The reform of the legal framework for the forest sector was one of the commitments made by Cameroon on signing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The forest law and associated norms are being reviewed to fulfil this commitment. To this end, thematic group leaders have been appointed to make proposals on the specific issues for review. At the time of this assessment, most of these groups had already presented their proposals to the MINFOF. The Centre for the Environment and Development (CED), together with its partners from the forest platform, and the European Union, prepared a document with the civil society’s inputs to the reform and presented it to MINFOF. In addition to proposing a schema for comprehensive reforms, which is the direction desired by civil society stakeholders, the document also presents – following the framework required by the Ministry – proposals for a 'light' review of the Act, among other things including proposals to improve the rights and interests of local and indigenous communities, improve transparency and governance; and take into account other sectors and recent initiatives such as REDD+. MINFOF presented the first draft Bill in October 2012 for consultation on further amendments. On-line consultation has been set up with a view to increasing the participation of stakeholders.
To further develop the legal framework, draft legislation was prepared by MINFOF prior to the planned joint committee meeting in July 2012. These texts specified certain aspects of the VPA, notably: a Ministerial Order establishing the criteria and the modalities for the issue of legality certificates within the framework of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) system; a Ministerial Order establishing the procedure for the issue of FLEGT authorisations under this system; and a Ministerial Order on the implementation of the second version of the information system for the management of forest data (SIGIF 2).
Pending the wider reform process, implementing texts for certain articles of the current forest law in force from 1994 were in the process of being adopted: a Ministerial Order establishing procedures for managing forestry disputes; a Ministerial Order establishing the modalities of levying, settlement, collection, supervision and monitoring of forestry rights, fees and taxes; a Ministerial Order modifying certain provisions of Decree N° 95/531/PM of 23 August 1995 establishing the modalities for applying the forestry regime, completing (in particular) article 79 on the modalities of management of community and communal forests. The adoption of these texts will strengthen the legal framework and by extension the implementation of the VPA.
|a. Law no. 94/01 of 20 January 1994 on the regime of forests, fauna and fisheries
Below is an incomplete list of this implementing legislation:
b. Decree n° 95-535-PM of 23 August 1995 establishing the modalities of application of the forestry regime
c. Decree n° 95-466-PM of 20 July 1995 establishing the modalities of application of the regime governing fauna
d. Decree n° 96/642/PM of 17 September 1996 establishing the levy and the collection modalities of fees and taxes related to forestry activities.
e. Decree n° 99/370/PM of 19 March 1999 on the securitisation programme for forestry revenues
|Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF)