Within Cameroon, 15
of the country’s Critically Endangered trees are recorded from Mount Cameroon. It is a high priority for
tree conservation, hosting more than 40 globally threatened tree species.
Following the establishment of Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP) in 2010, GTC
partner ERuDeF supported MCNP staff and local community members to develop the
skills required to identify, survey and propagate threatened tree species. This
was through the Conservation of threatened trees of the Mt. Cameroon area
The five year-old projects have
been supported by FFI through the Globa Campaign Program.
the project has found no individuals of Microberlinia
bisulcata (African Zebra wood/Zingana) remaining within MNCP’s boundaries.
The 2012-13 surveys identified an important population of about 900 individuals
outside MCNP, in the nearby Mokoko River Forest Reserve. In 2014 and 2015 this
population was subject to heavy illegal logging. During crack down patrols organized
by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in June, 2014, pieces of sawn timber
were seized and the culprit arrested. However, addressing illegal logging on a
long-term basis is extremely challenging, as only one government representative
is based at this reserve and high levels of immigration to the area are
resulting in ongoing forest conversion. For this species, seed collection and
planting into more secure areas of forest close to MCNP (as mentioned above)
was seen as the most effective strategy for its survival.
In 2015, the Mohamed bin
Zayed Species Conservation Fund yielded to ERuDeF’s proposal to sponsor conservation
activities at the Mokoko area (where 900 seeding trees are found) for one year.
Since then, MBZ through “Save Microberlinia
at the Mokoko area”project has greatly
supported conservation activities in the
reserve. The project had the objectives to:
ensure the implementation of the 1994 Forestry Code at FMU 11008A and 11008B
ensure that M. bisulcata in and
around the Mokoko River Forest Reserve is conserved
Several methods were employed to meet up objectives. Planning meetings were held with all stakeholders at the beginning of every quarter and evaluation meetings were held every semester. Capacity building workshops were affected using a participatory approach with the aid of posters, demonstration and brochures. Sensitization and training sessions were held in different communities in Mokoko Forest Reserve on the Cameroon 1994 Forestry Law, identification of M.bisulcata, nursery creation and management, patrols. Field expeditions and surveys took place in the reserve through which M.bisulcata trees were marked as reserve and wildings were collected.
main activities included capacity building of MINFOF officials including the
CPs and VFMCs on patrols against illegal logging of M.bisucata. The remaining trees of African Zebrawood were marked as
reserved and wildings were collected for regeneration purpose. To ensure
sustainability of the species, a technical proposal was prepared for the minister
of forestry and wildlife to place a ban on the species.
surveys, 25 seeding trees of M.bisulcata
were marked to be reserved. It was noticed by the patrol team during patrols
that illegal activities had reduced significantly. This was attributed to
frequent presence and the aggressiveness of the Local authorities and the
existence of a network of informants on illegal activities. To ensure that M.bisulcata in Mokoko Forest Reserve is
conserved. A technical proposal was prepared and submitted to lobby for the
placement of a ban on the commercial logging of the species.
The project created numerous impacts in the area. The Meme River Forest and the Southern Bakundo Forest Reserves were reforested with M. bisulcata raised by CP of Mbonge .The transaction fetched him some 1700USD which he used as school fees of his 2 children in the High school.
Some major challenges were
encountered during the implementation period. These included continuous illegal
logging of the species and forest clearance. Within the project year, four mature and fruiting M. bisulcata trees on which the project depended heavily for seed
collectionhad been felled by farmers
and illegal operators.
A classical inventory was necessary for M.bisulcata to back up the technical
note to ignite a Ministerial ban on the species. However, this was not possible
due to financial constraints.
Despite the challenges faced, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has ignited the possibility of saving the remaining M. bisulcata trees in the wild and if given the opportunity of continuity will definitely save M. bisulcata in the entire Mt. Cameroon area.