Independent Monitoring: Results of three years of SNOIE implementation in Cameroon

15 October 2018
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During three years of implementing the Standardised External Independent Monitoring System (SNOIE), more than 50% of the denunciation reports produced via the standardised approach of independent monitoring (IM) in Cameroon have resulted in responses from the Ministry in charge of forests and wildlife management.  Of the 30 IM reports sent to MINFOF, 18 logging operations were found to be illegal. These cases led to control missions by the national and regional control brigades, which resulted to seizures, opening of litigation against companies incriminated in the reports as well as suspension of titles.

Denunciation reports produced from 2015 to 2018 via the SNOIE, led to the opening of seven (07) litigations (01 in the Littoral, 03 in the Center and 03 in the East regions). Companies in dispute with MINFOF have been found guilty of illegal logging in the national forest domain as well as within the titles attributed to them in the three forest regions. In addition to these litigations, nine (09) joint control missions were organised, resulting to five (05) seizures of illegally harvested timber, and three (03) companies had their exploitation titles suspended.

Differentillegalities observed from the EIM reports produced via the SNOIE procedures include: (1) non-compliance with the clauses of the terms of reference of the provisional contract with laundering of timber of illegal origin, (2) unauthorised exploitation of forest in the national domain, (3) unauthorised logging in the CF with presumption of complicity; fraudulent exploitation in the FMU by unidentified individuals and non-compliance with technical standards of logging. The species targeted by the alleged illegal operators amongst others include: Tali, Ayous, Okan, Dabema, Aningré, Fraket, iroko, Sapeli, Ekopbeli, Azobe, Moabi , Tiama, Mahogany, Dibetou, Aleppo, Eyek, Makoré, Bossee Clair, Ilomba, Movingui, Padouck, etc.

Nine (09) civil society organisations (CSOs[1]) in Cameroon are now using the standardised SNOIE procedures to carry out IM activities. The staff of these CSOs benefit from trainings and capacity building sessions to ensure the effectiveness of the Standardised External Independent Monitoring System (SNOIE). After three years of deployment of the SNOIE, a total of 49 staff (07 women and 42 men) from CSOs involved in EIM activities have already been trained in SNOIE procedures.

The Standardised External Independent Monitoring System (SNOIE) is an ISO 9001: 2015 certified independent monitoring approach since April 2018. This IM approach has been developed by the association Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER), in collaboration with other civil society organisations, the administration as well as other stakeholders in the forest sector. With SNOIE certification, the System can be duplicated anywhere in the world and applied to natural resource management and even beyond other processes. This ISO 9001: 2015 certificate covers all independent monitoring processes of the management of natural resources and the environment. As a result, any organisation other than FODER and organisations currently associated with the standardised system may benefit from this certificate by aligning  their independent monitoring practices to the requirements of theSNOIE, which are no other than the requirements of ISO 9001: 2015 quality management.

Studies carried out enabled us to assess effects of the SNOIE during a specific period of its implementation, particularly between August 2016 and September 2017, a period during which a baseline study was conducted at the beginning of the intervention, and a final study at the end of the period. The graph below represents results obtained, showing a better indication and a significant dropin the level of forest illegality within the areas of interventionby the system.

Christelle KOUETCHA, Communication Manager – Forêts et Développement Rural (FODER)

1. PAPEL, FODER, CEDLA, TI-C, ASTEVI, SUHE