Many international environmental conservation organizations have focused on the Tubah Upland Forests of Cameroon, particularly focused on raising awareness about the forest exploitation and the detrimental impacts it has on the diverse habitats of animals such as the Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzee.
In 2013, CAEPA Cameroon liaised with farmers, grazers, hunters and students to engage about forest exploitation and the importance of conservation and restoration. CAEPA Cameroon aimed to improve, enhance and raise awareness about the conservation status of threatened trees for chimpanzee food and habitation within the Tubah Upland Forest.
The Tree Reforestation/ Conservation Project
CAEPA Cameroon conducted training workshops on tree identification, reforestation techniques and nursery establishment on the 15th July – 21st July 2013. CAEPA Cameroon engaged with the communities surrounding the Tubah Upland Forest about issues such as forest exploitation to conserve and restore threatened tree species for chimpanzee food and habitation.
The project was launched with 96 people in attendance. This included men and women from administration, government, community leadership authorities, hunters, grazers and student communities. During the launch, stakeholders were assigned roles and responsibilities with CAEPA Cameroon raising the awareness on the importance to protect the forest and its diverse species, particularly the Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzee.
The program continued with a 4-day workshop on tree identification, nursery establishment and reforestation techniques with a total of 52 people receiving training.
The Forest Restoration Outcomes
A permanent nursery was established with the involvement of 58 community members. In total, 10,000 poly pots were filled with 6,000 trees including species such as Myysopsis, Beshemidia, Vocanga, Vitex, Cordia and Ficus. Workshop participants and community members also planted 5,000 trees during the demonstration on reforestation techniques in degraded patches linking a corridor between the Fitsen and Kubu patches.
The Training/ Educational Outcomes
In addition to the forestry restoration achievements, CAEPA Cameroon also conducted training sessions teaching the participants about:
- The 1974 Land Tenure Ordinance and the 1994 Forestry and Wildlife laws
- The FAO definition of a forest and tree identification based on their habitat, leaves, flowers, fruits and exudates.
- Nursery establishment and the different phases of establishing a nursery – purpose of the nursery, location, establishing a permanent water source and soil type.
- Reforestation techniques
- Afforestation techniques and the variety of ways it could be achieved such as natural regeneration and artificial propagation
- Direct sowing and planting techniques
The Policy Outcomes
There were several policy initiatives initiated by multi-party stakeholders to further develop this knowledge into sustainable change.
Many stakeholders came together for the first time to engage with the issues of forest exploitation and protecting the chimpanzee’s habitats. Users demanded the forest should be mapped and buffer zones established for the protection of the environment and animals. They also demanded that law enforcement should be enhanced to reduce pressure on the forest and the local community maintains their awareness of Cameroon wildlife law, land ordinances and pastoral code.
Furthermore, there were 4 focused group dialogues conducted with farmers and grazers in KedjomKeku, KedjomKitinguh, Bambui and Finge which explored strategies into reducing the exploitation of the forest as well as looking at improving farming techniques and trainings.