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.
Yes, I add my opinion to protect the world's forests!
Read more about this subject
Analog forestry is a transformative approach to the ecological restoration of degraded lands. Natural forests are used as guides to create ecologically sustainable landscapes, which support the social and economical needs of local communities.
Publication / 4 November 2022
External link / 24 June 2023
The International Analog Forestry Network (IAFN), a long-term partner of Both ENDS, is inspiring and supporting women's leadership in their communities to restore local ecosystems using natural forests as a model. IAFN successfully built a network of local Analog Forestry Promoters during the pandemic years and consolidated the progress made over the previous two years in 2022.
Press release / 14 December 2020
Brussels, Belgium - 14 December
A landmark 1,193,652 submissions to the EU's public consultation on deforestation were handed over to the European Commission this afternoon, all of which demanded a strong EU law to protect the world's forests and the rights of people who depend on them. The one million+ submissions have made this the largest public consultation on environmental issues in the history of the EU, and the second largest ever.
Publication / 8 January 2021
News / 15 October 2020
Institut Dayakologi works to preserve Indigenous Peoples' livelihoods and cultures in West Kalimantan. One of their central goals is to gain ancestral land rights for Indigenous communities. This is not only essential for the security of these communities, but also for the forests and ecosystems on which they depend for their livelihood, identity, culture and customs.
News / 11 September 2020
The world's forests are under threat. Remaining forests – havens of precious biodiversity and the lungs of the planet – are being cleared to make way for beef, soy, sugar and palm oil production, mining and other industrial activities, fuelled by increasing demand from Europe and other countries. But the good news is: you can help stop the destruction!
News / 29 June 2020
On 23 July 2020 a global network of NGOs working to strengthen corporate accountability for environmental destruction and human rights abuses, including Both ENDS, published an open letter to European Commission DG Justice Commissioner Reynders. The letter is a response to his recent commitment to propose legislation in 2021 on both corporate due diligence and directors’ duties as part of an initiative on sustainable corporate governance.
Press release / 11 September 2020
100+ NGOs launch #Together4Forests urging EU action
Fires raging in the Amazon are started deliberately to make way for large-scale industrial agriculture – and EU market demand for commodities produced on former-forest land is adding fuel to the fires. Globally, the EU is responsible for over 10% of forest destruction through its consumption of commodities like meat, dairy, soy for animal feed, palm oil, coffee and cacao.
News / 2 August 2019
The EU is still one of the world’s largest importers of deforestation: EU demand for commodities like soy, palm oil, beef, coffee and cacao requires millions of hectares of tropical rainforest to be cleared. This deforestation has significant biodiversity and climate impacts, and is often linked to human rights violations and violence against local communities and indigenous peoples. Both ENDS and partners have been actively lobbying the EU Commission to adopt a robust action plan to address and prevent human rights violations and deforestation ‘embodied’ in EU imports of agricultural commodities.
Video / 21 December 2015
Blog / 18 January 2019
Unambitious and uninspiring: the European Commission’s proposal for stepping-up action on global deforestation
After five years of equivocation the European Commission has proposed a ‘roadmap’ for stepping-up EU action to address its contribution to global deforestation. Despite the escalating impact of EU trade in forest-risk commodities, regardless of repeated calls from the European Parliament for regulatory measures and contrary to the conclusions of the Commission’s own feasibility study in support of legislative intervention, the Commission has ruled-out out any new initiatives, let alone any legislative measures. The Commission’s solution to this complex problem: policy coherence.
Publication / 30 June 2016
News / 15 October 2018
Last September, approximately 30 women and men from community based organizations of Honduras and El Salvador learned the tool of analog forestry which uses natural forests as guides to create ecologically stable and socio-economically productive landscapes.
Publication / 22 December 2015
News / 18 March 2022
Today is International Day of Forests. An ever more important day, as the amount of forest and forested area's on this globe is shrinking at a fast pace. One the main causes is our ever increasing demand for products such as soy and palm oil from area's that have been deforested for their cultivation. The current proposed EU-deforestation law to prevent this, is not strict enough and does not include the protection of other crucial natural areas such as grasslands, savannas and swamps, as well as the human rights of the millions of people living in these area's. During these past few weeks we therefore participated in the campaign #Together4Forests, calling on citizens to send a letter to their own responsible ministers. The campaign paid off: almost 54,000 letters were sent to European ministers across the European Union, demanding a strict forest law that guarantees the import of only deforestation-free products in Europe.
To celebrate this International Day of Forests, we would like to emphasise the great value of forests and other natural areas, directly or indirectly, for the livelihoods of at least 2 billion people. Below, we selected some examples that show how, throughout the world, local communities use many different ways to collect and produce food and other natural products in a sustainable way, while protecting and restoring the forests and forested area's they are so dependent upon.
News / 3 February 2022
In the coming months, new EU regulation on deforestation-free products will be discussed in the Dutch and EU parliaments. The goal is that no more products related to deforestation in whatever way, will be imported into the EU . A very good and important initiative, but according to many civil society organisations, including Both ENDS, the bill that has now been drafted is far from sufficient.
Video / 11 November 2016
Rich Forests' is an initiative that promotes the restoration of degraded and eroded areas in the whole world into sustainable, productive ecosystems, using the so-called Analog Forestry method. One of the many advantages of this method is that it can help to combat climate change. This video paints a picture of how this works, who is involved and what results are to be expected in the short and in the long run.
Letter / 18 October 2022
140+ organisations call on the European Ministers, Commissioners and members of the European Parliament to adopt a strong EU regulation on deforestation-free products. As "trilogue negotiations" on this law begin, we ask you to support a law that lives up to the promises of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals and upholds the EU's commitments on climate, biodiversity and human rights.
Event / 12 May 2019, 20:00 - 22:00
Europe's future. What does it look like and, more importantly, what kind of Europe do we want?