National Engagement Strategy
As of 2015, NES Cameroon achievements include:
- Creating a civil society platform for the promotion of land governance in Cameroon, which now consists of more than 200 international, national and local actors, as well as regional hubs working to monitor land administration at local level;
- Drafting a detailed assessment of Cameroon’s land policy, as well as spearheading advocacy meetings with top policy-makers in order to highlight the views and proposals of civil society on land policy reforms and governance frameworks;
- Carrying out of training sessions on public engagement, lobbying and advocacy, and monitoring of land instruments to promote land governance;
- Supporting evicted Mbororo families of the Banja village in the North West Region, enabling 300 members of the community to return to their lands.
What is a National Engagement Strategy? Learn more HERE!
Cameroon’s land tenure is currently regulated by three ordinances (No 74-1 to establish rules governing land tenure in Cameroon, No 74-2 to establish rules governing state land and No 74-3 to establish expropriation procedures for public purposes including the terms for expropriation) passed in 1974. In 1976, three decrees (No 76-165 to establish the conditions for obtaining land titles, No 76-166 to establish the terms and conditions for the management of national lands, and No 76-167 to establish the terms and conditions for the management of private properties of the state) were signed to supplement the 1974 ordinances.
Apart from a decree in 2005, Cameroon’s land tenure regulation has not witnessed any significant and impacting reforms since this time. It is now characterized by several loopholes that render it generally unresponsive to the needs of various vulnerable groups, such as women and indigenous people, as well as poor rural communities in general. There is a current surge in land related conflicts in the country, with international and local large scale investors and speculators benefitting from the state of the land governance framework to “grab” large expanses of arable land. Inevitably, the system leaves communities feel systematically detached from their land, which has failed to protect their rights and interests.
The ongoing land reform process, initiated by the Ministry in charge of lands, represents a key opportunity to address these issues.
The focus areas for 2015 and 2016 for the NES process in Cameroon include influencing the ongoing policy reform process initiated and spearheaded by Cameroon's ministry of land in order to ensure that the resulting policy is more responsive to the needs and interests of the vulnerable segments of the population; contributing to the improvement of pro-poor land rights within the context of the reformed land policy environment; reinforcing the relationship and collaboration between the NES stakeholders, decision makers and those who can reach the decision makers; strengthening the capacity of communities to play a leading role in negotiating, protecting and defending their land rights and finally, strengthening the capacities of Cameroon’s civil society to come together and act in order to ensure good land governance and to defend the land access and ownership rights of poor and vulnerable communities.