This case study examines some of the problems of governance of the forest sector, and the ways in which rural development forestry can be used as an entry point to improved governance. It shows how an approach focused on the enhancement of local livelihoods can encourage what is - potentially at least – a quantum shift in power relations within society. The case of community forestry promotion in Cameroon demonstrates the mutually supportive roles played by largely donor-inspired ‘supply-side’ policy changes and of ‘demand-pull’ means to build accountability from below. It illustrates the importance of macro- and micro-level connections to promote pro-poor change, and the ways in which improved governance can be made to work for the poor. It is not suggested that the particular dilemmas of environmental governance which are addressed here have necessarily all been resolved. The case study ends with some of the challenges which still remain, relating both to good governance and livelihoods.