The Deng Deng National Park – Belabo Council Forest Conservation Corridor Project seeks to consolidate the conservation of migratory species (Western lowland gorillas, Central chimpanzees and African forest elephant) and other globally threatened species (IUCN Red list species) through the creation and management of community forests.
ERuDeF has adopted a participatory approach in the implementation of this project as mentioned in the community reserve creation process under Cameroonian law. A free and informed consent of the communities was taken prior to the presentation and validation of the boundaries of the Community Forests, which is a crucial phase in the process of creating and managing this wildlife migration corridor.
Participatory mapping was carried out in 11 villages around the project area. The manual and mental maps of the villages showing the various land use, their location in relation to other land uses such as FMU, Deng Deng National Park, other community reserves, community reserves being created and Belabo council forest. Thus, in the presence of all the members of the community (men, women, children and elders) the proposed boundaries were presented and they discussed according to their different uses. At the end of this process, no conflicts of use or boundaries were raised. They accepted the proposed boundaries.
The next phase will consist of validating these boundaries, the management objectives proposed by the community, and the installation of the members of the legal management structure in the presence of the administrative authorities and all the communities. In this way, ERuDeF can be said to be applying the community-led conservation approach.