REM Independent Monitoring in Cameroon

Mandated Independent Monitoring of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance

REM was the official Independent Monitor of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance in Cameroon between 2005 and 2009. This appointment follows a first phase of the monitoring project in Cameroon that ran from 2000 to 2004. A team of our legal, forestry and monitoring experts worked side by side with law enforcement officers in the field and Ministries in Cameroon. REM reported to the Ministry of Forests and Fauna, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the international donor community on law enforcement and forest illegalities.

Forests in Cameroon

The forest sector in Cameroon is supposed to play an important role in poverty reduction. According to Cameroon’s Ministry of Finances, this sector contributes 6% of the country’s GDP. Moreover, it generates important tax revenues every year. Annual national production of wood converted into equivalent round wood was approx. 2.3 million m3 of logs in 2006. Felling remains both selective and extensive. It focuses on some twenty species with very low rates of removal per hectare (between 5 and 15 m3/ha per 30-year rotation). The State grants logging rights subject to obtaining authorisation granted by prime ministerial decree.
A number of factors, including the implementation of the 1994 law, the direct link between forest operations and political circles, the rapid increase in the number of logging companies and MINFOF’s lack of resources, have contributed to a proliferation of illegal activity in Cameroon’s forest sector. In fact, Cerutti and Tacconi (2006) estimated that informal logging accounts for approximately 540,000 m3 of wood each year, without this being investigated or followed up by the State in any way.

REM forest and governance monitoring results in Cameroon

Over the 6 years of its mandated role of independent monitor of the forest sector in Cameroon, REM:

  • Carried out field investigations of suspected illegal logging operations with government agents in all forest titles
  • Produced 91 reports after each investigation containing observations of forest infractions and reliable evidence
  • Monitored the legal actions taken based on the findings of field investigations
  • Provided recommendations to improve forest law enforcement strategies and techniques (20 reports)

Key findings included:

  • A clear decline in illegal activity in forest concessions
    which represent 60% of the forest area.
  • The most common illegal activities related to the non-payment of taxes, the geographic relocation of felling permits, logging under the cover offictitious development projects, felling outside of permit limits and the laundering of illegal timber particularly during transport and processing.
  • 80% of “Small Permits” visited - second largest source of timber in Cameroon - were in breach of the regulations.
  • 60% of Sales of Standing Volume (Ventes de Coupe)
    areas visited involved logging outside of the legal limits....

Read the full report here

All information and reports related to the project are available here.

The content of this site concerning this project is the sole responsibility of REM and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or DfID.

The IM-FLEG project in Cameroon was financed by the European Development Fund for 1.217.976 euros without tax (798.940.000 FCFA) between 2003-2008 and 260.688 euros (171.000.000 FCFA) until August 2009. DFID contributed £166.025 between march and december 08 and MINFOF's fonds commun contributed 77.341 euros (50.732.276 FCFA) between january and august 2009.