Credit: CIFOR/Ollivier Girard.
Two-thirds of the Cameroon’s 19 million people depend on forestry or agriculture for at least part of their income. Abundant natural resources across diverse ecosystems—including vast rain forests—offer opportunities for economic growth.
As such, good governance of land and natural resources is essential to combatting poverty, which reaches 50 percent in some regions. But lack of secure property rights and access to land limits agricultural development and generates conflict.
Cameroon’s legal system incorporates French-oriented civil law, English common law, and customary law (which in some regions incorporate Islamic law). The country’s 1996 Constitution provides citizens with the right to own property individually or in association with others. It states that no one can be deprived of property unless it is taken in the public interest, and is subject to payment of compensation.