Environment: CAMGEW recommend more conservation actions in the Bamenda Western Highlands

By Bakah Derick 

Bamenda based not-for-profit nongovernmental organization Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW), has expressed the need for more intentional efforts towards environmental protection and conservation in the Bamenda Western Highlands Forest Area. The Director of CAMGEW made the appeal in Bamenda on Wednesday 26 April 2023 during a one day development marketplace event organised by the organization bringing together about 30 other organizations working on conservation and environment. 
Partial view of the development marketplace place event ground 

According to Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy, the Bamenda Western Highlands Forest Area is a source of livelihood for many and particular steps should be taken to ensure its conservation reason why the one day development marketplace fair focused on promoting networking amongst conservation organizations in the area. 

Addressing women, youth,  traditional authorities, the university community and eco-businesses present at the fair, the CAMGEW Director spelled out the position of everyone in the conservation chain. 

"To all women who have come here, make sure you leave from here stronger. Those involved in eco-businesses and nature conservation organization, know that we need you here and in this sector." He said adding "To our traditional authorities, our culture can only survive if there is nature conservation. There is need to revitalize our cultural practices, knowledge and systems that conserve nature. Without our forest our culture will be handicapped. This is the reason why we have a site event for you to acknowledge the role nature play in our culture." 
Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy Director of CAMGEW speaking at the close of the event 

"To the university community, nature conservation rely on research and new brains to make it work and sustainable. That is why you have a place here.To the young people, the future of nature conservation is in your hands and so we are investing in you here and always through mentorship and coaching to make you strong. This is why you have a place in this event.To the various eco-businesses, we need nature friendly jobs and income activities. We need to think-out-of-the-box to create these jobs and income. We are happy you are being innovative and creative as entrepreneurs to increase jobs and create wealth while protecting the environment. This event is to help you share knowledge, skills and experience among each other and the public. You will have opportunity to sell your products too. Please let us encourage them by visiting their stands and buying from them. We expect these eco-businesses to leave from here today stronger." Wirsiy Emmanuel Binyuy appealed 

A major feature during the fair were panel discussions on Youth and conservation, biodiversity and women and conservation. The panelists representing different organizations shared on their activities, challenges and made recommendations on better ways to move the environmental protection agenda forward. 
Members of the panel on Women and conservation 

While committing to intensify efforts to meet the objectives of the event, representatives of traditional authorities from Bui and Nkwen outline efforts already being taken to ensure conservation. 

"In Nkwen the Fondom together with the Bamenda III Council have resolved to protect our raffia bushes from destruction especially with the rapid urbanization. All raffia bushes in Nkwen are property of the Kwifo (a governing traditional cult) and that is why if you sell that property and the palace gets the information you shall pay a fine of 500,000 FCFA." Ngufor Ajinwie a notable in Nkwen said

Organised with the theme "networking and knowledge sharing fair on mainstreaming gender in nature based solutions in the Bamenda Western Highlands Forest Area" the Gender and Women Empowerment officer at CAMGEW has challenged women to take a front line role in conservation noting that they come into contact more with plastics that constitute a major challenge to the environment. According to Ernestine Sevidzem reusing these plastics for home urban gardening can greatly contribute to environmental protection and conservation. 
The development marketplace also provided an opportunity for CAMGEW and her partner organizations to commemorate World Earth Day observed on the 22 April 2023. 

"This was a great opportunity for us to celebrate World Earth Day and showcase the things we do. It was also an opportunity to cry out for the environment and I appreciate CAMGEW for this opportunity hoping that we will be having more in the coming days." Kari Jackson Executive Director Sustainable Run for Development (SURUDEV) said. 

Created in 2007, the multiple award winning organization brings together women’s empowerment, community livelihoods, and ecology to address environmental challenges in northwestern Cameroon. CAMGEW has planted about 100,000 environmentally and bee friendly tress in and around the  Kilum-Ijim Forest. The organization has been into training of bee farmers in honey production and marketing. 

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