Forests play an important role in storing and sequestering carbon, and in sustaining the lives of rural populations. However, the expansion of land used for shifting agriculture, for biofuel crops such as palm oil, and for mining activities have led to deforestation and forest degradation since 2000.,
Between 2001 and 2021, deforestation in Cameroon has led to a loss of 1.70 million ha of forest with an average rate of 80 kha/year. During this period, expansion of cropland for shifting agriculture by small- and medium-scale farmers has reduced forest cover by 78 kha/year. Industrial agriculture, such as palm oil and crop monoculture, further exacerbated deforestation, with an average rate of 0.5 kha/year.,, In 2021, shifting agriculture and industrial agriculture reduced tree cover by 167 kha/year and 3 kha/year, respectively; a rise from previous rates. Without measures to avoid agricultural expansion leading to forest degradation and deforestation, tree cover loss is likely to continue in the future.
In the 1.5°C compatible pathway, deforestation continues at a low level during the next two decades at an average rate of around 6 kha/year and declines to close to zero by 2040. Starting in the 2040s, afforestation/reforestation activities are ramped up, adding around 10 kha of forest per year to boost carbon sequestration. By 2050, the area of managed forest land has grown by over one million hectares, or about 5%.
Cameroon laid out mitigation measures in the forestry and agriculture sectors to halt deforestation. Cameroon plans to practice sustainable forest management, restore degraded forests, accelerate afforestation/reforestation, and transition from its currently extensive agriculture system., Cameroon needs investment and international support to both avoid deforestation and ensure economic resilience of its rural populations, which are the backbone of the economy.,