This report conducts a comparison between the experience of community forests in Guatemala and in Cameroon. Community forests in Guatemala have met with some success, in some cases becoming effective enterprises at the same time as achieving some of the best conservation results in the country. By contrast, Cameroon’s community forests have been plagued with elite capture, corruption and mismanagement by private logging contractors. This has caused devastation to forests, with the majority of community members seeing little to none of the revenues.
This is one of four papers commissioned to inform discussions at a workshop held in Brussels in April 2014, which brought together participants from 30 countries to share their understanding and experience of community forestry, and develop action plans for their own countries. This was in response to many of Fern’s partner organisations lobbying for the creation of community forests as a way of allowing communities to directly benefit from forest management.