Community Payments for Ecosystem Services in the south and east regions of Cameroon uri icon


  • The purpose of this pilot initiative is to assist local communities in Cameroon, and perhaps ultimately throughout the Congo Basin, to protect their forest resources using PES. The initiative seeks to change forest management practices and enable local communities to practice sustainable resource management and receive direct payment for their environmental performance. ‘Performance’ is what distinguishes REDD+ initiatives from other conservation efforts (Blom et al. 2010). Beyond having local impact, the initiative aims to nourish the debates that are influencing the development of national REDD+ policy in Cameroon, even though government support for the initiative has been lukewarm. This chapter describes the two villages (SEC1 and SEC2) that are the focus of this initiative. Households in both villages have expressed willingness to base exploitation of their forests on principles of ecosystem conservation in the hope that in return, they will receive poverty-reducing compensation. This is a pioneering step in Cameroon because all other villages with community forests have set their sights on logging. Thus, this initiative is taking up the challenge of reconciling local development and global challenges, i.e. by reducing emissions that cause global warming and thus harm economically fragile countries. This chapter illuminates this unique approach in Cameroon by describing the initial context of the study villages, the strategy for the initiative, the challenges facing it and lessons learned from its implementation

publication date

  • 2014