A declaration for a sustainable future

Mana suspension bridge leading to Korup National Park. Southwest Region, Cameroon

Mana suspension bridge leading to Korup National Park. Southwest Region, Cameroon

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife of the government of Cameroon invited a group of forest scientists, academics, government representatives, and leaders from the private sector and civil society to gather in Yaoundé, Cameroon, at the end of May for a Conference on Sustainable Forest Management in Central Africa. The assembled participants discussed developments, challenges and priorities for science and policy in sustainable management of the forests of the Congo Basin.

Following the conference CIFOR issued a Declaration on the Future of Central Africa’s Forests. Among other things, the declaration calls for:

  • New or improved national and regional laws and policies, based on the best available evidence, that are sufficiently flexible to balance development goals, forest conservation goals, and the needs and rights of all people (with special consideration to indigenous and gender issues);
  • Greater efforts to formalize the informal sectors associated with Central Africa’s forests,  particularly in artisanal logging and community forestry, establishing regulatory frameworks that provide them the role that reflects their importance in national economies.

This declaration comes at a critical time for the Congo Basin forests. As the Herakles Farms fiasco in Cameroon indicates, there is a critical need for  a strengthened regulatory framework for land acquisition and development.

Read the declaration and reports from the Yaounde conference here: Sustainable Forest Management in Central Africa