Cameroon-Forest Sector Development in a Difficult Political Economy
"This case study is one of six evaluations of the implementation of the World Bank’s 1991 Forest Strategy. This and the other cases (Brazil, China, Costa Rica, India, and Indonesia) complement a review of the entire set of lending and nonlending activities of the World Bank Group (IBRD, IDA, IFC, and MIGA) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that are pertinent to the Bank Group’s implementation of the forest strategy. Together these constitute inputs into a World Bank Operations Evaluation Department (OED) synthesis report entitled A Review of the World Bank’s 1991 Forest Strategy and Its Implementation. This forest strategy evaluation was carried out under the overall direction of Uma Lele.
The purpose of each of the six country studies has been to understand the implementation of the 1991 Forest Strategy in Bank operations and to obtain the views of the various stakeholders in the country about the involvement of the Bank. In doing so, the study team has not only examined the Bank’s forest program, but also endeavored to place the Bank’s activities in the broader context of what the country and other donors have been doing in the forest sector. Therefore, each country study examined the overall development of the country’s forest sector. While this naturally includes environmental impacts on forests, such as degradation, biodiversity loss, and deforestation, it also encompasses the economic uses of forests, including the management of forest resources for production, the role of forest development in poverty alleviation, and the impacts of forest research and development.
The evaluation of the Bank’s performance in these studies, as always in OED studies, seeks to judge whether the Bank has “done the right things” and “done things right.” Here, OED also seeks to judge whether the Bank has lived up to the commitments made in its 1991 Forest Strategy. The case studies do this by examining how the Bank, using the various lending and nonlending instruments at its command, has interacted with the sector’s development processes, with other donors, and with the broader government objectives of economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability. Thus, the studies focus on policy in the post-1991 period, but they also recognize that the Bank does not operate in isolation from its historical interactions with a country and its needs. These interactions include the Country Assistance Strategies or their predecessors, economic and sector work, as well as all investments in all sectors and all policy dialogue that is pertinent to the Bank’s actions and their outcomes in the forest sector. Together, these activities constitute the Bank’s implementation of its forest strategy in a country."