News / 16 October 2020

Restoring forests, “free supermarkets” for Cameroon’s inhabitants

To Eric Wirsiy, director of CENDEP, the importance of forests is clear: not only do they function as a "free supermarket", providing foods and other things to local communities, but they are crucial to make landscapes resilient to climate change and other impacts.

CENDEP is a Cameroonian organisation promoting analog forestry. In partnership with Both ENDS they provide trainings on analog forestry in Cameroon and other African countries to rural communities. Analog Forestry is a method to transform degraded lands into productive food forests, which is beneficial to both ecosystems and communities, explains director Eric Wirsiy:

"Forests serve as a "free supermarket" providing different types of food, both of plant and animal origin, medicines, timber etc to the rural and urban dwellers. In addition it supplies many essential services such as filtering water, cycling and storing nutrients, and regulating climate. Forests provide the equilibrium that is essential for resilient landscapes."

Forests under threat

The world's forested area, however, is diminishing rapidly: "Man's greed has resulted in unquenchable needs that now lead to large scale deforestation. It is important that this be halted and the 31% forest land area of the world maintained through forest restoration and promotion of non-extractive forest use such as tourism and rational exploitation, a component of sustainable forest management."

Much of this deforestation is caused by the consumption pattern of the European Union. Export of palm oil, cotton, coffee, cacao and other goods for the European market leads to forest destruction in Cameroon and elsewhere.

European Commission wants to stop deforestation

The good news is that the European Commission acknowledges this problem and is now designing measures to address the deforestation around the world connected with EU supply chains and consumption. They have set up a consultation about it.

We've developed an easy way for you to give your input. Just fill in your details below and hit the 'ACT NOW' button, and a clear message in your name will be sent automatically to the European Commission.

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