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Restoring key biodiversity taxa of Mt Bamboutos through Community Forest Creation

Restoring key biodiversity taxa of Mt Bamboutos through Community Forest Creation

[one_third][/one_third]Mt Bamboutos belongs to the most important geomorphologic system in the Region (Morin, 1988). This mountain is situated between long 09°57’E and 10°15’E and lat 05 °27’N and 05 °48’N. (Gouhier et al). Mt Bamboutos represents a key watershed, supplying at least one third of water feeding the major hydro-power system in Cameroon at Edea. It is also part of the Cameroon Mountains Endemic Bird Area (WWF, 2000) having a high degree of endemism (Stuart et al 1986). As a result, it was designated as a proposed Integral Ecological Reserve by the Government of Cameroon in 2009.

Land degradation is occurring across the mountain ecosystem due to very high demographic pressure, deforestation, weak local capacity on sustainable water and land use management. This has led to reoccurring devastating landslides, drying up of water sources, leading to severe conflicts among farmers on irrigation in the dry season. Farm extension has led to the rapid disappearance of the remaining patches of forest in the area.

£8633.9. will aid in creating a 5000ha community forest, which will go a long way to protect the remaining patches of forest which still harbors some viable population of species especially insects, plants, reptile’s birds and the last remnant of the green monkeys. It will also assist in putting in place a community forest that will help conserve the remaining green monkeys and Bannerman’s Turaco which are found on IUCN’ red list as well as engage the local communities in Community Forest Management.

[one_half][/one_half]Through this, community members will gain improved knowledge on how to manage their forest and abandon unsustainable farming methods which have been the dominant factor responsible for the degradation of the mountain and to a larger extent negate constant erosions and deadly landslide that have plagued these communities.

It will also help sustain some of the last flowing water catchments that are found in the forest.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has been the lone nonprofit struggling to salvage this plight. You can read more on her conservation work at www.erudef.org

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