press); Production of 150 copies of Newsletter.
9. The activities of the second year
- Continue and complete the realization of environmental impact assessments (EIAs);
- Establish three production units and one processing unit within the federation;
- Furnish the federation with production and wood processing equipment;
- Strengthen the technical capabilities of the federation on production-related issues (planning and exploitation),support the realization of inventory works and revision of their simple management plans;
- Strengthen the technical capacity of the federation on wood processing (drying, planing packaging, etc.);
- Train communities and loggers on the respect of the criteria and conditions for issuing certificates of legality.