Last updated: 06 March 2020
|FLEGT status||VPA implementing||(2019)||FLEGT Facility|
|Forest area||18.8||million ha||(2015)||FAO|
|Deforestation rate||0.22||million ha/year||(2010-2015)||FAO|
|Planted area||0.036||million ha||(2015)||FAO|
|Tree cover loss||1.2||million ha||(2001-2018)||Global Forest Watch|
|Tree cover loss (%)||3.8||%||(2001-2018)||Global Forest Watch|
|Tree cover gain||65.1||kha||(2001-2012)||Global Forest Watch|
|FSC certified area||341,708||ha||(December 2019)||FSC|
|PEFC certified area||0||ha||(December 2019)||PEFC|
|Double certified area (FSC & PEFC)||0||ha||(Mid-2019)||FSC & PEFC|
Cameroon started VPA negotiations in 2007, signed the agreement in 2010 and ratification followed in 2011. However, the pace of VPA implementation has been slow in recent years.
In January 2019 the Joint Annual Report (JAR) for 2017 on the VPA’s development was released.
In May 2019, both parties to the VPA agreed to stop implementation of the SIGIF2 software, which was supposed to underpin the Legality Assurance System, and launch a new initiative as a part of the Programme d’amélioration de la gouvernance en milieu forestier (PAMFOR) programme. Revision of the legality definition is also underway.
The Ministry of Forest and Wildlife has issued 18 certificates of legality to 16 timber processing unit operators and published a document explaining the system for collating certification documentation.
Information about legal compliance with VPA legality requirements by logging companies can now also be accessed online through the Open Timber Portal (OTP) platform.
Cameroon’s forests are mainly tropical rainforests of two predominant types: lowland evergreen (54% of total forest area) and lowland semi-deciduous (28%) which are rich in commercial species of Meliaceae such as Entandrophragma cylindricum (sapelli) and E. utile (sipo).
Between 2010 and 2015, the annual rate of deforestation in Cameroon remained constant but high (1.02%, 220,000 hectares per year) the same rate as the previous decade.
The main direct and indirect causes of deforestation and forest degradation are: the development of agricultural activities – both slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture and cash crops (e.g. cocoa); the illegal exploitation of timber outside the PFE; the exploitation of fuelwood, particularly around major urban centres; and the development of the mining sector (bauxite, cobalt).
According to CIFOR, the allocated area in forestry concessions in Cameroon rose from 5.8 million hectares in 2012 to 6.3 million hectares in 2016. During this same period, the number of forest concessions rose from 82 to 91.
|GDP||38.5||billion USD||(2018)||World Bank|
|Income group||Lower middle income||(2019)||World Bank|
|Ease of Doing Business (EDB) Rank||167||/ 190||(2019)||World Bank|
|Global Competitiveness Index Rank||123||/ 141||(2019)||World Economic Forum|
|Liner Shipping Connectivity Index||16.3||(maximum value in 2004 = 100)||(2019)||World Bank|
Drawing on Cameroon government sources, CIFOR notes that Cameroon is host to around 120 authorised and active forest enterprises and 199 timber processing units, the latter divided among the first (71), second (75) and third (53) degree of processing capacity.
Although Cameroon probably has the largest timber industry capacity in tropical Africa, the country suffers from low competitiveness across a range of indices which has restricted opportunities to develop exports of processed wood products.
Cameroon slipped from 114th to 121st rank in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index between 2015 and 2018. In 2018, Cameroon was ranked 166th on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index, down from 163rd the previous year.
Compared to other exporting countries in Africa, Cameroon is comparatively well connected, ranking 64th on the Connectivity Index. As a result, Cameroon has traditionally played an important role as a hub for exports of timber from neighbouring countries.
However, since 2016, exports out of Douala port in Cameroon, the principal transport hub for the wider Congo region, have become extremely erratic due to reliance on old and unreliable equipment, management problems, and silting up of access channels which means that larger, deep-draft vessels can’t dock.
Some shippers are exploring the possibility of using the new, Chinese-funded, deep-water port at Kribi in Cameroon, but this also has teething problems.
Other problems include the diminishing commercial availability of tropical hardwood species, and delayed payment of VAT refunds by African governments, partly linked to low oil prices, which created severe financial challenges for operators in the region.
According to the ITTO Biennial Review, Cameroon log production was around 3.6 million m3 in 2018, a rise from 3.1 million m3 three years before. Cameroon log exports increased from 1.15 million m3 in 2015 to 1.4 million m3 in 2017 but fell back to 1.23 million m3 in 2018.
Cameroon sawnwood production is estimated to be around 1 million m3 per year, although data quality is low. Only very small volumes of plywood, veneer and other processed products are manufactured and exported from the country.
NOTE: Mirror data from STIX, drawing on trade data reported by Cameroon’s main trading partners, is used. Read more about the data in ‘Data Sources and Issues’.
Hover over the chart to see the value.
|Imports (110.5 Million USD)||Exports (604.23 Million USD)|
(data source: ITTO) Hover over the chart to see the value.
(data source: ITTO)