Thinking beyond the canopy

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Local communities’ and indigenous peoples’ rights to forests in Central Africa

From hope to challenges


This paper reviews the various rights of local communities andindigenous peoples over forest resources in Central Africa. Indeed, in 2010,the Council of Ministers of the Commission des ForĂȘts d’Afrique Centrale(COMIFAC) adopted the Subregional Guidelines on the Participation ofLocal Communities and Indigenous Peoples and NGOs in Sustainable ForestManagement in Central Africa. A survey of this subregional legal instrumenthighlights a genuine commitment by states to consolidate the benefitsand the emerging rights that can improve the living conditions of vulnerablecommunities and strengthen the subregional regime of sustainable forestmanagement. However, the effectiveness of the subregional guidelines hingeson the administrative acts and practical measures of member states to incorporatethis instrument into their domestic legal systems and to enforce it.


  local communities, forests, community forestry, customary law, international cooperation, sustainability, forest management


  Central African Republic

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  Africa Spectrum





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