We are with our partner in Cameroon, Community-Based Biosynergy Management, to support community conservation near the Dja Faunal Reserve. The Reserve is a UNESCO World heritage site with prime habitat for elephants, chimpanzees, leopards, mandrills and lowland gorillas. It’s also home to the Baka pygmies, an indigenous group of hunter-gatherers who have maintained the balance of the tropical forest ecosystems for thousands of years.
Cameroon introduced community forestry in 1994 as a means of improving community engagement in forest management, enhancing forest conservation and reducing poverty for forest-dependent people. Limited capacity and lack of government support are major constraints to community forestry. At the invitation of the Baka community of Nomedjoh, we are working to promote conservation and support ecosystem and economic resilience within the Nomedjoh Community Forest (NCF). The NCF was established in 2012 to give the community the rights to manage what remained of their traditional hunting grounds and ancestral home.
The goal is to work with the Nomedjoh community and government representatives to build local capacity to design effective conservation and management plans for the community forests. More specifically, our efforts will protect key wildlife species, accelerate community-level action to advance rights and conservation, strengthen local organizational capacity, establish community-based monitoring and reporting systems, and enhance forest-based income opportunities based on marketable forest products.