Forest ownership in Cameroon
The Forest Law (1994) divides the forest area into non-permanent forest estate (domaine forestier non-permanent), including community forest and private forest, and permanent forest estate (domaine forestier permanent). The permanent forest estate includes forest reserves, logging concessions, protected areas and council forests. Protected areas, including national parks, forest reserves and hunting zones, currently cover 20 per cent of the national forest area. (WRI, 2017). The permanent forest estate are owned by the state, although for a large part of this forest area the management rights are transferred to other parties. Generally, people living in forest areas fully retain their traditional user rights.
In the non-permanent forest estate, non-allocated lands are mainly used by local communities for farms and other purposes, and allocation of these lands to communities shall follow formal procedures. However, disputes over forest ownership and the demarcation of boundaries have been common in the past and remain so today.