PSMNR In Brief

Since 2006, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife has been able to foster protection of the South West Region’s rich biodiversity for the benefit of everyone in the country through the Programme for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources in the South West Region of Cameroon (PSMNR-SWR).

PSMNR-SWR is a development programme of the Republic of Cameroon, co-financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Development Bank (KFW). PSMNR-SWR is implemented by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) through its Regional Delegation.The Delegation works in partnership with the German International Cooperation (GIZ), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and is supported by the consulting firm GFA/DFS.

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PSMNR-SWR focuses on the management of Protected Areas, sustainable forest manage-ment and mediating land use conflicts in the South West Region of Cameroon. Through the support of PSMNR-SWR, MINFOF is enhancing its activities regarding the protection of approximately 318,000 hectares of high-value ecosystems. Even though the protected areas are each rather small in size they represent important conservation values: Korup National Park created in 1986 is important for the conservation of elephants and primates as well as many endemic plants of the lowland Biafrian type of forests, Bayang-Mbo Wild-life Sanctuary created in 1996 holds important elephant populations as well as other threatened wildlife species, Takamanda National Park created in 2008 is the home of the endangered Cross River gorilla of which less than 300 individuals remain and protects important stretches of mid-elevation Biafrian type of forests, and Mount Cameroon National Park created in 2009 is the home of important elephant and chimpanzee populations and protects the landscape from the sea-level up to the summit of the highest mountain of West Africa which is an active volcano too.

PSMNR-SWR is laying emphasis on strengthening the link between conservation and development as well as facilitating a stronger integration of local communities in protected area management. The programme plans and implements several measures in order to involve and empower local communities as veritable partners.PSMNR-SWR holds that involving these local communities in the management of National Parks will ensure the acceptance and long term protection of these parks. About 100 villages in the periphery of these protected areas are involved in collaborative management and benefit from village development investments.Other activities relate to the monitoring of the forest management of concessions, the establishment and management of the council and community forests as well as development of strategies for the implementation of land use conflict management between various stakeholders. Sustainable financing mechanism for national park management is developed as part of the exit strategy of the programme.

Implementation of PSMNR-SWR

PSMNR-SWR is being implemented by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) through its Regional Delegation in the South West.

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The Regional Delegate for the South West Region is in charge of the implementation of the operational activities of PSMNR-SWR. The Regional Delegate is supported by the Consultant GFA/DFS and GIZ in proper planning, implementation and monitoring of all PSMNR-SWR measures.

The actual implementation on site focuses on the National Park Services and the respective Technical Operation Units (TOUs), Forest Management Units (FMUs), Council and Community Forests notably in and around the Mount Cameroon, Korup-Ndongere and Takamanda-Mone Technical Operation Units.

In the National Park Services, GIZ and the Non-Govermental Conservation organziations WWF and WCS are playing a crucial role to support the implementation of the collaborative management approach.Whereas under this approach GIZ is focusing more on the elaboration of Conservation Development Agreements and implementation of village development measures, WWF and WCS assist the conservation activities (surveillance, monitoring, etc).

Technical Operation Units (TOUs) assume a role as platform for consultation, planning and mitigation of land use interventions outside the protected areas. Large-scale palm  oil projects in the Korup-Ndongere TOU are addressed as well as concessions for oil exploration and oil production in the Mt Cameroon TOU and Korup-Ndongere TOU. In addition, the promotion of Community and Council forestry as well as the preparation and approval of forest management plans for Forest Management Units (FMUs) to attain the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is aimed for with the assistance of the Consultant GFA/DFS. They are also coordinating all procedures concerning the construction of infrastructure measures like farm-to-market roads, bridges, water wells and market facilities.