FRI Cameroon, RERAC & Model Forest Discuss Livelihood Venture
By Helen Ayamba, CAMLINK Radio,Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Farm Radio Board member, Jacqueline Toupin has connected FRI Cameroon to a joint venture capacity building venture with the Central Africa Community Radio Network (RERAC) coordinated by Eva Mouzongin Yaoundé and the Model Forest Network of Patrick Nyemeck SGAN in Lomie in the East region of Cameroon. A first working session held at IBIS Hotel Douala on the 31st July 2013.
Eva PauleMouzong, who is also the station manager of Environment Radio in Yaoundé is a strategic partnerofthe Model Forest Network. The Model Forest Project is involved in the promotion of forest governance, participatory monitoring and evaluation, business development services, climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Cameroon hosted the African Model Forest Conference in Yaoundé from the 12th to 15th March 2013. It is FRI Managing Editor, Vijay Cuddeford in Vancouver, Canada who introduced Cameroon Link to Jacqueline Toupin. Vijay worked for WWF Canada for 15 years.
The Africa Model Forest Network (RAFM) is promotion a project known as Bio-Adapt encouraging the use of bio-fertilizers, ameliorated grains for planting, non-conventional animal breeding, domestication of forest products, farmers’ microfinance and business models through promotion of market information systems..
The project receives financial and technical support from the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA. Talking to Farm Radio, Patrick Nyemeck said, people and forest cannot be separated, since people around the world use forest resources such as fruits, timber, bush meat, agro- and rattan for their livelihood every day.
He added that participatory and inclusive approaches to sustainable forest management and use can help prevent conflicts over resources and forest degradation.
Campo Ma’an and Dja&Mpomoare two pilot sites selected for the execution of the Model Forest strategy in Cameroon. The 700.000 hectares Dja&Mpomo forest is located in the east region of Cameroon. It has a striking bio-diversity with over 600 tree species, 165 mammalian species, 120 fish species and 320 bird species. Elephant, leopard, gorilla and chimpanzee have been listed as threatened and endangered mammals.
Dja&Mpomo has a total population of 25.000 inhabitants divided into five main indigenous ethnic groups including the Baka pygmies. 40% of the landscape consists of forest management units with almost a quarter placed as protected area.
The population is involved in informal agro-economy, forestry related activities, handicraft and mining. Though the economic value of the area is rated as high, the local populations do not benefit from the forest resources and revenues.
As a solution, the Model Forest is providing a coherent network for all the actorsto experiment with sustainable management practices on the basis of voluntary partnerships. FRI Cameroon and Environment Radio Yaoundé will design capacity building training for pygmy community radio stations in the east region of Cameroon in 2014 with the support the Model Forest Project.
James Achanyi-Fontem, is a Senior Health Journalist and Communication Consultant. He worked as a health journalist and broadcaster for 30 years with Radio Cameroon and later Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV before retiring in 2005 to engage fully with Cameroon Link (Human Assistance Programme). Cameroon Link is a registered charity, not-for-profit organisation involved in the promotion of community health, humanitarian assistance, promotion of women and child rights through involvement of communities in Cameroon for mother and child health care. Cameroon Link is a partner to Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Farm Radio International (FRI), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN Africa), World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). As the intermediary of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Cameroon Link is engaged to implement a Cameroon Rural Radio story design Programming through an investigative research, which aims to discover through interviewing beneficiaries of health programmes on their interests, documenting and disseminating new ideas about how radio stations produce and air Healthy Communities Radio Programs in Cameroon.