Tofala-Mone East Corridor Creation; Gov’t Creates Another Community Forest in Upper Bayang

The Government of Cameroon has created another Community Forest (CF) in the Upper Bayang Sub-division Manyu Division, Southwest Cameroon. The CF called the BEET Community Forest, was created through a Ministerial Decision No 0035/CPG/MINFOF/SETAT/SG/DF/SDFC/SRPSG/AB of 3rd May, 2018. The Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Duret Ndongo, signed the decision on May 3, 2018 in Yaounde.

This decision gives legal protection to some 3064 hectares within the Bokwa, Etoko, Egvemo, and Tafu (BEET) villages of the Upper Bayang Subdivision. The provisional management agreement comes barely months after another was signed in January, creating the BANCK (Bakumba, Ayukaba, Numba, Chinda, and Kendem) Community Forest.

The two-year provisional management agreement allows these communities to exploit the forest under the strict supervision of MINFOF officials while a simple management plan is being developed. The signing of this document also permits the concerned communities to start executing the management operations outlined in the convention to raise funds, prepare and submit a simple management plan for the final convention.

After the signing, the Coordinator Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project, Floribert Assongacap Assongna, says the next step will be to conduct multi-resource inventory of the area. After such an inventory, according to him, a simple management plan will be prepared and submitted to MINFOF for the final management agreement (convention). He hinted that the implementation of the simple management plan will only come after validation and approval of the final agreement by MINFOF.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to create three other community forests and update of the management plan of the FMU11002. The realisation of this will result in the protection of over 45,000ha of pristine forest between the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mone Forest Reserve. This will contribute towards the long-term protection of the over 630,000 ha in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex.

The creation of the BEET Community Forest has been successful thanks to support from international partners like Tusk Trust, Waterloo Foundation, Global Forest Watch, and the African Conservation Foundation, and general supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, and ERuDeF.

By Yanick Fonki

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