The Congo basin is the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon. It covers about 1.9 million km². Meanwhile, Cameroon has about 22 million hectares of dense forest, representing 47% of its territory. The forests are full of abundant timber and wildlife resources, as well as with non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Besides, Cameroon’s coastal forest zoning plan categorises these forests into permanent forest estate and non-permanent forest estate. The permanent forest estate consists of (i) production forests assigned to title holders, (ii) protected areas and (iii) council forests. According to the legal instruments in force, economic activities of rural communities are only authorized in agro-forestry areas of the non-permanent forest estate. As concerns the permanent forest estate which covers 30% of the national territory, harvesting by local communities is regulated in accordance with the management plans of the forests,
generally restricted to the exercise of exploitation rights, and must not go beyond home needs.