Translate page with Google

Project July 13, 2022

How the Establishment of Sacred Forests Can Save the Eastern Forests of Cameroon



Cameroon has one of the largest forests in the world, with forests covering about 45% of the national territory, of which 22% of the national area is classified as protected areas. Between 1995 (7%) and 2011 (18%), the national network of protected areas has grown considerably and covers rainforests, dry forests, and forest-savanna mosaics.

Despite efforts by public and private authorities, conservation faces several constraints including the very low rate of surveillance due to the insufficient number of eco-guards. In the African countries where they exist, sacred forests constitute the traditional method of conservation of biodiversity. This is the case in Cameroon in the western region where they help to protect particular ecosystems or habitats and thus present positive aspects, likely to enrich the national policy on the subject (FAO).

One can only enter them if one is authorized by the traditional authority who is the guarantor. This survey aims to identify the mechanisms put in place by the populations of the Fondjomekwet (Haut Nkam), Bazou (NDE), and Dschang (Menoua) to enhance and preserve this heritage in accordance with the requirements of the World Summit on Development in Johannesburg, South Africa (2002). Conversely, in the eastern and southern regions, particularly in the coastal regions, the Indigenous peoples, although intimately linked to the forest, are powerless to witness the disappearance of the forest because of illegal exploitation.

They demand the institutionalization of their own chieftaincies and include the the notion of territory to preserve the forest as a guarantee of the protection of their cultural identity and therefore of the biodiversity.