[one_third][/one_third]Some 21,000 seedlings of both threatened and economic trees (non-timber forest products and fruit trees) will be transplanted in secured sites of the Mt. Cameroon area within the framework of the “Conservation of Threatened Trees of the Mt. Cameroon Area” project. Out of this number of trees, about 3,000 economic trees will be planted in farmers’ fields all around the Mt. Cameroon National Park in a bid to reduce the pressure of collecting non-timber forest products that communities exert on the park. This phase of the project will run from June 2015. Woteva village, on the outskirts of Buea in Fako Division, would receive the first consignment of seedlings of Zingana, (Microberlinia bisulcata), Mahogany (E. angolenses), Pygeum (Prunus africana) and Contri Onion (Afrostyrax sp), a continuation of an earlier endeavour carried out in 2014 when 3,000 seedlings were planted at the same site.A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Woteva Community Forest (WCF) on Friday June 5, 2015 at ERuDeF’s head office in Buea.
Representing the WCF during the MoU signing were Chief Bernard Lieti Woloko (Forest Management Officer), Ndumbe Ekema Stephen (technical services) and Vikema Samuel Mwanje (President of the Woteva Village Forest Management Committee). ERuDeF was represented by her CEO/President, Louis Nkembi, and the Project Coordinator, Limbi Blessing Tata.
More MoUs are envisaged for the planting of about 3,000 trees in the Bakingili Community Forest and, with the services of the Mt. Cameroon National Park, for the planting of about 12,000 trees along the boundaries of the park and in degraded areas inside the park.
The MoU is aimed at increasing the capacity and participation of community members through the planting of threatened and economic trees in community forests. It would also facilitate the planting and management of threatened trees within the Woteva community forest area and ensure the effective planting out and management of seedlings.
It binds the planting and management of trees planted in the WCF and in farms within the community. As a long term commitment to increase the number of threatened trees in the wild, it is envisaged that about 3,000 seedlings of threatened tree species raised at the project central nursery would be planted out into the WCF.
While ERuDeF will oversee the execution of the project in collaboration and with the support of Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), it is the responsibility of the community to manage the planted seedlings.
According to the agreement, the NGO will provide seedlings to communities and transport same from Buea to planting sites.
ERuDeF will also subsidise all other activities (land preparation, head load, planting and monitoring of trees).
The project is funded by Fauna and Flora International’s Global Trees Campaign and implementation is done by ERuDeF in collaboration with the services of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife.
By Azore Opio