24 April 2013

Cameroon: International Support For Environmental Conservation Initiatives

CARPE and IUCN on April 23 selected projects to benefit from their small grants scheme.

Two international Non-governmental Organisations; the Central African Regional Programme for the Environment (CARPE) and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) yesterday, April 23 held a working session with other environmental stakeholders in the country to select projects from civil society organisations to benefit from their small grants programme.

The selection exercise centred on some 62 projects submitted by 60 NGOs and local associations, non-governmental research centres, independent researchers, women and minority groups. Focus was on the objectives of the programme to strengthen civil society organisations to conserve and sustainably manage forest resources in Central Africa and facilitate the implementation of REDD+ processes and programmes to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. Through the programme, each of the countries of the sub-region receives about 100,000 dollars (about FCFA 50.5 million) annually to support civil society projects on forest governance issues.

Speaking during the selection session, the National Coordinator of CARPE Cameroon, Antoine Justin Eyebe said thanks to the programme, the civil society in Cameroon took active part in revising the norms and procedures for community forests as well as other projects that seek to readjust the benefit-sharing method of forest royalties to the advantage of local communities. "We are in a transitional phase and we will be starting a new phase as from next October, probably for five years and we absolutely need to increase the amount," Mr Eyebe said.

To the Country Director of IUCN Cameroon, Usongo Leonard, this year's focus is more on REDD+ and climate related issues because the global trend in terms of climate change has a huge impact across ecosystems affecting crop productivity and sustainable livelihood which cannot be ignored. The CARPE Programme is an initiative funded entirely by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote the sustainable management of natural resources in the Congo Basin, notably by maintaining the ecological integrity of its humid forest ecosystem.

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