Rainforest in Mount Cameroon National Park

Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth” Biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management

Cameroon's vast and species-rich rainforests are of great importance for global biodiversity and the climate. They are also an important source of food and income for local people. Apart from oil and agricultural products, timber is one of Cameroon's most important export products.

See also
Rainforest in Brazil

However, the forests are increasingly coming under threat, as the areas of forest that are being used by people are expanding, and forest use is too intensive. Demand for fuelwood is rising as a result of population growth. Mining and agricultural activities are encroaching more and more into the forests. Large areas of forest are lost to illegal logging. Biodiversity is at risk as a result of unsustainable forest management and poaching.

The conservation of natural resources through the protection and sustainable use of tropical forests is thus one focus of German development cooperation with Cameroon. The German Development Ministry is supporting Cameroon's efforts to establish and expand national parks and biosphere reserves and to create wildlife corridors between protected areas. Communities in adjacent areas are receiving assistance with regard to land management and the development of alternative income sources. Germany is also supporting the improvement of park equipment and facilities, for instance the construction of administrative buildings and accommodation for ecotourism. In addition, the BMZ is providing funding for the restoration of degraded forests.

Close engagement with local communities

Based on the principle of protecting forest resources by using them, support is being provided to communities so they can manage forest resources in a sustainable and inclusive way. In order to create income opportunities outside the timber trade, value chains are being developed for alternative forest products (such as neem oil, honey and shea butter). At the sawmills, Germany is supporting the efficient, climate-sensitive use of wood processing residues.

Active efforts are being undertaken to include local communities in the management of the national parks. They play a part, for example, in monitoring the parks and wildlife stocks, and in running ecotourism facilities. People who previously depended on hunting for their livelihoods receive training so they can switch to animal husbandry or beekeeping.

As at: 27/02/2024