The activities of the surrounding villages affect (directly or indirectly) the management and the resources of the park; about 70% of the area’s population depends solely on the forest for survival. The major threat to the Mt Cameroon Ecosystem is loss of habitat due to logging and conversion of forest to arable land. According to Weidelt, 1996, at least 200 m3 of the Mt. Cameroon forest is damaged by felling every year.
The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), a local nonprofit organization in collaboration with the South West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife and the Mount Cameroon National Park service have been working hard to enhance conservation and restore the integrity of the ecosystem. This is within the framework of ‘the conservation of threatened trees of the Mt Cameroon area’ project where trees are raised in nurseries and distributed to adjacent communities to support them regenerate their fragile Community Forests through enrichment planting.
However, these conservation efforts have proven to be futile at the level of maintenance of the species in Community Forests. Out of 16000 threatened trees planted into 3 Community Forests (Woteva Bakingili and Bomana) at the Mt. Cameroon area from 2014-2015, about 7000 have been reported dead due to failure of the village structures to properly manage these resources.
The project will also ensure the regeneration of 3 Community Forests with at least 5000 seedlings of Microberlinia bisulcata and other Red list trees within 2 years and guarantee survival of at least 80%. Farmers in the respective communities will be empowered to engage in agro-forestry practices in their farms around the Mt. Cameroon area. This will control encroachment into Community Forests.
By the end of this project, Community Forest Management teams of the various communities will have sufficient Knowledge on forest management activities which will be transferred to the younger generation to guarantee sustainably forest management.
The community members will be able to improve on their livelihood from sales of NTFPs (from country onion and Pygeum) in the short term and quality timber (from Zebra wood, Azobe, Mahogany) from their rich forests in the longer term. Meanwhile, farmers will benefit from agro-forestry techniques and this will improve on soil nutrients and livelihood through sales farm yields and offseason crops. All these will reduce human pressure at the Mt. Cameroon National Park and Forest Reserves.