No to Bushfires: Who should be involved

By Bakah Derick 

One of the measure tools in bushfire prevention and management is the identification of stakeholders. These are the people or institutions that can make decisions that will enhance the fight against bushfires. Their decisions can facilitate sensitization, community engagement as well as handling defaulters.  
Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy Director of Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) first from left after a bushfire incident 

With several years of working around the Kilum-Ijim forest area, our environmental protection consultant Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy Director of Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) has identified the following as community stakeholders in the bushfire prevention and management process. 

The traditional administration represented by Kwifon/Fon respected and feared by community members, 

Municipal council represented by the Mayor and councilors elected by the community members and consequently can be listened to

The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) and Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED)  represented by either their Minister, Regional and Divisional Delegates both state institutions with the competence to overseas actions around the forest, 

The administrative authorities and other elected community members like Parliamentarian at the level of National Assembly who can suggest laws that guide and protect protected areas. 
Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy in the heart of the forest with bushfire 

The apiculture and nature conservation campaigner also identified Forest Honey cooperatives, Forest Management Institutions that manages Community Forest in Kilum-Ijim forest, Local organisations that work for the community, Social groups(youth, women, grazers, religious groups and churches), Cultural groups like Manjongs, chung, Kikum, etc, Schools and training centres, Traditional council, Water management committee, Grazers group, Forest stakeholder platforms and Traditional Herbalist as potential drivers of the anti bushfires education process. 

With supprt from GEF Small Grant Program under the project titled “Eco-friendly Bushfire Prevention and Management in Kilum-Ijim forest” CAMGEW has already been engaging some of these community stakeholders to take up their responsibilities towards ending bushfires.

"When bushfire stakeholders work together in a platform bushfire will be prevented because the created national and local laws on bushfire prevention and management will be reinforced and defaulters punished to prevent others from carryout the same actions. In the past many persons who cause bushfire and destroyed property were not investigated and punished and this brings pain in the community. Sensitisation that is done regularly must go together with punishment of defaulters who just want to be wayward." Wirsiy Emmanuel concluded  

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