New sources of resources
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CTA. 2002. New sources of resources. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/3. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57261
The project manager at Kalup National Park in Cameroon explains how local rainforest communities, who have lost their access to the park are being supported in finding new ways to earn income, and how the project is making them aware of the need to manage their community forests sustainably.
New sources of resources CUE: Protecting natural forests from over-exploitation can be a difficult business. Many forest communities find it hard to believe that their natural forest resources can ever be finished. They may argue that their parents and grandparents have always used the forest, so why should they change their way of life? One way of convincing them of the need to use their forest in a sustainable way might be to show them some areas where the forests have been lost, and let them talk to the communities there. Indeed, this is one of the methods being tried by the Kalup National Park Project in south-west Cameroon. In our next report, Dr Hanson Njiforti, the project manager, talks to Martha Chindong about how the Kalup project has been helping local communities to get the right balance between conservation and exploitation. The park itself has become a ?no go? area for local people, but at the same time they have received some benefits from increased tourism in the area, and the project has also tried to introduce alternative ways for them to get vital resources and income. IN: ?When people don?t derive ? OUT: ? to show them examples.? DUR?N 4?13? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Dr Hanson Njiforti, showing how experience has been the best teacher for rainforest communities in Cameroon. Transcript Njiforti When people don?t derive any benefit from whatever you want to conserve, it will be very difficult for you, right through your work. And when you are conserving a forest, you take care of the conservation aspect itself, conservation proper, and you take care of the needs of the people, what economic benefits people will have. So with us, the conservation aspect is mainly the national park. We have also community forests, where people exploit these forests and use the money for their own development. So we have development activities out of the national park, and in the national park we are doing conservation proper. Chindong So how are the people around benefiting from this conservation proper? Njiforti You can imagine that when tourists come to the park, they leave money. People who are working, taking care of tourists get money; the hotels and bar owners and so on get money from the tourists. Chindong Apart from tourists coming to bring in some money for the local people, are there other ways they are gaining from this sustainable management of the forest? Njiforti We have tried to teach people, for example, to grow non-timber forest products, like ?gansa?, ?eru?, those commonly used spices that women used to trek for hours to go and harvest; most of them can now grow them in their backyard. So a lot of people are cultivating these and they are selling. You get a truckload of all these ?eru?s and ?gansa? from the area, delivering it to other towns in Cameroon, and even out of Cameroon to our neighbouring countries. Chindong That is an idea for keeping them out of the forest, from harvesting those trees. What of livestock? Njiforti OK, as you might not have realised, domestic cattle do not do very well in the project area. We have to improve a local breed called a ?muturu? cattle, which is very resistant to trypanosomiasis. So that was one way of stopping them from going into the forest for wildlife. We promoted piggery and all other aspects linked to animal husbandry. Chindong When you say ?promote? what do you do in actual terms? Njiforti For the moment we are working with muturu cattle in collaboration with FAO. This breed was almost disappearing, and we have tried to promote breeding and increase the breeding of these cattle, and the population is increasing actually. Piggery, the project in the past did a lot to teach people how to do piggery, poultry and everything, and many people are already doing their own piggery. Chindong As somebody working with farmers in the fields, what do you think are the best sustainable forest management practices? Njiforti If people have never realised anything important in the forest, it will be very difficult for them to buy any ideas that you are selling. You need to show people that if they manage their forest well, they will get more income; if they manage their forest well, they can leave something for their children; if they manage their forest well, they will have basic natural resources constantly. But it is very difficult to sell sometimes. Chindong Yes, they will always think that their parents lived on this forest and they left the forest for them. Njiforti You know, people in the village might be thinking in terms of ?my grandfather?, twenty years or ten years. When we are talking conservation, we are talking hundreds of years, and it is very difficult to perceive this at the level of the village where our knowledge is limited to that of our grandfather and our grandmother. What we do now for example, is to take people to other areas where the resources are already finished. They will get the stories from the people from there, and that is when the people believe that their own too might one day disappear, because many people don?t believe it when you say, ?If we exploit irrationally these animals may disappear.? They say ?It?s a lie! My grandfather used to use it!? So the best way is to show them examples. End of track.