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Tree Planting & Reforestation Volunteer Program, Cameroon

Tropical Forests Volunteers Cameroon Mt Cameroon
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Overview

The project assist communities throughout the Western Cameroon Highlands with the design, establishment and management of tree nurseries, tree planting programmes, and reforestation activities. This will reduce pressure on the natural forest and thus contribute to forest and wildlife conservation in the region, while creating sustainable livelihoods for community members. Education contributes to increasing environmental awareness in the project areas and Cameroon at large.

The program provides international participants with the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in agro-forestry, tree planting and reforestation, with focus on the Western Cameroon Highlands. The program brings together international volunteers on a regular basis to construct nurseries both with schools and communities, transplanting trees to degraded forest sites and train communities on agro-forestry techniques. Some of the activities are season oriented.

Activities

The Tree Planting & Reforestation Volunteer Program has five main components:

  • Nursery site identification: a survey of schools, individuals and farming groups interested in tree planting is conducted at the beginning of the year. This survey is carried out in close collaboration with schools/ farming groups in Western Cameroon.
  • Tree nursery establishment: this is conducted in schools and communities. Tree nurseries are best established in the months of February and March. During the establishment of nursery, schools and communities involved are trained on nursery design, construction and management. Prior to the nursing of seeds, seeds are treated, a shade and fence is constructed. A bare-stem nursery is jointly prepared by the locals, staff and volunteers.
  • Education on Agro-forestry techniques: this is conducted in school and communities throughout the year. The education is focused on the importance of agro-forestry and tree planting, training on agro-forestry techniques, and characteristics of agro-forestry seeds.
  • Tree transplanting: begins three months after nursery establishment which marks the starts of the raining season, therefore transplanting is done in the months of April, May, June, July, and August. During transplanting locals are assisted by staff and volunteers. Trees are transplanted meeting the environmental needs of the community.
  • Monitoring and evaluation of tree planting projects: a bi-monthly monitoring is effected to access the level of progress of tree planting and reforestation initiatives. Conducted throughout the year.

Highlights

Contributing to reforestation, rehabilitation of degraded forest land and forest conservation; working with local communities; training and assiting local people with tree nursery establishment and management, tree planting activities, local celebrations; visiting primary and secondary schools, assisting with conservation education activities; and of course experiencing life in one of the most special biodiversity hotspot (plants, birds, butterflies!) areas.


Key Info

18
1-10
English, French

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Facilities

While in town every volunteer will have a hotel or apartment room, with a bed, bathroom and television. While in the local communities volunteers will spend their nights in a local palace, community houses or local hotels.

Western Cameroon is characterized by several major peaks along the Cameroon Volcanic Line extending north east from Mt Cameroon (4100m), including Mts Kupe (2064m), Manenguba (2411m), Oku (3011m), Bamboutos Mountain (2740m) and part of extension of the Bamenda Highlands. This chain of mountains is called the western Cameroon Highlands. This high land region constitutes the most vulnerable to landslides owing to its tectonic nature, high rain fall, and increasing human pressure influenced by climatic variability.

Taking into consideration the Gulf of Guinea region within which this mountain falls, there is high resultant ecological diversity combined with high species richness, high endemism and high threats making this mountain area a classic "biodiversity hot spot" and therefore a high global priority for conservation. Some of the threatened biodiversity species of high endemism include the primates (gorillas, chimpanzees, drills etc), birds (the Banaman's turaco, the banded eyed wattle etc), amphibians and reptiles

The Bamboutos Mountain Forest was gazetted as a protected area some one hundred years ago by the Germans. This was later confirmed by decision No. 223 of 10th June 1948 by the French. The reserve covered an area of 222 ha. By 2004, almost 80% of this area has been converted into farm and grazing lands. The Bamboutos Mountain is a tower for many major rivers in Cameroon including Mbam, Mifi, Noun, Nkam and Manyu and has a population density of over 200 persons per sq km.

What the volunteer fees includes:

  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Lodging
  • Potter
  • Field guide
  • Stakeholder development fee
  • Administration cost

What the volunteer fee does not include:

  • Return air fares
  • Soft drinks and beers
  • Extra activities
  • Dinners while in towns
  • Overnight accommodation on arrival to Cameroon.
  • School materials for kids

Why should I have to pay to volunteer?

Volunteers are a key part of the project. Your hard work and enthusiasm are very much needed and appreciated by the local team and communities. However, we don't have the funds to subsidise volunteers, so we need your contributions to cover the costs of the programme activities. This includes meals, equipment, local staff and transport, program materials, the services of a trained expedition leader, on-site coordination and development of the programme and administrative costs. Your volunteer contribution also helps to create local jobs in an area where there are virtually no paid jobs available – and to protect local forests.

Will someone meet me at the airport?

Yes, please send your flight itinerary to ACF at least two weeks in advance of the expedition start date. An ACF or ERUDeF staff person or representative will meet you in the public area outside Customs and bring you to your hotel.

What should I do if my flight is delayed?

Please notify ACF as soon as possible and confirm your new arrival times so the expedition leader can arrange your transportation.

What should I do if I arrive before the scheduled arrival date?

If you choose to spend time in-country before the expedition begins, please plan to meet your team at the designated airport or hotel within the specified arrival window on the first day of the program in order to be transported to the local office and the field sites.

Starting dates on the 1st and 15th of every month, throughout the year, depending on availability (please send us a booking enquiry).

2 weeks: US$1350
3 weeks: US$1650
6 weeks: US$1960 

Contact Project: Tree Planting & Reforestation Volunteer Program, Cameroon

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