Sustainable management of Dom Community forest amidst COVID-19 challenges
Sustainable management of Dom Community forest amidst COVID-19 challenges
The Bamenda Highlands are the north westerly part of the Western Highlands of Cameroon. These




Highlands stretch from the Atlantic Ocean archipelago of Soa Tome, Principe and Bioko (Equatorial Guinea) and continue on the mainland through a range of mountains along the Cameroon-Nigeria border. Because of their unique diversity in flora and fauna, they have been classified by WWF as one of the 200 ecoregions of the world. However, the ecosystems on the Bamenda Highlands are under intense threat due to unsustainable management which results in the fast disappearance of forests together with the benefits and services that they provide. It is estimated that 50% of the forest in the area above 1500m altitude, was lost between 1988 and 2003. What is left is found mainly in the most inaccessible parts of the highlands. Thus, the forest in Dom, the site of the project, is now a degraded wildlife sanctuary, situated on the Kedjosam region (15000 – 2000m), within the coordinates (UTM, Zone 32): 676500, 704500; 680000, 704500; 676500, 701000; 680000,701000. The ecosystem and vegetation of the fragmented Dom forest (452ha) is submontane which, according to Harvey et al, (2006) “is of very good ecological and conservation quality”. The forest contains numerous Red Data species that are new to science and restricted to Dom.

The Bamenda Highlands with a population of 1.9 million (2006 census) are described as resource poor and are said to be ranked as second poorest region in the country with 52.5% of the population living below the poverty line (Ingram et al, 2005). There is therefore no surprise that rural exodus especially of youths is one of the most disturbing problems in the Highlands. This situation is worse in the remote rural areas like Dom with inadequate social amenities and infrastructure. The population of Dom is about 3000 with 60% above 45 years and 25% of children below 10 years. Almost all the youths of both sexes have moved out to the big towns and cities. Dom is a dying village and any activity that can help bring income and improve the quality of the environment will help to sustain the village, particularly its few restive youths.

The greatest threat to the ecosystem of Dom forest is small scale agricultural practices which cumulatively become serious threat to the entire ecosystem. The farmers and grazers use slash and burn which is destructive to the environment. Worst still, they practice a local destructive system called ankarawhich kills soil micro-organisms and renders the top-soils susceptible to wind and gully erosion.

The aim of this integrated project which will be implemented a participatory manner, is to conserve biodiversity of the Dom community forest while preventing COVID_19 and any other future pandemic. This will be done by creating awareness of pandemics and reforesting an existing degraded gap (30ha) mainly with threatened indigenous tree species selected from the red data list. The project will also plant 20.000 threatened tree species in the forest gap thereby greatly reducing the degree of threats on the targeted Red Data species in the highlands. Also, by closing the degraded forest gap with trees, the quality of wildlife habitat will improve. This will attract more wildlife leading to the enhancement of biodiversity. Tree planting will increase carbon sequestration and mitigate climate change and the resulting tree canopy will have direct impact on water retention and discharge, thus checking land degradation and curbing the spread of diseases.

The grant will be used to meet 4 specific objectives through the execution of 20 activities (see table B2).

Create awareness on COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics, Strengthen sustainable biodiversity conservation with biodiversity-friendly food production systems, restoration of biodiversity and prevention of degradation by promoting tree planting to minimize the effects of climate change.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Apiculture and Nature Conservation
Country:
Cameroon
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
Climate Change Mitigation
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 32,700.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 4,377.42
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 18,090.37
Project Number:
CMR/SGP/OP7/Y1/ICCA-GSI-COVID/2021/08
Status:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
At the end of the project a book shall be produced that captures the best practices, innovations and lessons learnt from the project.
Capacity - Building Component
At the organizational level, ANCO Board members and staff have insufficient knowledge on their roles and responsibilities as well as knowledge on project writing and management. This grant will help to organize a one day workshop on roles and responsibilities of Board members, sourcing of funds and project management
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SGP Country office contact

Mr. Fogué Aimé Kamga
Phone:
(237) 22 20 08 00/22 20 08 01
Email:

Address

c/o UNDP Office, P.O. Box 836
Yaounde