The people of Bameghuie I, Bameghuie II and Bamelang in the Bangang chiefdom, one of the villages in the mount Bamboutos Landscape, situated in Batcham sub-division of the Bamboutos Division in the West Region of Cameroon, have embraced the Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) project. This was during a series of sensitization meetings organized in the palaces of these respective communities from 10 -15 December 2020. The objective was to create awareness on the need to restore the severely degraded mount Bamboutos ecosystem. To better appraise the degradation of the landscape and help convince the people to see the need for restoration, a participatory land use mapping exercise was carried out to map the current land uses in the respective villages. The map was also going to facilitate the development of a land use plan for the Bangang community.
Participants in these meetings were the chiefs of the sub-villages and their subjects. According to the chief of Bamelang H.R.M. Tsonva Domenigue, the MBI project and its participatory land use planning activity will go a long way to help his people as his community is gradually becoming much populated and land allocation and land use conflict are increasingly a problem. Hear him “my community is privileged to part of the Mount Bamboutos Initiative. This projects assure my much alike my subjects that the future will be void of conflict when it comes to land use. Am also very assured that the biodiversity of Mount Bamboutos will be restored with sustained collective effort” “we are ready for this”, he assured. For him, the land use planning would help manage such conflicts, ease tensions and bring about more effective and efficient use of land and its natural resources in his community.
At the end of these meetings, community members gave their free and prior consent to the MBI project. It should be noted that before carrying out sensitisation in these new sub-villages, MBI has been implementing its activities in 3 other sub-villages in the Bangang chiefdom. These include: Mekoup, Balekeu and Tsopeua. These and the new sub-villages are sub-villages situated on the mountain ecosystem and their activities are greatly affecting the health of the ecosystem. To demonstrate their interest in the project, the people of Bameghuie I, Bameghuie II and Bamelang have started putting materials together in order to set up a tree nursery that will produce agroforestry and native trees for the restoration of degraded farms, riparian forests, water catchments and sacred forests.
Deh Nji Hermann is te coordinator of Mount Bamboutos initiative, according to him, the coming on-board of these villages is a is a sign that Mount Bamboutos initiative will achieve it gaols even before the 15 years that the project is due. “Am very pleased to see this villages joining the Mount Bamboutos Initiative. We ae going to work with them to bring back Mount Bamboutos closer to what it was some 10 decades ago”
The Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) project is a joint initiative of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the International Tree Foundation (ITF), UK in collaboration with the government of Cameroon to support the urgent restoration of the highly degraded ecosystem and biodiversity of Mt. Bamboutos. It is a 15-year project to be implemented in three phases across three regions of Cameroon, (South West, West and North West). The project’s overall goal is to restore the biodiversity and ecosystem functions of Mount Bamboutos ecosystem, while securing the livelihoods of the local and indigenous communities. The project envisages to plant fifteen million trees in 15 years to restore 35,000 ha of degraded lands and to secure livelihoods for 30000 people across the Mount Bamboutos landscape