Many of the world’s areas most under threat from climate change are also home to rural communities and indigenous peoples. Their livelihood and cultures are dependent on the natural environment. Population growth, wasteful consumption, and production patterns put unsustainable pressure on the poorest communities, increasing their vulnerability.
We believe that conservation and the careful management of natural resources are key to ensuring that Cameroon develops sustainably and equitably. We try to make all our projects earth-friendly, and in addition to teaching sustainable farming and reforestation techniques, we run a number of programs designed to preserve Cameroon’s precious natural resources.
We run conservation camps at two sites of breathtaking natural beauty, Mount Oku and Lake Oku in the Bamenda Highlands of Cameroon. International interns and local work camp participants work together five days on site, creating an inventory of foreign items in the lake, identifying threats, and mapping the area. Evenings are devoted to rest and cultural activities such as dancing, singing, and musical shows.
Once this first phase is complete, camp participants organize and run a restitution workshop in the community, working with different stakeholders to brainstorm and develop an action plan, and organize a campaign to educate the community about the importance of conserving Lake Oku and Mount Oku.
Finally, they will again stay on site to segregate farm and grazing land, plant trees for reforestation, and clean up the lake shores and summit.
Working cooperatively with local communities, schools, hospitals, and local councils, we acquire land for nursery establishment; prepare the nurseries; water; bag, and transplant the trees, and provide security. We select tree species that can absorb greenhouse gases, improve agricultural yields, and generate extra income for villagers.
Our goal is to plant a total of 1 million trees in 100 villages in BATIBO, OKU and BALI, which we hope will not only have a significant direct impact in the areas where afforestation is most provide a focal point for community education and inspiration.
By coordinating tree planting with special occasions like the Environment Day, World Earth Day, Tree Planting Day, and Wetland Day, we increase community awareness of the urgency of the environmental issues.
Preserving Rural Resources
We work with rural communities to install and maintain solar facilities that allow villagers to cook and heat with solar energy, rather than chopping down trees for wood. Because relying on coal or gas to generate electricity accelerates climate change, we are creating solar installation and repair facilities to light rural homes, schools, hospitals, vocational training centers, and even the Royal Palace of Cameroon.
By designing water catchment projects, and integrating water recycling into our projects whenever possible, we help provide clean drinking water and an adequate water supply for irrigation.
Education and Capacity Building
We organize training and seminars to teach farming groups, school children and local communities about the importance of reforestation; how to create nurseries; how to collect seeds locally and create local seed banks; and how to use earth friendly farming practices such as organic pest control and bottle drip irrigation.
To establish an ongoing process for rural revitalization, we create and manage environmental clubs in schools and the community, and organize competitions on environmental and forestry issues.