Towards alternative tenure and forest enterprise models - contexts: an overview of the history and evolution of forest policy, property rights, industry and trade in Cameroon uri icon


  • Under German colonial rule (1886-1916), local commu nities in the forest zones of then â??Kamerunâ?? were effectively excluded from all official forest â??m anagementâ?? activities by an ownership system and property regime that only recognized Imperial ri ghts of extraction of forest resources and the creation of plantations (NN Mbile 2001, Oyono et al, 2006, Bigombe Logo 1996). These â??Kontryâ?? people were considered labour, to be organized in the most efficient way to the benefit of the colonialists. The German act of 1896 (F Etoga, 1971) for in stance, typifies their mode of occupation. They assumed all â??non-occupiedâ?? territories to be fr ee for exploitation and should come under the dominion of the colonizing â??powerâ??, although plen ty of evidence was later generated indicating that, these â??empty territoriesâ?? always possessed local dominion and usage (J.L. Dongmo, anonym .) Following the end of the First World War and the Versailles Conference of 1919, the victorious Allies re-partitioned former German colonies amon gst themselves and continued the exploitation of natural resources such as forests very much un der similar ownership regimes like the Germans before them, with local â??rightsâ?? only recognized to the extent that they served to smoothen the functioning of the colonial administration. Th us todayâ??s northwest and southwest provinces, then referred-to as Southern Cameroons came under Br itish rule which she administered jointly with neighbouring Nigeria as a protectorate (Mbile NN, 2001). Effective occupation of British Cameroons by British authority required a form of governance with which the Cameroonians would comply willingly and thus led to the indigenization of the colonial State through the adoption of the system of indirect rule

publication date

  • 2008