Programme for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (PSMNR) - South West Region
The communities adjacent to the Protected Areas (PA) lack of income opportunities and social infrastructure, such as road access, drinking water supply, health care and education. They highly depend on the goods and services which they derive from the forests. While the rural population does not sufficiently benefit from natural resource management or the existence of protected areas on their traditional lands, conservation measures even constrain their livelihoods. This results in unsustainable use of the natural resources and the loss of biodiversity. The Programme aims at the conciliation of conservation of high value ecosystems and endangered species and socio-economic development of adjacent communities in and around Mt. Cameroon (Bomboko Forest Reserve, Korup National Park, Takamanda and Mone Forests) and the improvement of the livelihood situation of local communities.
Our contribution includes support for:
- Creation of two new National Parks (NP) in a participatory process – Mt. Cameroon and Takamanda NPs in the end of 2008 and 2009, respectively.
- Elaboration and revision of management and business plans for the Mt. Cameroon, Korup and Takamanda NPs – up-dating the plans with new approaches concerning participatory and collaborative management as well as sustainable financing and eco-tourism.
- Improving the PA management by organizing the park team (training, equipment, infrastructure) to attain an increased level of protection (boundary demarcation, patrolling).
- Support eco-tourism development and thereby income generation mainly for Mt. Cameroon NP.
- Monitoring of wildlife and illegal activities by ensuring regular surveys and patrol monitoring with cybertracker and the introduction of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART).
- Ensuring the integrity and ecosystem functioning of the PAs as a core zone in a wider landscape through an approach looking at the sustainable development of the peripheral zone, working on land use conflicts around the PAs, participatory corridor management involving councils and villages, or supporting the creation and the management of community and council forests around the PAs, and collaborating with forest concessions on sustainable forest management.
- Bringing on board the 91 villages in and around Mt. Cameroon, Korup and Takamanda NPs to accept the PAs and work together with the national park services in the framework of a collaborative management system.
- Linking conservation and development / local benefits through the signing of Conservation and Development Agreements (CDA) and through incentives like the Conservation Bonus.
- Improving the communication and collaboration of the parks through the creation of Village Forest Management Committees (VFMC) and cluster platforms, all animated by a cluster facilitator engaged out of the concerned communities.
- Improving the livelihood of numerous villages through socio-economic infrastructure development (drinking water supplies, farm-to-market motorbike roads, storage facilities and markets) and "green" income generating projects (mainly cocoa, cassava, multi-purpose nurseries for the improvement of agro-forestry systems).
- Deciding together with communities on pertinent co-management activities in which the participation of the community members is remunerated.
- Piloting of an innovative law enforcement system implemented in close collaboration with the local co-management structures, mainly to support reducing illegal poaching activities (bush meat hunting); training and sensitisation of eco guards to ensure the respect of human rights and local traditions.
- Regulating access to the NPs in order to harvest in a sustainable manner selected Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and support the commercialization in order to increase income.
- Income creation on council, village and individual level through management of council forests, community forests and harvesting of Prunus africana.
- Training of MINFOF staff in the monitoring of the sustainable management of Forest Management Units (FMU); support to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification process (2 out of 3 active concessions in SWR are FSC certified); use of FMU revenues to co-finance measures for community involvement in forest management and the fight against illegal logging and poaching.
- Establishment of a quarterly meeting Transboundary Working Group between Cameroon and Nigeria to coordinate the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (TBR) nomination process and identify key issues for cooperation.
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