Kribi-Campo coastal area, Cameroon
Last November 2009, Congo Basin Forest Fund officials including Profesoor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Laureate and Goodwill Ambassador for the Congo Basin Forests and Right Honorable Paul Martin, Former Canadian Prime Minister visited a project supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme in Cameroon implemented by the local organization "Organisation pour l'Environnement et le Développement Durable-OPED. The project started in 2008 and aims to develop and promote a low-cost technology for freshwater prawn farming by local communities and in particular, by women.
Local communities in the Cameroon coastal area of Kribi-Campo depend heavily on freshwater ecosystems for their livelihoods and freshwater prawns are one of the fishery resources of significant socio-economic value, because they constitute a delicacy consumed in local and western dishes. Traditional capturing techniques (using traditional conic baskets that capture very young, mature and even pregnant prawns) are most often unsustainable and may lead to the reduction of the population of this species in the aquatic ecosystems.
For this reason, the main objectives of this project, funded by the GEF Small Grants Programme were:
- The design of a training tool kit on freshwater prawn farming
- Awareness creation activities and training of fishing women on prawn species with high reproductive potential
- Support in building, technical and ecological management of prawn aquaculture facilities
- The organization of the marketing chain
The project impacts observed so far include:
- With regards to biodiversity conservation, the project has helped to reduce post-harvest losses by 100%.
- In terms of improving women's income, the prawn aquaculture business allows an economy of work time that can be valued on other activities; and an increase in revenues of at least 30%.
- In terms of strengthening women's entrepreneurship, the project has strengthened the entrepreneurial capabilities of women. Monitoring activities will support the establishment of sustainable small and medium-size community enterprises.
This This experience shows that real opportunities exist in the development of freshwater prawns'aquaculture.
Based on the results so far achieved and in order to promote the extension of this technologic innovations to other fishing communities, OPED submitted a proposal to upscale the project to the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) and was allocated a grant of 274.315 Euros by the CBFF.
Besides the promotion of freshwater prawn farming through the construction of 300 prawn aquaculture facilities in the project area, this new project will also promote the adoption and development of improved smoking technology for fish drying, and the monitoring of mangroves. This integrated project will be conducted in partnership with the World Fish Center, the University of Sterling and Village Communities and will generate substantial alternative incomes for the conservation of mangrove ecosystems that are at the center of current issues related to climate change.