Concerted efforts are necessary to sustain mangrove ecosystem functions and benefits to climate change impacts (sea level rise).
Cameroon mangrove forests – the guardians of tropical coastlines – are among the many ecosystems that will be lost or negatively affected by climate change. Many human livelihoods are equally been affected.
Hence, Cameroon mangroves are highly threatened by human activities (fish smoking) and urbanisation which have contributed to about 30% loss between 1980 and 2006 to just about 200 000 ha today. Fish smoking and fish processing activities are largely responsible for more than 40% degradation and loss of mangroves in the region. The mangrove wood, Rhizophora spp., is preferred from other species for its high calorific value, good burning characteristics under wet conditions thus reducing unnecessary wood processing cost and time especially drying before use. Traditional low energy serving open-type smoking rafts implanted in kitchens are used across the estuaries. Health problems such as breathing and sight difficulties, headache and inhalation of poisonous wood gases as well as occasional fire accidents occur during the smoking operations.
The current project is aimed at promoting sustainable utilization, management and conservation of mangrove ecosystems as fisheries support systems and buffers against climate change impacts through the promotion of the use of improved energy-serving fish and bivalves smoke houses and community based restoration and other methods.
These information well be used to formulate range of adaptation strategies such as reforestation with “climate-smart” mangrove species, more integrated coastal planning, and collaboration with local communities to improve natural resource use efficiency.
What actions do you propose?
· Planning and training :Community organization and mobilization for tree planting actions by reinforcing the existing motivated community groups (fishermen, fish smoking women, wood cutters) led by village chief through organizing at least 2 planning meetings per fishing village.
· Mapping of all vulnerable mangrove degraded are: our approach will use the ground base vegetation sampling to calibrate remote sensing data to develop spectral signature for restoration area that will be use to address the ecological vulnerability of mangrove and associated coastal wetlands. Ex-situ training of the communities.
· On-field demonstrative planting : Participative identification and mapping of plantable degraded mangrove areas “football fields” consistent with mangrove regeneration peculiarities (e.g. selecting sheltered low wave energy intertidal zones, free from predictors, etc.) and collecting GPS points for eventual mapping. In-situ training of the community members.
· Participatory monitoring and evaluation to ensure long-term tree stewardship/maintenance: CWCS will engage technical unit of the mangrove platform consisting of conservation, local technical government services of forestry, fisheries in monitoring of planted trees through repeated field assessment visits backup with field data collection sheets and repeated photos at vantage recognizable positions to easily show the progressive restoration of planted sites. This exercise will continue beyond the end of the project for documenting lessons learnt.
· Construction of improved smoke oven: Fuel wood extraction for commercial fish smoking is the most pervasive threat to the sustainability of mangrove ecosystems in the Douala-Edea Wildlife Reserve (DEWR) of Cameroon and most West-Central African coastal states. The high rates of fuel-wood consumption are associated with fish smoking in this region and are chiefly the result of low fuel efficiency systems. In this study, we will construct over 20 fish-smoking systems. The improved smoke house is built on the basis of a traditional smoke house, where the oven’s edges are closed in order to reduce heat and smoke losses. The improved smoke house spread through the project by CWCS model is a hybrid of the chorkor and the traditional ‘banda’ currently in use in the region. The development of the traditional ‘banda’ along the coasts of Cameroon has been due to the high fish landings, coupled with the fast fish deterioration rates
· Sustaining data collection process. Exploration mechanisms to sustain local data collection/monitoring processes (integration into ongoing conservation and development projects, collaboration with private sector…) by supporting Cameroon mangrove Network to organize more for a such as the integrated coastal area management forum that was organized in Buea in March 2010 and pan-African symposium in Douala in May 2010 on mangrove and climate change.
• Continued local capacity building. Training of local organization in basic data processing techniques (general training workshops, etc.) which can also to be integrated in such Planned coastal forum.
• Monitoring and evaluation : Project oversight will be facilitated by: (i) establishing appropriate levels of management authority to provide timely direction, coordination, control and review; (ii) ensuring project management accountability; (iii) documenting project transactions and results through traceability of related documents throughout the implementation of the project; (iv) ensuring that project is implemented within the planned activities applying established standards and guidelines; (v) continuously identification and monitoring of project risks and risk mitigation strategies; and (vi) ensuring project outputs are produced in accordance with the project results framework.
• Information sharing. Enhance adaptation information sharing mechanisms to make informed decisions making processes (forestry code, coordination of mining, oil & gas and forestry sector…) in planning with a wide range of stakeholders at local, sub-national, national and regional levels.
Who will take these actions?
Key stakeholders and beneficiaries will be identified and consulted during project preparation. The inception and terminal workshops during project preparation will part of these consultations, as well as meetings with local communities within the target zones. At the broadest level, the main stakeholders with a direct or indirect interest in this project can be divided into national stakeholders and local stakeholders (NGOs, local government and community members and private sector).
International stakeholders: Support to capacity building and technical assistance within their respective areas of expertise and funding.
National government and government agencies : The Government of the Republic of the Cameroon will raise awareness amongst political decision makers about the importance of conserving Cameroon’s mangrove ecosystems and the means to do this through restoration.
Private sector They will contribute to the project in the development and implementation of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and mitigation activities. They will benefit from clearer regulatory policies and best mangrove restoration practices that will help them to meet their local obligations (carbon offset) as part of their economic development projects.
Local government and community members : They will participate in the project and benefit directly from project activities (e.g. from capacity building and community organization, sustainable rural development funded mostly by co-financing). Local inhabitants will also benefit more generally from the environmental improvements and increased sustainability of resource use that this project is expected to deliver.
NGO: We will participate in technical activities (monitoring, promotion of best practices and organization of local communities) and our technical capacity will be enhance.
Where will these actions be taken?
The study will conducted in and around two estuaries: Cameroon Estuary including the Douala-Edea National Park and Rio Del Rey Estuary including proposed Rio del Rey National park, in Cameroon.
The Rio del Rey Estuary is the biggest mangrove zone; parts of it are still very much intact, with a known quality of fisheries grounds. It is probably one of the best conserved mangrove ecosystems on the Western and Central Africa Coast situated in the highest biodiversity hotspot in this part of Africa in the shadow of Mount Cameroon and downstream from the Korup, Takamanda and Cross River Forests.
Cameroon Estuary, incorporates the Douala-Edea Reserve which is one of the largest and biologically rich of Cameroon nature reserves gazetted in 1932 and currently being re-gazetted as national terrestrial and Marine Park. This lies within the Kribi - Douala basin of the coastal Atlantic Ocean and covers a greater part of the coastal plains of the Cameroon coast of about 160.000ha. The area has a very dense hydrological network being a meeting point of estuaries of Cameroon largest rivers (Rivers Sanaga, Nyong, Dibamba and Wouri).
How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?
Mangrove ecosystem in central Africa region the least total ecosystem carbon of 808 ± 236 Mg/ha recorded in heavily exploited forests, translating to CO2 equivalent of 2,962 Mg/ha. Undisturbed mangrove forests sequester annually 16.5 MgC/ha against 6.9 MgC/ha for degraded systems. Hence the contribution of replanted sites will contribute significantly.
The improved smoke houses are expected to be far efficiencely superior to the existing traditional smoke houses in several respects including cutting down wood consumption by about 32, reducing fish smoking time (by 65%), reducing health hazards. A single improved smoke house system will save between 18.71 and 34.16 t of CO2 e per year. The whole project activity is expected to prevent the emission of 77,832 tonnes of CO2e henceforth.
What are other key benefits?
Contribution to sustainable development
Besides saving greenhouse gases, the project helps to
· bring wood consumption down so as to allow natural recovery of forests and/or reforestation to take place,
· diminish indoor air pollution from wood smoke and avoid its harmful health consequences,
· diminish the fuel wood bill for fish processing.
The project therefore meets the following national sustainable development criteria:
SOC.1: Link with policies, regulations and national priorities and local development
SOC.2: Well-being of the local community
SOC.4: Participation of local communities
ECO.4: Technology Transfer
ENV.1: Fight against climate change
ENV.2: Preservation of local and national environment and natural resources
ENV.3: Safety and health of the local community
Ecosystem Services criteria
Extreme Weather Events criteria
Biodiversity Hotspots criteria
What are the proposal’s costs?
· Labour (staffing and the recruitment of key informants) US $ 40 000
· Land and sea transport US $ US $ 55 600
· Planning and training: US $ 24 530
· On-field demonstrative planting (material and other accessories) : US $ 50 000
· Construction of improved smoke house : US $ 100 000
· Participatory M&E to ensure long-term tree stewardship/maintenance: US $ 25 200
· Sustaining data collection process. US $ 15 000
• Continued local capacity building. US $ 15 250
• Information sharing. US $ 25 500
• Total requested : US$ 351 080
Short-term (5 – 15 years)
- Most of the identified degraded patches of mangroves demarcated and planted with are restored with mangrove plants consisting of Red mangrove (Rhizophora racemosa, R. mangle)80% and white mangrove (Avicennia germinans) 20% in at least 25 fishing villages from wildings and nursery stocks;
- 20 in situ nurseries created for eventual replacement of dead plants in planted areas
- Local mangrove platform capacity built to sustain monitoring of planted areas
- Capacities built of at least 1000 local people spread in 25 villages will on field mangrove regenerating techniques from nursery to plantation techniques.
- Between 2016 and 2018 at least 75 improved smoked houses is constructed and monitored
- Midterm evaluation and lessons learned
- Publishing and sharing lessons learned
Mid-term expectations (15-50 years)
- The planted areas are regular surveyed and maintained replacing dead plants from existing nurseries for eventual mangrove habitat restoration and connectivity for mangrove to play its beneficial role as fisheries support systems.
- Enhanced monitoring capacity of the Local mangrove platform to sustain monitoring of planted areas
- Acquired capacities of over 1000 local people spread in 25 villages on field mangrove restoration techniques with continue identification and planting of other degraded areas.
- Mangroves are restored for increase fish and coastal protection from storms.
- Post study evaluation of the combined approach used to building mangrove resilience
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Ajonina, G.N. and Usongo, L. (2001). Preliminary quantitative impact assessment of wood extraction on the mangroves of Douala-Edea Forest Reserve, Cameroon. Tropical Biodiversity 7 (2-3): 137-149.
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Feka, N.Z. and Ajonina, G.N. (2011). Drivers causing decline of mangrove in West-Central Africa: a review, International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, DOI:10.1080/21513732.2011.634436
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