working together for people and conservation
The Project works under an agreement with the Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune (MinFoF) and is a partnership between the Centre for Research & Conservation (CRC, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp); African Wildlife Foundation; Fondation Camournaise de la TerreVivante (FCTV); Tropical Forest Rural Development; Association de la Protection de Grands Singes; and Landscape Conservation.
CRC assume overall responsibility for project leadership and management, reporting and administration, and data analysis. CRC has been supporting, financially and technically, the Cameroonian association APGS since 2001, a collaboration which has focussed on conservation research and small-scale development investments in the northern periphery of the Dja Biosphere Reserve. Thus, both an expert team of conservation scientists at CRC, plus an experienced and skilled team of technical and logistic staff
in Cameroon, enables the provision of excellent technical leadership, mentoring and development support needed for local partners (APGS, FCTV and TF-RD) to excel in the design and delivery of community-focused outputs.
CRC is a research institution, with an excellent track record of high quality scientific publications. The conservation research team includes experts on population management, conservation genetics, conservation biology and primatology and offers an array of skills in data analysis, interpretation and production of publications. CRC will thus take the lead on the monitoring and evaluation aspects of the project.
CRC is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium from where the project is supported with finance, marketing, knowledge management and conservation enterprise staff. CRC Researcher and APGS Project Director Nikki Tagg will be responsible for project leadership and management.
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
AWF has over 15 years’ experience working on bushmeat issues and the design of viable alternative livelihoods schemes for great ape conservation in Central Africa, and over the last four years the organisation’s African Apes Initiative (AAI) has been working intensively with Ministère des Forêts et de la Faune (MinFoF) and other local partners to strengthen biodiversity monitoring and conservation within the Dja Biosphere Reserve.
AWF contributes relevant skills and resources to help provide the technical leadership, mentoring and organisational capacity development support needed by local partners. AWF’s Central and West Africa Program (led by Jef Dupain, and Cameroon’s Country Coordinator Manfred Aimé Epanda) has specific expertise and experience in the effective design of alternative livelihoods programmes integrated with Reciprocal Environmental Agreements in the Democratic Republic of Congo and will draw lessons from on these initiatives.
AWF works closely with the Conservation Service (MINFOF) of Dja for enhanced law enforcement and game guard presence within the reserve, thus providing a well-established and strong link between the project and the government stakeholders implicated in the project.
FCTV is an independent Cameroonian NGO which works to promote sustainable development
and facilitate community-driven solutions to environmental problems. FCTV has been working
in collaboration with LCL leadership in the region since 2003 and was responsible for community engagement activities, community and game guard training, and local data collection and verification for the Darwin Project 20-007 (developing a pro-poor, sustainable bushmeat harvesting model in Cameroon).
Building upon this experience, FCTV maintains responsibility for the field implementation of several project activities in the Dja periphery connected to community engagement activities. FCTV has carried out consultations with communities and game guards on required steps to consolidate sustainable bushmeat harvesting models, and this local knowledge has been critical to designing the approach of the project. FCTV retains a strong level of trust and local credibility through over nine years continuous project implementation around the Dja.
FCTV, led by Cameroonian Mama Mouamfon, is also the current secretariat of the Dja Actors Forum and as such has an excellent working relationship with MINFOF and with other actors working in the target area.
Tropical Forest and Rural Development (TF-RD)
TF-RD is a Cameroonian NGO headquartered in Yaoundé with a field office in the Dja. TF-DR works with partners to coordinate and develop environmental education projects and science-based conservation-development approaches that seek to address environmental issues through sustainable community development. Previously TF-RD have worked with communities living adjacent to Dja to address unsustainable natural resource-based livelihoods by working with communities to rehabilitate cocoa production and marketing of indigenous tree crops (e.g. wild mango) through the Small Initiatives Programme (PPI.3) financed by the Fonds Français pour l'Environnement Mondial (FFEM). Through the Darwin project TF-RD will expand the programme providing households access to development support for non-timber forest product (NTFP) development, including rehabilitation of the cocoa sector and the introduction of Rainforest Alliance certification.
TF-RD, led by Cameroonian Adi Ngeayi Nwafi, will be responsible for field implementation of these project activities related to facilitating community access to the alternative livelihoods interventions and markets (notably establishing alternative cash-generating activities via cocoa farming). In particular they will be responsible for community and farmer training, and establishing the compliance monitoring system for REAs.
APGS is a non-profit Cameroonian association headquartered in Yaoundé with a field base in Doumo
Pierre, Abong Mbang (in the northern periphery of the Dja). The aim of APGS is to enable the co-
existence of local people and wild great apes in non-protected forests in the northern periphery of the Dja where human activity levels are intense, and to empower local people to participate in the management of their surrounding natural resources through controlled hunting, by investing in community-led small-scale development projects. APGS works with the local communities on development, sensitisation, anti-poaching, law enforcement, and conservation education projects. APGS in country has excellent relationships with national and regional authorities within MINFOF, whose conservation services in the Dja region are fully encouraged and supported where possible. Thus, APGS has an experienced, skilful and well-established team in Cameroon providing excellent technical work in the field as well as project coordination and day-to-day project planning.
APGS in-country coordinator, Cameroonian Donald Mbohli, will oversee all activities in the Abong Mbang region, and will serve as the in-country point-person for all activities, working closely with FCTV and TF-RD for standardised and timely delivery of project activities across the northern periphery, including socioeconomic data collection and verification.
Neil Maddison, Director of LC, has worked in the Dja region since 2003 in collaboration with FCTV and other partners for example Living Earth Foundation, MINFOF. LC has significant expertise in working with rural poor people to implement ‘win-win’ scenarios for people and wildlife, including analyses of existing livelihood paradigms and finding new ways to develop, in sustainable and self-determining ways, notably around national parks and in areas of high conservation value.
LC is vastly experienced in supporting the establishment of new trading value chains, including capacity building of local people to ensure sustainability of impact, with a proven capacity to manage and deliver conservation projects to a high standard. Neil was instrumental in the success of a previous Darwin Initiative project in Cameroon to establish a sustainable bushmeat hunting model for communities living in the NE periphery of the Dja Reserve (Darwin Project 20-007).
LC will be responsible for technical leadership on project aspects related to social change relating to food security, including ongoing monitoring of parameters to evaluate socio-economic impacts resulting from project influence. To achieve this LC will provide technical consultancy, mentoring and organisational capacity development support to local partners (notably with its long term partner, FCTV), particularly aspects related to the introduction and sustainability of animal protein sources through the development of fish farming.