REDD+ in Cameroon

REDD+ is a mechanism to financially reward developing countries for reducing carbon emissions that stem from deforestation. CARN has been supporting REDD+ in Cameroon for a number of years, assisting the government to prepare technical submissions to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility for early idea notes, presentations and project idea notes for Emission Reduction Programs.

The proposed Emission Reduction Program area covers seven administrative divisions in the southern part of Cameroon: Dja et Lobo, Ocean, Vallée du Ntem, Nyong et So’o, Nyong et Mfoumou, Mvila and Haut Nyong. It covers an area of 93,328km² (9,332,800 ha). The area includes the Dja Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Area; the Akom-II and Bipindi area, an area with very high biodiversity and plant endemism and high ecological value; the Mengame Gorilla Sanctuary and the Campo Ma’an National Park. The area also includes Cameroon sections of the transboundary landscape TRIDOM (Dja-Odzala-Minkebe Tri-National). The forests are mostly Congolian evergreen lowland forest in the east and in the coastal drainages, there are large areas of Atlantic and Biafran forest.

Total above-ground and below-ground biomass in the program area is estimated at 1,725 Mt C/1.725 Gt of biomass, which is approximately 37% of the country’s total carbon stocks.

REDD+ in Cameroon is fundamental to achieving sustainable development goals, and will provide the mechanism through which financing for activities to reduce deforestation and degradation, technology transfer, capacity building and broad stakeholder participation for forest conservation can be achieved. In this line, a REDD+ Governance Matrix is under development, under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development (MINEPAT).

Support to the REDD+ Process in Cameroon

CARN has been supporting the development of an Emissions Reduction Program, which is being developed in line with the emerging national REDD+ strategy and considered a first step towards implementation of Cameroon’s future REDD+ strategy. 

The proposed ER Program will help to ensure continued political support for REDD+ in Cameroon by generating visible results beyond readiness processes, including planning and cross-sectoral integration and successfully attracting scaled-up finance to Cameroon to support ER activities.  Cameroon REDD+ program documents are available here.

CARN is supporting the ER process in the following ways:

Science, education and training

The Bouamir Research Station, a permanent scientific field station within the Dja Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Area has recently been reinstated to enable long-term research in this unique ecosystem, to generate local employment, and to raise the scientific capacity of Cameroon. This station was originally opened in 1993 and research at the station has resulted in 50+ scientific papers and theses on the ecology and conservation of Dja flora and fauna and benefited more than 100 graduate and undergraduate students from the US, Europe and Central Africa.

With the development of the ER program that includes the Dja, we have reestablished the facility and added a base in Somalomo. Together these facilities have the capacity to accommodate long-term researchers and shorter-term classes (2-3 weeks) of 25 students or other trainees. We estimate that the combined facilities will employ approximately 100 people at peak times. Station operations will be supported via grants and a fee-for-use system typical of other field stations.

Agroforestry for green job development

Working in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), a program called "participatory tree domestication of high-value indigenous fruit trees and medicinal plants" will be developed using simple vegetative propagation techniques. This program has already helped over 6,000 farmers in the Congo Basin to easily multiply indigenous fruit trees and potentially utilize non-timber forest products as an important source of income. A pilot project will be initiated to understand how this program could contribute to the reduction of poverty in the wider buffer zones of the Dja Reserve.

Health Impact Assessment

In the past, large-scale forest preservation efforts have led to unintended consequences for the health and livelihoods of indigenous local populations, including restrictions on the use of land resources they survive upon. Currently, no standardized framework exists for inclusion and protection of indigenous peoples in conservation planning. Therefore, we plan to use the Dja Regional REDD+ Project as a case study for a Health Impact Assessment (HIA). The HIA will assess both intentional and unintentional health and livelihood impacts of the proposed activities, and provide a systematic process for inclusion of local communities in REDD+ programs.

Technical input on frameworks and proposals

CARN has been providing the Cameroon government with ongoing technical advice to the development of REDD+ documents and frameworks. CARN assisted with the development of the Emission Reduction Project Idea Note (ER-PIN) along with CBI and IITA.

CARN helped solicit expertise and assistance from EcoPartners Inc on carbon stocks, estimated emission reductions and baseline scenarios. In 2016 CARN also mobilised a team of financial experts from the Anderson School of Management, UCLA, to develop a financial framework to support the ER-PIN.

The team produced a 10-year financial model, exploring carbon market opportunities, identifying alternative funding sources and analyzing the MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) methods.