Corruption — the abuse of entrusted power for private gain — undermines good governance and the rule of law. Corruption in forestry further degrades the environment, threatens rural communities and robs the public of billions of dollars each year. Transparency International-Cameroon is committed to a society where corruption-free forest governance and sustainable management enable increased economic development, poverty reduction and environmental protection. To help achieve this objective, TI-C’s Forest Governance Programme monitors the existing anti corruption instruments that bring about the greatest improvement in the forestry sector and in good governance overall.
Within the framework of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement(VPA)-FLEGT signed in 2003 by the government of Cameroon and the European Union, TI-C in partnership with others national Civil society organizations have been instrumental in providing concrete propositions on how to address the issues related to transparency and the fight against corruption in VPA process in Cameroon. In partnership with the Ministry of Forestry and Fauna, we were able to provide training to 100 stakeholders of the sector on how to combat corruption in the forest sector.
Still within its Forest Governance Programme, TI-C is currently implementing the REDD+ Governance and Finance Integrity for Africa’s project. The REDD+ mechanism that focuses on Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest degradation including conservation, sustainable management of forests and Carbon stockage is, like other mechanisms in the forest sector not exempted from corruption practices.
One of the main risk is the possible expropriation of local communities from their land by corrupt of officials, who in return can divert rents allocated to communities by the activities. This project in partnership with institutional and non-institutional stakeholders including local and indigenous communities, intends to improve anti-corruption policies and practices in REDD+ finance and governance in Cameroon, by developing effective policies and strategies. The project started in 2014 and will end in 2016.
Our actions in combating corruption in the forest sector at the national level have provided us with recognition at the sub-regional level. We have been appointed by the Commission for Central African Forest as leader of the group of experts working on “transparency and the fight against corruption” in the forest sector of its 10 member countries. Analyzing and mapping out corruption risks in the forest sector will enable us to provide strong recommendations to be adopted by Ministers to improve the livelihoods of populations and foster social and economic development.
Text and video are submitted by Nyassi Tchakounte Lucain (Cameroon) – lucainyasso(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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