Coastal Forests Programme | WWF

Coastal Forests Programme

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Coastal Forests Programme
© Mauri Rautkari/WWF

THE AREA

Located on the southwest coast of Cameroon, this landscape covers a total surface area of 44,500km². The area has high levels of endemic plants and wildlife and species diversity. It has small populations of elephants as well as chimpanzees and gorillas.

The vegetation ranges from coastal mangroves through various shades of dense canopy tropical forests, to montane and frost forests in Mount Cameroon and Bakossi National Parks. This gradation gives room to many microhabitats, explaining the high levels of species diversity.

The area is of great economic importance. With its rich volcanic soils, it is the breadbasket and an economic livewire of the country. Food crops such as cocoa, yams, plantains, cassava, tomatoes and others vegetables are mostly taken to Douala and even as far as Gabon.

Agro-industrial plantations such as PAMOL, Cameroon Development Cooperation (CDC) produce economically important quantities of oil palm and rubber.

The Coastal Forests Programme includes 4 national parks/wildlife sanctuaries:
  • Korup National Park
  • Mount Cameroon National Park
  • Bakossi National Park
  • Banyang-Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary

Landscape and biodiversity

Rich plant species diversity (many endemic Coffee kupeensis and the Ancistrocladus korupensis, which has great medicinal potential)
Mandrills
Chimpanzees
Gorillas 
Elephants
Many bird species
Various species of reptiles 
Mangroves
 
	© Janetmolisa
Muanenguba twin crater lakes
© Janetmolisa

THREATS

CURRENT THREATS

1. Poaching and bushmeat trade
2. Large forest clearance and shifting cultivation (slash and burn)
3. Unsustainable exploitation of timber and non-timber forest products
4. Climate change
5. Poverty and threatened livelihoods

EMERGING THREATS

Growth of extractive and agro-industries, notably palm oil and rubber

WWF's INTERVENTION

Park protection and management of areas of high conservation value: support to development and implementation of protected area management and business plans, with collaborative management and wildlife law enforcement as central themes.
 
Support to agro-industry to identify and manage high conservation value (HCV) areas according to best practices. 
 
Research and monitoring, carried out at regular intervals using hand-held computers equipped with cyber tracking and data collection along line transects in the entire protected area.
 
Education for sustainable development: building young people’s ability to address critical environmental and social development issues.
 
Livelihoods improvement: providing alternative income and protein sources to deter local communities from hunting, through creating community-based organisations, community interest groups, NGOs and cooperatives, as well as carrying out infrastructure development that benefits conservation. A key component of the livelihoods initiative is to promote democracy and natural resource governance so rural communities can maximise benefits from poverty-reduction initiatives, and in turn strengthen community and civil society participation in the management of protected areas.
 
Eco-tourism: community-oriented tourism so that some benefits can trickle down to local communities. 


KEY ACHIEVEMENTS


Income generating activities
• Over 2,000 households and 60 civil society organisations involved in eco-friendly income generating activities such as bee-keeping, livestock farming, organic farming and eco-tourism.

Education for sustainable development
•Education for sustainable development was piloted here in 2012-2013, and subsequently integrated in the primary and secondary school curriculum nationwide

Protected area management
• Creation of Mount Cameroon National Park in 2009
• Conservation development agreement with 73 park villages in cluster conservation zones (CCZ)
• Working with park authorties and local communities to clearly demarcate protected area boundaries
• Awarding financial rewards (conservation credits) to villages engaged in protecting forests and wildlife

Flagship species conservation
• Use of telemetry to determine home ranges, movement corridors and seasonal land use by African forest elephants, in order to help mitigate human-elephant conflicts and promoting eco-tourism.
 
 
	© Hervé Morand/WWF
CFP
© Hervé Morand/WWF
 
	© Mauri Rautkari/WWF
CFP
© Mauri Rautkari/WWF
 
	© Jules Decolvanaere/WWF
CFP
© Jules Decolvanaere/WWF
 
	© Janet Molisa
Muanenguba mounts
© Janet Molisa
 
	© WWFCARPO/CFP
Partial view of Mount Cameroon from the seaside town of Limbe
© WWFCARPO/CFP