Cameroon is endowed with rich natural resources and extraordinary ecological diversity. Volcanoes, savannahs, and varied coastal zones comprise some of the country’s exceptional landscapes. Perhaps most importantly, a vast portion of the Congo Basin rainforest, covering about 48% of Cameroon’s land area, lies within the country’s borders.
These extensive forest resources, coupled with a growing economy and strategic port, contribute to the country’s importance as a key regional and global player in facilitating trade, conserving biodiversity, and combatting climate change. However, finding a balance between sustainable natural resource management and economic growth continues to be a challenge.
In Cameroon, the U.S. Forest Service International Programs works at both the national and local levels to promote sustainable forest management. Leveraging expertise as a world leader on forest inventory design and implementation, the U.S. Forest Service provides technical knowledge to support Cameroon in addressing increasing environmental pressures and land-use change by supporting its Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) process. Through coordination with the REDD+ Steering Committee, the U.S. Forest Service is supporting the design and implementation of a comprehensive national forest monitoring system adapted to the country’s unique opportunities and challenges. This includes technical support to the National Office for Climate Change and other technical institutions identified as key actors for the Monitoring and Reporting and Verification (MRV) National Framework. The U.S Forest Service is also exploring a partnership with urban councils and the Ministry of habitat and urban development to share its long technical expertise on urban forestry.
The Cameroon Forestry Law of 1994 and subsequent regulations established a framework for community-based forest management and the sustainable utilization of timber resources from these forests. Through its extensive experience pursuing the same goals domestically, where it works closely with state forest agencies, private landowners, and communities in and around forested areas to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes that ensure the conservation of forest resources, the Forest Service has launched a technical cooperation program with a community organization in Lomie-Ngoila area (East Region) to improve livelihoods in forest-dependent communities.
The U.S. Forest Service is also collaborating with the Carbon Institute, an affiliate of University of California San Diego, to support the Regional Center for Agricultural Education (CRESA) to be a regional hub for expertise in the measurement and management of carbon stocks. By building the capacity of university professors and ministry technicians in cutting-edge carbon accounting methods, the U.S. Forest Service is ensuring that Cameroon can provide valuable expertise that will help strengthen reporting requirements to international bodies, as well as offer support to similar programs and projects across the region.
learn more about our work in Cameroon
Work in Cameroon is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Central African Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE) and U.S. State Department-funded SilvaCarbon program, which draws on the expertise of eight U.S. technical agencies to assist developing countries to design and implement comprehensive systems for tracking and reporting forest change and greenhouse gas emissions.