The role of REDD+ and FLEGT in land tenure rights in Cameroon

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Title: The role of REDD+ and FLEGT in land tenure rights in Cameroon
Author: Sirviö, Riikka
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Forest Sciences
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Metsäekonomia
Forest Economics
Abstract: The consequences of tropical forest degradation and deforestation have gained global political attention due to their contribution on climate change and biodiversity loss. Forest degradation and deforestation are also having impacts on local peoples living in the forests. Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and European Union Action Plan on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) including its Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) are two prominent efforts towards reducing the loss of tropical forests. Even though they have different implementation strategies, they both reach for positive change in governance. They are facing similar challenges including corruption, legality of land allocation and lack of secure tenure. Noticeably secure tenure is associated with most of the governance challenges. Several forest rich tropical countries such as Cameroon are participating in these processes to sustainably manage their forests. In Cameroon the rapid population growth together with growing global need for natural resources are driving unsustainable and illegal actions in forest sector. This master’s thesis examines how are REDD+ and FLEGT are contributing on forest governance and securing tenure rights of local peoples, how secure tenure can affect the implementation of the REDD+ and FLEGT processes and in what extent should the tenure rights be transferred to locals to achieve the goals of the REDD+ and FLEGT. The empirical research is conducted through analysing policy documents and literature as well as interviewing officials and local peoples in Cameroon. The main results are that in Cameroon there are no real political will to address the forest loss, and the local peoples have very little role on protecting their livelihood even though it would be important for them and also for the processes of REDD+ and FLEGT. Also, the government of Cameroon gives a little role for REDD+ and FLEGT in the governance of forest resources. So far, the processes have not had significant influence on tenure condition in Cameroon. The recommendations of this study is for REDD+ and FLEGT to concentrate more on education especially in local level since the lack of understanding is hindering the development of both processes. The collaboration and greater transparency between REDD+ and FLEGT would be crucial for their success.
Subject: REDD+
forest governance
sustainable common pool resource management

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