30 Nov – 12 Dec 2023, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Beyond tree planting: Strengthening the multifaceted dimensions of ecosystem restoration in Cameroon

Cameroon, like many other countries, is actively involved in ecosystem restoration. As part of the broader Bonn Challenge, which has been implemented in Africa as AFR 100, Cameroon has made a commitment to restore 12 million hectares of land. However, transforming this commitment into reality requires the mobilization of various efforts from different sources, including academic institutions and practitioners of tree planting. In Cameroon, there are numerous tree-planting initiatives aimed at restoring degraded ecosystems such as forests, mangroves, etc.

Often, tree planting events are seen as mere political gestures, with little attention given to the extensive efforts required to understand the entire process before the planting of trees. After tree planting, there is often a lack of concern for the professionalism needed to ensure that the trees reach their mature cycle, which in certain cases may take three to four decades. In order to successfully restore ecosystems in Cameroon, it is crucial to raise awareness about the importance of diverse dimensions associated with tree planting and the long-term commitment required. Efforts should be made to involve not only politicians but also the wider public in understanding the complexities of ecosystem restoration. Additionally, there should be a focus on ensuring that the necessary expertise and resources are available to support the growth and development of the planted trees, ultimately leading to the successful restoration of degraded ecosystems. The session will focus on the ecosystem restoration efforts in Cameroon, an African country known for its diverse landscapes and cultures. The complexity of these restoration actions is influenced by the variety of landscapes and socio-economic situations present in the country. In order to ensure the sustainability of ecosystem restoration, it is important to consider and incorporate this diversity into the planning, implementation, and revision of the national restoration strategy. The national restoration strategy framework, which was initiated several years ago, provides an opportunity to review and improve the actions and initiatives related to ecosystem restoration. The ultimate goal is to achieve a better balance between nature conservation and human activities in the socio-economic and ecological transition towards sustainable development.

During this session, the current efforts of Cameroon in restoring its landscapes will be presented. Additionally, the session will address the challenges and issues associated with the diverse range of actions required for successful ecosystem restoration in the country.