Local Communities’ and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights to Forests in Central Africa: From Hope to Challenges

Samuel Assembe-Mvondo


This paper reviews the various rights of local communities and indigenous peoples over forest resources in Central Africa. Indeed, in 2010, the Council of Ministers of the Commission des Forêts d’Afrique Centrale (COMIFAC) adopted the Subregional Guidelines on the Participation of Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples and NGOs in Sustainable Forest Management in Central Africa. A survey of this subregional legal instrument highlights a genuine commitment by states to consolidate the benefits and the emerging rights that can improve the living conditions of vulnerable communities and strengthen the subregional regime of sustainable forest management. However, the effectiveness of the subregional guidelines hinges on the administrative acts and practical measures of member states to incorporate this instrument into their domestic legal systems and to enforce it.

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