Our projects environment and development
CAMERR Project | Cameroon Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration and Resilience
The area of this pilot project is home to several types of vegetation and habitats that are important for the maintenance of biological diversity with regard to its mangroves. The Cameroon estuary, in which the Mouanko-Bolondo area is located, is said to contain about 203,600 hectares of mangrove swamps, associated coastal forests, plantations and non-vegetated dwellings and associated land, including 93,550 hectares of “purely” mangrove-covered land.
The coastal zone of Cameroon also shelters and feeds a varied fauna composed of birds, elephants, antelopes, chimpanzees, monkeys, crocodiles, but also manatees, aquatic mammals, notable species of turtles, reptiles, molluscs and shrimps.
Cameroon’s mangroves thus provide many vital ecosystem services  such as stabilise and protect the coastal zone, sequester carbon (this maritime marsh ecosystem has the particularity of retaining around 5 times more carbon than a terrestrial forest) and shelter an abundant biomass and a rich biodiversity (fauna and flora). It also provides livelihood opportunities for about 30% of the country’s population living in coastal areas (e.g. wood for fish smoking, housing construction and boats, water-resistant thatch for roofs and fodder for pets), cultural services, or has great potential for ecotourism and environmental education.
The coastal regions of Cameroon are an important nature conservation issue in Central Africa. But because of their proximity to the sea, the activity of many companies, particularly agro-industrial ones, and the development of transport infrastructures make it a pole of economic attraction generating significant demographic growth. This situation leads to multiple human pressures threatening the forest ecosystems of the Cameroonian coast, especially the mangrove such as the one in the Mouanko-Bolondo area. This situation considerably affects wildlife habitats, biodiversity and more generally natural resources and thus the livelihoods of riparian communities.
The current health situation linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the Cameroonian authorities to close the borders. Although this crisis does not directly affect seafood products, the fisheries sector* is subject to the indirect effects of the pandemic due to changes in consumer demand, market access or logistical problems related to transport and border restrictions in an area where trade with neighbouring countries is ongoing. This situation has led to a drop in economic activity, and therefore in the turnover of traders, thus reducing the capacity of the commune of Mouanko to intervene in projects such as mangrove reforestation.
* All disciplines dealing with the problems of fishing.
Support the restoration and sustainable management of mangroves, the protection of biodiversity and the strengthening of local resilience in Mouanko-Bolondo within the “Cameroon Estuary” block.
Actions put in place
Two main axes: the restoration of mangrove areas degraded by the reforestation of mangroves in the locality of Mouanko-Bolondo, within the “Estuary of Cameroon” block and the promotion of awareness for a sustainable ecological transition around the preservation of the mangrove ecosystem through the sensitization and mobilization of the inhabitants of Bolondo.
Ecosystem restoration: the loss of forests, the habitat of many species, is one of the 5 main causes of biodiversity loss.
The planting of 40,000 mangroves is planned in the enclaves of the Douala-Edea National Park in the village of Bolondo.
Awareness raising : The project aims to raise awareness for a sustainable ecological transition around the preservation of the mangrove ecosystem of the inhabitants of Bolondo. A kick-off workshop will be organised to inform and mobilise the different stakeholders of the pilot project. 4 other workshops to raise awareness on sustainable fuelwood management among households in the area will also be planned during the first months of implementation.
Ecologically healthy coastal ecosystems will function as natural defences for humans and wildlife living on the continent. This project will thus contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, increased resilience and adaptive capacity to the effects of climate change, as well as mitigation through carbon sequestration generated through reforestation.
In this context, the planting mangroves to regenerate the mangrove ecosystem, one of the most powerful natural carbon sinks in the world, has been locally identified as one of the priority options that can contribute to restoring the environment of this agroecologically sensitive area and its role in climate change mitigation, as well as to support the emergence or strengthening of biodiversity-based value chains for the local development of communities and the strengthening of their capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change.
In an environment where several reforestation initiatives have been carried out by various actors and where the need for planting is still immense (the Cameroonian coastline has more than 220,000 ha of mangroves, already partially degraded or even destroyed), the present pilot project of “Mangrove restoration in support of community resilience and biodiversity protection in Mouanko-Bolondo” aims to contribute, in the long term and at its scale, to a sustainable management of coastal forest ecosystems in the area by reducing the economic and social vulnerabilities of local communities.
More specifically, it is about initiating a sustainable ecological transition through the support of environmental restoration and awareness raising/motivation of the population and strengthening the economic and social resilience of local actors in a sustainable way. This initiative intends to be part of a wider perspective of contributing to sustainable community management and conservation of mangrove ecosystems in Cameroon.
 Source : FAO, 2018
Cameroun, Zone de Mouanko-Bolondo, située dans le « bloc mangrove » de l’Estuaire du Cameroun
Start of the project : August 2020
40 000 planted trees
50 direct beneficiaries
300 indirect beneficiaries