- “The presence of a strong multi-disciplinary team of government, NGO and private sector partners with long experience of working together provides a solid foundation for developing a landscape-wide multi-stake-holder REDD project”.
- “The feasibility study examined current and future threats and the potential implementation of different types of emissions reduction activities, focused on protecting the highland and lowland corridors in the Cross River Gorilla landscape, and thus securing livelihoods and preserving important carbon sinks.”.
The Takamanda-Mone landscape covers 12,000 km2, straddling the border of Cameroon and Nigeria and supporting high levels of biological and cultural diversity. On the Cameroonian side, the 4,300km2 Takamanda-Mone Technical Operations Unit consists of different land-use zones, including the recently created Takamanda National Park, the Mone River Forest Reserve, the Mbulu montane forest highlands, several active forest concessions, and zones of rapid agricultural expansion. Various endangered and endemic species are found in this area, including the world’s most endangered subspecies of gorilla, the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) with less than 300 individuals, and other rare species such as forest elephants, chimpanzees and drills.
The REDD feasibility study examined current and future threats and the potential implementation of different types of emission reduction mechanisms, as well as reforestation when appropriate, in a coherent way that took full account of local development needs. The goals of the feasibility assessment were to provide the main stakeholders in the area, including the government, with more detailed information about the current drivers and underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation. The assessment also aimed to evaluate options for different land uses, including REDD+ activities that would contribute to local development, biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. Current drivers are mainly small-scale agriculture, commercial and illegal logging and fuelwood collection. Threats for increased deforestation and degradation are road construction and improvements, extension of commercial logging, commercial agriculture and mining.
Results indicate an increase in deforestation of almost 400 per cent from the 1986–2000 period to the 2000–2008 period, mostly due to legal and illegal logging. These calculations demonstrate that in the absence of any mitigation measures, deforestation and forest degradation will generate at least 450,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions per year.
The feasibility study concludes that an integrated scenario of protection and sustainable forest use has the biggest potential for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and also appears to be the most feasible. Potential interventions would include reduction of planned and unplanned forest degradation from legal and illegal logging, enhancement of biodiversity, support to diversify actors in sustainable forest management and conservation and, finally, monitoring and outreach.
A second phase of the project focused on outreach and communication. Stakeholder workshops were held with government representatives, potential donors and other stakeholders to present and discuss the results of this study. At the moment there is only one active logging concession within the region, but concessions are planned to be extended to the much larger Mone Forest Reserve in the near future.
The long-term goal of the Takamanda-Mone REDD+ project is to contribute to the national REDD+ readiness preparation in Cameroon through the enhancement of forest resource conservation, biodiversity protection and sustainable rural development in the Takamanda-Mone landscape.
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Great Apes Survival Partnership
Wildlife Conservation Society