Conserving the Kilum-Ijim forest by increasing honey production and promoting forest regeneration
About the Implementing organization
Name: Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW)
Year of establishment: 2007
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization
Apiculture has been used to manage bushfire in the forest, create employment and fight poverty. Bee farmers with beehives in the forest are engage in bushfire prevention and management when it occurs. CAMGEW has trained 701 bee farmers in honey and bees wax production; organized more than 1500 bee farmers into 24 village bee farmers groups and 5 new bee farmers cooperatives; provided the cooperatives with production, harvesting, processing, storage and packaging materials; created a Honeyshop in Bamenda to convert bee farmers honey to money; created an international market to sell bees wax and encourage women in apiculture. A woman receives 2 beehives to start bee farming while men receive 1 hive from CAMGEW after training. Women are part of decision making in farmer’s groups and cooperatives. Bee farmer’s village group and cooperative leaders receive training on cooperative management, leadership, governance, law and quality control. Bee farmers receive training on traceability, honey harvesting, storage and quality control. To sustain the forest CAMGEW has planted 60500 bee loving native trees in the forest with bee farmers, trained more than 4000 youths to be nature lovers and future bee farmers, more than 2000 adults to develop friendly attitude to the forest, developed 3 tree nurseries with 200000 trees nursed for planting. CAMGEW do radio forest sensitization 2 times a week in local community radios. CAMGEW do forest patrols and identify defaulters for punishment.
Type of Action
Protection / Restoration / Awareness and education
Sustainable Development Element
The trees planted in the forest are watershed trees and the Kilum-Ijim forest is a source of water for many community water schemes. The trees will grow to increase water availability. The planted trees maintain the micro-climate of the forest and increase precipitation.
Protecting the forest through sensitization is keeping the carbon sink in it and planting 60500 trees is increasing the carbon sink that absorbs carbon di orxide from the atmosphere and fight climate change. Our action is fighting climate change.
There is reduction in the number of bushfires in the forest.
Sustainable Development Impacts
The planted trees will produce more flowers and increase honey production. Increase honey production means increase income for bee farmers. The planted Prunus africana barks will be harvested after 12 to 15 years and sold to pharmaceutical industries to produce prostate cancer medicine. This will bring income to Kilum-Ijim forest community. Planted trees will increase biodiversity and this will promote ecotourism the planted trees will lead to the increase in water production by the forest. This forest provides drinking water to many communities but water production has been reducing. The trees will increase fauna in forest as animals depend on trees for food the trees will fight against climate change as they absorb carbon. Planted trees will hold the soil intact and prevent landslides, field lessons and patrols to make sure that planted trees are note destroyed by forest users. Forest users who visit the forest daily assisting to update us on the state of planted trees and the forest.
CAMGEw has a rolling fund used to buy bee farmers products and sale in Bamenda and Yaounde. The bee farmers are organized into village groups and cooperatives to learn and share experience with each other and sale their products. They have their executives representing their people. The bee farmers harvest their honey and takes it to the cooperative where it is checked for quality and weighed for payment. The honey is drained by the cooperative and CAMGEW buy with rolling funds and transfer to Bamenda for packaging and sale in her honeyshop in Bamenda and BIONATCAM in Yaounde. The bee farmers are happy to plant trees in the forest and protect the forest for free because the forest will give them more honey if it is protected.
Bee farming is practice anywhere globally but our method is using locally available material to construct beehives to reduce cost. Locally we have alpine and raphia bamboo and grass that we use. We can in other area use other locally available material to make beehives and adapt it to local realities. This will reduce dependency on external materials to reduce cost. You need just training. There are many areas with forest and they suffer from bushfire or other forest degradation activities. Bee farming could be a way to make local people value and manage their forest. Poverty and unemployment hit hard in many areas and apiculture can create jobs and fight poverty. We could plant trees (agroforestry) in areas with no forest and do apiculture. Bees for Development is useful, call for grants by PPI-FFEM, Trees for the Future, Man and Nature, National Ministry of Forestry/Agriculture. You can contact CAMGEW for training, search internet for seed grants with positivity and determination.
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