NGOs multiply lobbying strategies to ensure respect of community land rights

NEWS 07 Aug 2019
NGOs multiply lobbying strategies to ensure respect of community land rights

By DOH JAMES SONKEY
Members of the National Strategy for Engagement on Land Governance in Cameroon (NES-Cameroon) met last July 25 and 26, 2019 at a national planning and advocacy workshop in Yaounde to adopt strategies to better press for the respect of community land rights in Cameroon.
NES Cameroon’s member and Coordinator of a Bamenda based NGO known as Community Initiative for Sustainable Development, COMINSUD, Fon Nsoh explained to The SUN that “we are here to brainstorm on how community land rights can better be respected and protected.
He says NES noted with dismay that “Community land rights which are legitimate ones are highly ignored and abused in Cameroon. In the constitution of states, you will notice that communities are little states that existed before and later decided to give up their power and autonomy to create a super state, what is known as sovereign nation. When the sovereign state does not respect the rights which these communities have, we say it is not good.”
Fon Nsoh further said “we met to raise voices and to recognize the fact that community land rights are not respected and not protected, thus the need to respect community rights as legitimate aspects and also to include a legal dimension to this respect and recognition. But above all, ensure that administrative authorities do not abuse and contribute in violating community land rights because land is God given and not instrument of decision but unfortunately, laws come with decisions.”
In sessions, participants for two days brainstormed on ‘Understanding and explaining community land tenure and collective land rights in the Cameroonian context,’ ‘Living collective land rights on a daily basis: the experiences of local and indigenous communities etc.
The National Engagement Strategy (NES) is a process that promotes land governance focused on poor and vulnerable people. It aims to formulate and implement actions in countries to improve land governance. As of June 2019 in Cameroon, the NES Cameroun is made up of twenty-five institutions.

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