Mt Cameroon Threatened Trees Project

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05 March 2014

Communities learn how to propagate threatened tree species

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Mt Cameroon Threatened Trees Project

Community member learns how to propagate threatened tree

Some six communities around the Mt Cameroon area have been taught to nurse and plant fruiting threatened tree species by a team from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in February.

This approach has been a major preoccupation to the Mt Cameroon threatened trees team at ERuDeF within the last month given that the ERuDeF Mt Cameroon Threatened Trees Project envisages restoring at least 10,000 seedlings of threatened tree species within the Mt Cameroon area in the next 2 years and it is thus imperative for the team to put in place measures towards the availability of the planting stock (seedlings) needed. To this regard, seed collection of fruiting threatened species was carried out together with community members of Bova I, Bomana, Bakingili, Bokwaoango, Mapanja and Bafia. Together with the community nursery attendants of Bomana, Bova I, Bafia and Bakingili the collected seeds were nursed at the community nurseries. It was an opportunity to step up the capacity of the community nursery attendants and community members on the threatened tree species and the methods of propagating them. An inhabitant of the Bokwaongo village who accompanied the team to the forest was surprised when the giant African mahogany (Entandrophragma angolenses) commonly called Tiama was identified for seed collection. He confessed that he did not know that the feather-like seeds were of Mahogany. He recognized the tree, but had never taken note that the feather-like seeds were produced by the species. Njie Wilson who guided the team into the Bokwaoango forest for seed collection had used the species seeds as a toy when growing up given that its feather- like nature made it rotate upon dispersal from the mother tree as it flew down. He had never considered planting the seeds, but henceforth he would endeavour to plant at least 50 of the species in his farm for his offspring.

In Bova I a Community member had said vehemently that the seeds of the African mahogany could not be nursed but he watched and learnt with surprise the technical hints of seed collection, nursing, storage using local methods and planting. Depending on the species, the planting method differed. Isaac Eko the community nursery attendant at Bomana amazed at the propagation of the African mahogany from seeds said "I thought that timber species like this could only be propagated only from wildings"

Together with these communities, the ERuDeF-Global Trees Campaign sponsored Mt Cameroon Threatened Tree Project will ensure the propagation of a viable population of threatened species which will be used to restore the degraded landscape of Mt Cameroon forest area. To this, the project objective of restoring degraded areas of the Mt Cameroon forest would be attained to a measurable and appreciative level.

Asa'a Lemawah & Adeline Tegem