The final phase of our project in Cameroon was completed in September 2021, and we are honoured that, through your donations and support, we can have a long-term and lasting impact on this landscape.
This project started in 2018 with ITF and the local partner ERuDef. It aimed to create an ecological corridor through degraded forest lands, connecting community forests, riparian forests, and agroforestry in the surrounding area. The project is located in Southwestern Cameroon in the Lebialem Highlands forests near Mount Bamboutos.
Due to the complications arising from the Anglophone Crisis and COVID-19 restrictions, this project will remain closed.
At the time of completion, TreeSisters funded planting 512,487 trees in this project. The project has seen 109 farmers create individual tree nurseries; four villages establish community-managed tree nurseries; three farmers' groups establish tree nurseries (with 35 to 55 farmers per group) and created seven more central nurseries.
Practical demonstration on growing trees at the Formenji nursery. Courtesy ITF.
Training and Education
Through the project, several training needs were identified. These included aspects such as:
Nursery establishment and management techniques
Contour farming, Agroforestry techniques
Vegetative multiplication of NTFPs and Fruit trees
Tree planting techniques
Management and monitory of planted trees and the use of GPS
Cultivation of NTFPs and fruit trees
Transformation of NTFPs and fruit trees (value chain development) and Marketing techniques.
By identifying the training needs, approximately 429 people (40.77 % women) have strengthened their ability to sustainably manage the Mt. Bamboutos ecosystem.
Some challenges of the project
The biggest threat to the ongoing success of this project is the Anglophone crisis. You can read more about this socio-political crisis here. In addition, COVID-19 government restrictions came into place and slowed planting and stopped community gatherings.
Achievements and Impacts
Despite these challenges, the project positively impacted the local landscape and the communities. The project increased the capacity of local institutions, such as the village forest management committees, on participatory monitoring and evaluation and for extension schemes. The members involved gained a sense of ownership of the project and were active in monitoring all project activities. Involving local communities is empowering, and this will ensure the sustainability of the activities of the project in the longer term.
The project has also increased general awareness of the negative consequences of the degradation of the mountain ecosystem and the harm this has on people’s well-being. This awareness has created a willingness to redress the situation through tree planting. There is now a strong commitment of the village chiefs to the project and the local landscape. Almost all have set aside additional community lands for nursery creation and forest restoration.