Growing up with your tree

Mohamadou Bouba
Lancée le 06 avril 2022

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collecté sur 5 000 €

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1 Project title

Growing up with your tree (Grandir avec son arbre – GASA).

For children to plant trees for the future around their schools in Cameroon

2 . Leadership

FFF Garoua group

3. Purpose of the project

The aim of the project is to generate a reforestation dynamic starting from the primary school. Pupils learn to plant and maintain a green fence of trees and hedges around their schoolyard, and experiment with the cultivation of tree seedlings. With this acquired knowledge, they are made aware of the importance of trees for their immediate environment and their future, and the example of their school leads to new reforestation actions.
4 . General goal (impact)

The project contributes to the resilience of the children and their community to deforestation and climate change, and contributes to the development of the children's potential.

5. Specific goal (effect)
Pupils in the targeted schools study in a healthy environment protected by a green fence of trees and hedges, and are able to plant trees in the open ground.

6. Context of this project

The Cameroon 2035 Vision document reveals that the Government is aware of a number of risks to the country's natural resources, including their overexploitation and/or uncontrolled exploitation. The Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (Document de stratégie de croissance et de l’emploi - DSCE) presents Cameroon's strengths in terms of sustainable natural resource management (DSCE 2009). In contrast to the government's strategy, the volume of informal logging is equivalent to or even greater than the volume of legal logging in the country (Cerutti and Taconi 2006). A good natural resource management strategy must take into account the informal wood harvesting sector so that it does not hinder the achievement of conservation and sustainable exploitation objectives. Thus, due to the non-application of the decree of August 23, 2011 on the protection of the atmosphere, one is entitled to ask how it constitutes an opportunity in the fight against climate change. Also, with regard to forest management, it seems important to discuss the procedure of access to land ownership and to clarify the ownership of planted trees, in order to promote private forestry and agroforestry initiatives. These initiatives are assets in the fight against the effects of climate change. Moreover, in Garoua III, these effects are noticeable in the locality and children suffer from them in their school campuses. Thus, to support the mitigation of these effects, the project aims to establish a system of permanent reforestation by young students in the overall dynamic of the fight against the effects of climate change. This project called "Growing up with your tree" is developed by FFF Cameroon and implemented with a volunteer team.Although Northern Cameroon has already benefited from other reforestation programs such as Operation Green Sahel (Opération Sahel-Vert), this project focuses on school-age children to promote environmental education. This new approach is complemented by the effective involvement of local populations, regardless of gender and age, in order to give value to related tree preservation activities.

7. Presentation of the project site

Located in the Department of Bénoué in northern Cameroon, the Garoua III district is part of the Sudano-Sahelian zone. Geographically located between 013 28'37.50" E longitude and 09 16'47.32" N latitude, Garoua III presents a landscape whose vegetation is largely made up of grassy savannahs and sometimes somewhat wooded. The weather has a negative impact on the daily life of the population (tornadoes, strong winds, overpowering sun and very hot air). It has 29,587 inhabitants, from different ethnic groups. The population of rural Garoua is almost equally distributed (14,997 men and 14,590 women) and carries out daily agricultural and pastoral activities on almost bare land made of sand.

8 Methodology

The project is carried out in 5 localities and is based on public elementary school: Ecole Publique (EP) of Sanguéré-Paul, EP of Sanguéré-Gal, EP Sanguéré-LANAVET, EP Diam-baba and Ecole Bilingue (biligual school)of Bocklé. The target schools generally have a minimum of 6 classrooms. However, in Sanguéré-Gal, there are 2 groups with 12 classrooms. Class sizes range from 40 to 70 students. There is generally 1 teacher for one classroom but sometimes 1 teacher for 2 classrooms. All these campuses have a space to be reforested in their perimeters. The heads of these schools have given their agreement in principle to accompany the children in this environmental education process and the local authorities have done the same. FFF Cameroon has proceeded with the formation of environmental watch committees (CVE – comités de veille environnementale) which are members of the beneficiary communities (8 people per locality). These committees will serve as local relays for the continuation of the awareness campaign. This method is highly appreciated and indicated in the technical guide of afforestation. The reforested areas were chosen in the school campuses to limit land conflicts. Indeed, the criteria that guided the choice of schools were: absence of shade in the schoolyard, availability of space to be reforested, agreement of school officials and local authorities. The activities involving the students were planned during the time reserved for manual work. The communication plan focused on posters, flyers, public media, workshops and meetings. Visibility was ensured through signs, banners and T-shirts.

9. Results

9.1. Awareness

The sensitization of students was done in their classrooms, without disrupting the academic program. Thus, 5 schools, 2,728 students (1,322 girls and 1,406 boys), 33 supervisors (19 women) were sensitized. The awareness campaign was organized in each of the localities. About 507 people (men and women) were directly sensitized through communication gadgets and different meetings. This sensitization involved all social strata: men, women, farmers, stockbreeders, traders, unemployed young people, elderly people.

9.2. Acquisition of seedlings and tree planting and protection campaigns

A total of 5270 tree seedlings will be purchased and planted. 410 mango plants Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae) for its edible values and 4820 plants of Neem Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae) for its ability to provide freshness / greenery, energy wood by pruning and timber, and its rapid growth. These trees are distributed according to available superficies. Because of their future negative impact on the school roofs, the fruit trees were requested for the orchards but prohibited in the school campuses. The effective participation of the students allowed them to acquire the notions of planting. Indeed, they were told that the plastic paper used as a pot in the nursery does not remain buried in the soil. It is necessary first to tear this paper, to remove it from the young plant while maintaining the ground which is used as support of the roots and to deposit the plant in the hole reserved for this purpose. A maintenance and protection campaign for the trees was necessary to protect them from animals. The reforestation in Garoua III is in line with other programs for the recovery of degraded land in the region. This idea facilitates technical capacity building for the creation of nurseries and the planting of seedlings. Indeed, research (more and more working towards social and environmental justice) has allowed this project to overcome the problems of purchasing tree seedlings to be planted and to put children at the center of environmental concerns. Public entities (primary schools) were chosen to avoid land conflicts. The reforestation activities organized is a contribution for Cameroon in the perspective of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (Objectifs du Millénaire pour le Développement (OMD) and particularly goal N° 7: Ensure environmental sustainability. The targeting of young people allows us to better prepare and initiate them to the protection of our environment and to responsible management of natural resources.

9.2 Conclusion

Operation "Growing up with your tree" (GASA) and its related activities constitute a pilot project that has allowed to involve elementary school children in the fight against the effects of climate change, the development of alternatives for the protection of trees and the improvement of living conditions in schools. Positive and motivating concrete results are: 5270 trees planted, 13,175 ha reforested, 2728 pupils sensitized. The local populations, through the Environmental Watch Committees (CVE), have strengthened their capacities for the sustainability of this project. The trees grow normally and make the target schools very important ecological sites for carbon sequestration and a contribution to global change mitigation.

10 . Detailed budget for the project

Designation

Price per unity

Amount

Total price (FC

Purchase tree

500

5270

2635 000

Purchase T-shirt

1000

300

300 000

Banner

50 000

4

200 000

Production flyers

Package deal

300

144 800

TOTAL  IN FCFA

3 279 800

TOTAL IN EURO

5000

11. Partners for the project

REPTA Organization

FFF Cameroon

Target elementary schools

References

Cerruti and Tacconi 2006:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/304a/d82ad40d36fa0415b7c959ef9d09a9d2000c.pdf

DSCE 2009:

https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/Cameroon%20DSCE2009.pdf

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