Mount Bamboutos, rich in biodiversity, is severely threatened by negative human activities such as intensive and uncontrolled agriculture, illegal logging, poaching and varying unfriendly activities. These threats have subjected it to frequent erosion and deadly landslides, reducing the water level, hence, leaving the community and surrounding villages with limited water supply and vulnerable to water-borne diseases.
Creating a community forest in the southern slope of the mountain will enable the local community to have legal protection of the forestland, restore the degraded landscape and sustainably manage the biodiversity of the reserve. It is against this backdrop that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation is developing a project proposal, seeking for financial support for the creation and management of the Bamumbu Community forest. The principal objective of this project is to contribute towards the conservation of biodiversity and restoration of the degraded landscape of Mount Bamboutos. Specifically, the project seeks to:
i) create and sustainably manage the Bamumbu Community forest
ii) promote the sustainable management of natural resources within the community forest with 100% community implication in the management,
iii) improve on the standard of living of the local population through the introduction of cottage industries and development of economic opportunities,
iv) strengthen the forest management capacities of the local communities in order to better manage their forest resources
v) restore degraded landscape and protect the major watershed through tree planting.
It is expected that at the end of the project;
i) about 5000 ha of the forest land is legally protected through the creation of a community forest in Bamumbu,
ii) natural resources within the CF are sustainably managed and biodiversity of the area conserved,
iii) standards of living of the local population are improved, livelihood opportunities and socio-economic development of the community enhanced,
iv) local community members have the capacity to sustainably manage the community forest and protect their natural environment,
v) the watershed is protected and degraded areas restored.
To successfully implement the project, the sum of US$200,000 is needed to support the project activities.
– The sum of US$100 000 will be used for the community forest creation process (sensitization, delimitation of boundaries, creation of the legal entities, production of maps, consultation meetings, compilation of documents required for attribution of the community forest, surveys, elaboration of simple management plan and signing of a management convention).
– US$50 000 shall be used to support livelihood activities through the creation of sustainable community forest enterprises.
– US$20 000 shall be used to build the forest management capacity of the local forest operators.
– US$30 000 shall be used in the restoration process and protection of the watershed.
Experienced experts within ERuDeF and partners will execute the project that shall span for 5 years. ERuDeF has demonstrated her ability to promote community forestry in Cameroon. The organization is currently implementing two community forestry projects in South West part of the country. These include the creation of three community forest blocks in the Tofala-Mone conservation complex, with support from the Waterloo foundation, Global Forest Watch and Tusk, and the DRYAD project aimed at providing sustainable community forest enterprises with viable business cases, training and technical assistance while promoting sustainable community forest management. Therefore, with ERuDeF’s long-term commitment in community forestry in general and in the project area in particular, it will continue to work towards the sustainability of the project. It is important to note that the sum of US$6,000 has already been secured for the project. This amount has been committed for the community forest creation process.
More information can be gotten on the ERuDeF’s website at www.erudef.org
If successfully implemented, the project will contribute enormously towards the conservation of the endangered wildlife of the Mount Bamboutos reserve, restore the degraded landscape, protect the major watershed, enhance livelihood and boost economic development in the surrounding communities. In addition, the long-term impacts of the project will meet national, regional and global concerns of climate change mitigation.