LandCam: securing land and resource rights and improving governance in Cameroon

February 2017 to December 2021

Cameroon is revising its land and natural resource laws. This project supports this effort by piloting approaches on the ground and helping citizens participate in the reform process.

A water connection project built to link the Lobé river to the Kribi harbour, South Region, Cameroon (Photo: Thierry Berger)

Large land areas in Cameroon are held under agribusiness and logging concessions. While private sector investments hold out promise for green growth and poverty reduction, the country faces governance challenges, including a legal system in flux and weak regulation. 

In 2008, the government launched a series of reforms in the natural resources sector to update land, forest, mining and environment laws. But the process has been too sectoral, both among ministries and non-governmental bodies.

Meanwhile, land under customary tenure (some 85 per cent of Cameroon's land) is becoming increasingly insecure. Investors are seeking extensive areas for developing concessions. Mining, forestry and agribusiness concessions overlap with one another and with protected areas and community lands, leading to conflict. 

A major coordination effort is needed to ensure that the voices of all stakeholders are heard in the reform process, and that all stakeholders are well informed of both the reality on the ground and of good practice in securing rights and improving governance.

Over five years, from February 2017 to December 2021, this project is piloting approaches to secure rights to land and natural resources in selected sites, and supporting inclusive national-level debate about workable reforms of the relevant laws.

We are working to create new spaces for more informed, effective and open dialogue and analysis, engaging the public and media, as well as civil society platforms. We are also working to monitor changes in practice, track legal reforms, and share lessons nationally and internationally.


  • To strengthen capacity and pilot approaches in selected sites that enable stakeholder voices to be heard and rights to be secured 
  • To create spaces for more informed, effective and inclusive dialogue on designing and implementing reforms, and
  • To track land and natural resource governance, including legal reforms, and share lessons nationally and internationally.

What will IIED do?

IIED is ensuring overall project coordination, working closely with partners in Cameroon and internationally. We are also providing technical support, and are documenting and sharing experience, and overseeing evaluation.


Towards fair and effective legislation on compulsory land acquisition in Cameroon, Brendan Schwartz, Lorenzo Cotula, Samuel Nguiffo, Jaff Bamenjo, Sandrine Kouba and Teclaire Same (2017), IIED Briefing | en français

Indigenous peoples' land rights in Cameroon: progress to date and possible futures, Samuel Nguiffo, Victor Amougou Amougou, Brendan Schwartz, Lorenzo Cotula (2017), IIED Briefing | en français

LandCam  securing land and resource rights and improving governance in Cameroon (2017), project flyer | en français


European Union

This project was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of IIED, CED and RELUFA, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.