Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bapesu + Nature, Forest Protection & Apicultural Promotion in Cameroon

BAPESU in Committed Effort Embarks fully on “Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary Beekeeping and Conservation Pilot Project” Under the rigorous coordination of Christian Tabifor (Project Coordinator) , The Benevolent Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Socially Underprivileged (BAPESU) a very active nongovernmental organisation in Cameroon has been and has made real impacts in the livelihoods of impoverished communities around the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary in Cameroon. The Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary is the very first exclusive cross river gorilla sanctuary in the world created in 2008 by a Prime Ministerial Decree. BAPESU approach for the Protection of the Environment and Biodiversity Conservation does not only target the conservation of the environment, but it seeks to tackle poverty and other causes of environmental degradation. Poverty and Environmental Degradation are inextricably linked together. Poverty remains the main cause and consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion in Sub Saharan Africa. Without important improvement in the living conditions and livelihoods of the poor especially women, environmental programmes will achieve little or no success. In a pilot project christened “Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary Beekeeping and Conservation Pilot Project”, BAPESU trained and supported four villages (Amassi, Bantakpa villages in South West Region, Ekaw and Ngwo village in the North West Region) in beekeeping as a way of bringing relief to the people and helping already existing conservation work by Cameroon government through the Ministry Of Forestry And Wildlife (MINFOF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The project goals mission is to provide the communities a new alternative stream of income through training and support in beekeeping and in aiding conservation by education linked to beekeeping. Through this pilot work from small beginnings, destitute people are empowered to plan their own pathways out of poverty while at the same time helping in the conservation of gorilla populations in their natural forests habitat. PROJECT OUTCOMES: - 55 destitute people have acquired skills in beekeeping that will help to generate self-reliance or self employment (economic empowerment) thus reducing burden to forest. - Five (5) new beekeepers cooperatives have been created in the respective villages as a result of the project: Amassi Beekeepers Cooperative (ABC), Bantakpa Beekeepers Cooperative (BBC), Ekaw Beekeepers Cooperative (EBC), Ngwo I Beekeepers Cooperative (NBC I) And Ngwo II Beekeepers Cooperative (NBC II). The establishment of 20 beehives on the community land. - The local people have been educated on the importance of conserving great apes: that is its flagship species, the Cross River gorilla and the other mammals, birds and herpetofauna in their natural forest habitat but also they will know that their forest is important for their livelihoods and requires serious attention, sustainable and wise use. There is already a very positive change in attitude with increase in consciousness of the people towards local biodiversity conservation. Beekeeping equipment was donated to the groups that include Kenyan Top Bar Beehives (KTB), beekeeping protective suits, rain boots, hammers, saws, beekeeper’s gloves and beekeeping manuals. Five apiaries have been set up by the respective beekeepers groups. This pilot phase of the project has been realised with funding from the Rufford Small Grants Foundation (RSG). For More information about the project visit the following websites www.bapesu.org www. http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/christian_tabifor_0 Email: info@bapesu.org

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