About 3000 mangrove trees, covering about 1 hectare and 1 kilometer of coastline have been planted in the Campo beach area to guard against coastal erosion and mitigate climate change.
This is part of the implementation of the Mangrove Resilience Assessment and Adoption to Climate Change Project. The project is being carried out by the Cameroon Mangrove Network (CMN) in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and civil society and non-governmental organizations based in the coastal areas of the country. In the case of the mangrove tree- planting, the exercise was carried out with the participation of local Common Initiative Group called PEAMEN. The Cameroon Mangrove Network is coordinated by the Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society (CWCS) which has been supporting the Government of Cameroon in the management of the Douala-Edea Wildlife and Forest Reserves over the years.
The mangrove tree-planting exercise came shortly after CMN organized a workshop in Ntem, Ocean Division of the South Region aimed at developing methods assessing the vulnerability of mangrove and associated ecosystems to climate change impact. Cameroon is among the very few countries in the world with mangrove forest covering more than 200,000 hectares. Created in 2005 in Edea, Littoral Region under the auspices of CWCS, the CMN has been assisting the government of Cameroon in the sustainable management of her mangrove forest ecosystem. On the ecological and economic importance of the mangrove forest, the Coordinator of CWCS, Dr. Gordon Ajonina states, “Mangrove forest are some of the most productive ecosystems in the world and provide breeding grounds for edible fish. The prop roots of mangroves form a tangled and intricate buffer that offers the best possible protection for tropical coastlines” Cameroon’s mangrove forests, covering an area of 2,700 square kilometers, have enormous economic potentials. Traditionally, they are used for thatching houses, fuel wood for drying fish.
It is regrettable that despite these economic potentials, one-third of Cameroon’s surface area of mangrove forests are reported to have been destroyed through irrational human economic activities such as poor land-use planning, shifting cultivation, industrial pollution, poor fish-drying techniques and illegal logging.