In early October 2020, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Cameroonian Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) launched a project in Yaoundé to increase the use of woods of legal origin in the country.
In the framework of the project, Cameroon intends to create an online platform where operators can update the species, volume, technical and commercial specifications of legal woods available. Also, to facilitate the supply of legal sawn timber, partnerships will be initiated with industrial firms and communal forests.
The project also plans for the launch of a public and advocacy campaign to sensitize individual and institutional buyers on the importance of wood quality and origin. This project is funded by the European Union, Sweden, and UK Aid through the Fao-EU Flegt Programme and will be implemented by the end of 2021.
According to CIFOR, three-quarters of the sawn timber purchased in the urban markets of Yaoundé, Douala, and Bertoua is of illegal origin. “It is very difficult for artisanal producers to comply with the constraints imposed by the legal corpus, and industrial companies are generally uninterested in supplying the domestic market. On the other hand, domestic demand for legal wood is still low, which does not encourage producers,” explains Liboum Mbonayem, a researcher at CIFOR.