We’ re looking for solutions –or rather, supporting people living inside the Dja Biosphere Reserve, but outside of the Dja Faunal Reserve. The area is a buffer zone between the core area of the DFR and the people living in towns such as Somalomo, so what the people can and can’t do is restricted by law. The is especially relevant when looking at how the environmental resources are managed .
The challenge is relatively easy to define, but harder to solve. The people in the northern buffer zone (Somalomo to Ekom) need meat for their diet. They are allowed to hint for animals that are not endangered (class c animals) but only for their own consumption. The difficulty is that as the number of people in the villages increases, the greater the demand for meat. We’re pretty sure that there aren’t enough animals in the buffer zone to feed everyone, so we need to introduce new paradigms for livelihoods. In terms of animal protein, we’ve looking at increasing the amount of fish - and this may mean ensuring that the Dja river is a ‘sustainable’ fishery, and also at intensifying livestock production, using animals such as goats, chickens and sheep. Discussions with the villagers will make things dearer. But even at this stage, it is clear that they are keen to try new ways of living, to improve their lives, and those of their children.
See the web page for some updated photos of our meetings.