Campo-Ma'an Model Forest

Country: Cameroon
Location: South-west
Year joined IMFN: 2005
Area of Model Forest: 769 445 hectares
Regional Affiliation: African Model Forest Network

Contact information

Name: Dr. Chimère Diaw, Director General
Address: African Model Forest Secretariat
P.O. Box 33678
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Phone: +237-77696804

Forest and resource profile

Campo-Ma'an Model Forest borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Equatorial Guinea to the south. The climate is coastal equatorial, divided into four seasons-two dry and two rainy. The area is marked by outstanding biological diversity, with Atlantic biafran, Atlantic littoral, mixed Atlantic, semi-caducifoliated, subtropical montane, degraded and swamp forests. Campo-Ma'an is home to about 80 species of large and medium-sized mammals, including elephants (Loxodonta african cyclotis), buffalo (syncerus caffer-nanus), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), giant pangolin (Manis gigantean), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and panthers (Panthera pardus). Of the 29 species of primate found in Cameroon, 19 are in the Campo-Ma'an area. There are hundreds of species of birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles. Poaching is a major issue.

  • National park 34%
  • Agro-forestry zone 25.5%
  • Forest management units 31.4%
  • Rubber and palm oil plantations 7.5%
  • Protected forest 1.6%

Economic profile

All seven of the ethnic groups in the Campo-Ma'an area practice slash-and-burn subsistence agriculture either as their main activity or as a secondary activity. In addition to agriculture, fishing, hunting and gathering, logging and agro-industry are the leading sources of income for the 60,338 inhabitants. As a result of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, the site is an environmental compensation zone. The World Bank, GEF, the European Union, SNV, GTZ, WWF and IUCN have financed projects in the area. The Fonds pour l'Environnement et le Développement du Cameron (FEDEC) is presently financing conservation projects in the National park.  The potential in the area is in sharp contrast with the extreme poverty faced by local populations, who lack basic infrastructure. 

Why a Model Forest?

Problems with environmental degradation, equity and persistent poverty, which translate into increased deforestation, unequal social access to resources and benefits, degrading environmental services, low productivity of land and labor and a weak policy and institutional environment. Since the 1990's, the Cameroon government has preceded with forest policy reforms. On the ground, implementation of these reforms has been limited. There is often a lack of collaboration among stakeholders, notably in resource management, partnerships, capacity building at the local level, understanding of the forestry law, information sharing and participation of local communities. This makes it difficult to have a shared vision and joint actions for the sustainable management of resources. The Model Forest is seen as a new management approach based on partnerships that aims to reconcile socio-economic and biological objectives.


  • Government 40%
  • Local population 30%
  • NGOs 15%
  • Agro-industries 10%
  • Forest industry (logging) 5%

Strategic goals

  • Sustainable economic development and poverty reduction by adding value to the variety of forest products and services being produced
  • Conflict reduction
  • To function as a pilot project for creation of a Congo Basin Model Forest network
  • Develop local governance capacities and build transparent and sustainable partnerships between actors

Accomplishments to date

  • Establishment of the Model Forest as a legal entity
  • Elaboration of a governance structure; election of a board of directors
  • Strategic planning process underway
  • Conducted workshops for Model Forest stakeholders to improve and plan site communications, visioning and awareness
  • Wide-spread media outreach

International policy links (planned) 

Campo-M'an Model Forest activities will directly address numbers 1, 7 and 8 of the Millennium Development Goals (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global partnership for development). Further, issues of good governance and rural development will be addressed. Links to other international priorities and conventions include the G8 Africa Action Plan, NEPAD and the Maputo Declaration.