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FEATURE STORYNovember 4, 2022

Towards a People-Centered Green and Resilient Cameroon

People-Centered Green and Resilient Cameroon

Minawao, Far North region.

Credit: Odilia Hebga / World Bank


  • The Cameroon Climate and Development Report highlights the challenges of climate change facing Cameroon’s development and outlines development priorities.
  • Climate change has a direct impact to more than 70% of the population whose livelihood depends directly on agriculture.
  • In the recent years, Cameroon has progressed in developing climate policy documents and plans to integrate climate change in sector strategies.

Commonly known as “Africa in miniature”, Cameroon is geographically diverse and experiences all the major climates of the continent. Climate change is expected to affect Cameroon’s climatic zones differently, and extreme weather events will be more frequent and intense. Cameroon’s northern regions are to remain the most vulnerable to climate, followed by coastal areas and the highlands.

Climate change is also an imminent threat to the country’s dependence on natural resources and Cameroonians’ dependence on agriculture for livelihoods and subsistence. Under current climate conditions, about two million people live in drought-affected areas.

Tropical forests cover almost 40% of the country and provide an estimated 8 million rural people with traditional staples including food, medicines, fuel, and construction material. Changes in temperature, rain, and droughts are putting these populations at greater risks for increased poverty and famine.

The socioeconomic impact of climate change shocks is hurting both the structural poor and the close to 40% of vulnerable households in Cameroon. Women, especially those living in conflict areas or indigenous groups, are more severely hit by climate change because they are accounting for 75% of workers in the informal agricultural sector and are primarily responsible for the welfare of their households and food security.

People-Centered Green and Resilient Cameroon

Woman selling food in Yagoua, Far North region of Cameroon.

Credit: Odilia Hebga / World Bank

Opportunities for accelerating adaptation and decarbonization

Cameroon is part of the Congo Basin, which is one of the three largest forests in the world and the largest carbon sink in the world. Over the past two decades, Cameroon has cut its emissions through reforestation and by shifting its energy mix toward renewables. As a result, emissions went from 9.32 tons of CO2 emissions per capita in 1998 to 4.89 tons in 2018. Yet, investments are needed in accelerating adaptation and resilience in agriculture, livestock, roads, schools, and the health system.

Given the country’s vast renewable energy potential, there is significant scope to increase its renewable energy mix from less than 1% to 25% by 2035. Today, hydro is the sole renewable source, but there are opportunities in solar, wind, biomass, and off-grid.

People-Centered Green and Resilient Cameroon

Ngoyla-Mintom Forest, East region.

Credit: Odilia Hebga / World Bank

Through its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) 2021, Cameron committed to 35% of greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 by focusing on the agriculture, energy, forestry, and waste sectors and fostering adaptation in key areas at the national and subnational levels.


The Country Climate and Development Report for Cameroon identifies four priorities to address climate risks and provide opportunities for a green, resilient and inclusive future:

  • Establishing a Climate resilient Agriculture, Forestry and Land Use system to integrate adaptation and mitigation measures and advance sustainable development in all agricultural and -ecological zones of the country.
  • Integrating climate change impacts and risks in the design, greening, planning and financing of cities to improve the resilience and people’s wellbeing in urban areas.
  • Investing in sustainable infrastructure that adapts to help bridge the important infrastructure gap and improve the quality of life of every Cameroonian.
  • Adopting an all-hands-on deck approach where resilience and adaptation will involve community driven approaches, strong engagement from citizens and local levels of government, as well as synergies with all relevant systems and sectors.


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