This study identifies causes of forest-related conflicts in the Equatorial rainforest of South-East Cameroon, based on field studies in three villages where industrial logging concessions have been granted. Local access to forests has been severely reduced and customary rights restricted as an effect of the national forest zoning plan. Hence, local livelihoods have been negatively affected. Corruption is moreover rampant. This has resulted in a solid majority among local people expressing negative attitudes toward logging companies and the state. Local inhabitants regard NGOs to have a significant potential to ameliorate their relationship with logging companies, while secured user rights was identified as the most significant avenue to improve their relationship with the state. Securing community rights to land and forest resources — including access and use rights to permanent forests/concession areas — come forward as essential for conflict resolution and ensuing local economic and social development.
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Vol. 14 • No. 2