Monday, 19 September 2016
The Mount Cameroon National Park, 58178 hectares with over 41 communities sharing boundaries with the park.
Among the 41 communities living in this area, over 85% are farmers with few being hunters and timber exploiters.
Upon the birth of the park in 2009, the management of the area shifted from local communities to the park service under the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.
Such transition distort the livelihood of the immediate forest dependent communities since their actions are to be in conformity with the forestry law and the IUCN classification for the protection of wildlife.
In that effect, after the validation of the Management of the Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP), the idea of collaborative management reinforced the collaborative management efforts of the.
With the collaborative management idea, the park created 41 Village Forest Management Committees (VFMC) within the 41 park communities. To ensure a smooth functioning each VFMC provides a nine man executive to represent the village during conservation discussion.
From the nine man executive, the chief of each village is a member while the others constitutes representatives such as; an external and internal elite, a farmer, hunter, youth and women (02) representatives and Village Development Committee representative.
Through such committees, the park service signs a Conservation Development Agreement through which the VFMC and the park service jointly carry out conservation activities like patrols, reporting of illegal activities just to name a few.
In this light, these 41 communities after benefiting from their work allowance they also get Conservation Bonus which is to be directed to a community project which should be conservation friendly.
Also, to enhance the communities’ wellbeing, the park service has also initiated some alternative Income Generating Activities such as plantain, cassava and yam projects.
To ensure the sustainability and the perfect functioning of the VFMCs the park service carries a routing follow-up of their projects and the running of the nine man executive, they assist the VFMCs in their reorganization process.
The efficacy of the VFMC determines the level of collaboration and benefits that the communities can get from the park service.
To assist these communities, the park service as part of their obligation are once more taking the responsibility to follow-up the reorganization of the VFMCs of some villages.
Bonakanda village is one of the partner were the reorganization was performed under the watchful eyes of the Conservator of the MCNP, Mr. Bisong Simon and H.R.H Ndongo Emmanuel this September, 19th 2016.