Inclusive and participatory forest restoration

Published: 13 November 2017
Last edited: 21 March 2018

Kilum-Ijim forest regeneration plays a vital role in watershed protection, promotion of biodiversity, preventing endemism (Mount Oku rat and Bannerman’s turaco) and apiculture, sustaining livelihoods and fighting climate change. CAMGEW’s action in regenerating this forest serves a local, national and global interest. As of July 2017, CAMGEW had planted 70.000 native bee-loving trees in Kilum-Ijim forest within a surface area of 172 hectares and trained more than 2500 community members in tree planting.  Thanks to these trees, communities produce more Oku White Honey from this forest. Forest regeneration activities include planning meetings with forest leaders and communities; the identification of  regeneration sites; clearing of paths for planting by men; pecking and digging of holes by youths; carrying of trees to the forest by women and proper planting of the trees in the forests by community experts. During this activity community members learn about tree planting and types of trees. The tree planting ends with an inclusive ceremony where we present work done to authorities and use the opportunity for forest sensitization. More than 15 variety of trees are planting by seedlings and cuttings like Prunus africana, Nuxia congesta, Schefflera abyssinica, Newtonia camerunensis,

Classifications

Category
Sustainable livelihoods
Scale of implementation
Local
Phase of solution
Implementation

Enabling factors

The project is inclusive with the participation of every person in the community. We have forest stakeholders, women, youths and men together performing various tasks.

Community solidarity has increased as they lern to work together and have their authorities appreciate and encurage them in their activities.

The forest sensitisation while planting and lerning-by-doing in tree planting has increased community engagement in protecting and valuing the forest.

Weekly community radio programs have helped the community understand their forest.

Lessons learned

The community has indigenous knowledge about the forest and when you bring community members together they learn better among themselves and CAMGEW also learns from them.

Community members need training in the field like learning-by-doing in the forest and CAMGEW was surprised that many of them go back set up individual small nurseries and plant nursed trees in the forest on their own, showing they understand why the forest should be protected.

Various forest users participate  in tree planting with various interests: Bee farmers want to have many beeloving trees, rat trappers want to have many trees that give seeds for rats, community waterscheme authorities want to protect watersheds to have more water, the council and govenment want to protect forest heritage, traditional people want to protect cultural sites, Forest Management institutions want to have economic trees planted for income generation

You can only gain community acceptance as an institution when you are installed in the community and take part in community daily live (good and bad momments).