Green Development Advocates (GDA) is a Cameroonian organisation which works with forest communities and indigenous peoples to support sustainable development activities in forests in Southwest Cameroon.
In a bid to rapidly boost its economy, the Cameroonian government has made huge investments in the exploitation of its land, forests, and other natural resources. Vast tracts of land have been allocated to foreign investors, often ignoring the rights, cultures, and interests of local people, and threatening biodiversity.
Established by an environmental lawyer, GDA pushes for the inclusion of local community and indigenous peoples’ rights in different aspects of the development process. For example, it uses its legal expertise to carry out evaluations of current laws and practices, build capacity of local and national civil society organisations, and promote alternative methods of forest management. In particular, it supports the use of community forestry to secure land for communities, alleviate poverty and protect forests from larger-scale destructive developments. GDA works alongside communities to support them at every stage from learning about Community Forestry Concessions to applying for titles and eventually managing the land.
Synchronicity Earth has supported GDA since 2017 for its community forestry work.