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Hands-on skills building in agroforestry and organic farming for young people in schools found in rural communities for a sustainable future


Description

Summary

A school based environmental education and nature protection program will be realized in Oku Subdivision of the North West Region of Cameroon. The pilot project site will be Government Bilingual High SchoolTolon-Oku. The program will build the capacities of school children on issues related to environmental awareness such as climate change, agroforestry, organic farming, and tree planting. The children will use the knowledge acquired to develop school nursery projects. Every student will be entitled to nurse and manage six trees. Trees to be nursed will be native plants of the community forest such as Prunus africana. Such native trees are environmentally friendly for the watershed protection; provide white flowers that are bee loving for production of the medicinal white honey, and the barks also provide traditional medicine. These trees also have aesthetic value to the school environment.Prunus trees also serve as carbon sinks for mitigating climate change. In total six thousand trees will be nursed considering that the school has an enrollment of one thousand students. Each student will be required to monitor the progress of his/ her nursed trees. When the trees are mature for planting, one thousand of them will be planted within the school premises, one thousand redistributed to the students to plant around their homes while the remaining four thousand will be sold to the municipal council to plant in the community forests. The revenue from the sales will be used to fund other school based environmental education projects, expand the nursery and to replicate the project in other schools within the municipality through environmental club inter exchange. This activity will be realized through school based environmental education clubs. The program will be shared through the community radio by the school journalism clubs.


What actions do you propose?

The goals and objectives of the project are

GOAL I

  1. To sensitize school children on environmental awareness and issues related to climate change mitigation, organic farming, agroforestry and nature protection. The specific objectives will be;

  • Build the capacities of at least 1000 school children on basic methods of fighting climate change and protection of the environment and nature.

  • Build the capacities of at least 1000 school children on organic farming and agroforestry techniques.

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  • Build capacities of 1000 students on tree nursery development, management and tree planting.

  • Enhance the capacities of 15 school teachers on environmental education.

  • Create at least 10 new school environmental science clubs and reinforce the capacities of existing ones.

  • Develop student journalism in the field of environmental awareness in five journalism clubs in 10 schools.

GOAL II

2- To develop and manage a school based organic tree nursery and create forested areas within the school premises and beyond. The specific objectives will be;

  • To develop and manage a school nursery of six thousand trees.

  • To plant and manage one thousand trees within the school environment.

  • To encourage each student to plant and manage one tree within their home surrounding within one academic year.

  • To extend tree planting, agroforestry, organic farming and nursery development activities in nine other schools within the community.

EXPECTED RESULTS AND OUTCOMES

The above-mentioned goals and objectives will offer the following results:

The expected results of the project are:

  • Increased awareness on issues related to the environment, nature protection, climate change, and tree planting organic farming and agroforestry.

  • Increase in the number of trees planted within the community.

  • Increase in the amount of funds needed for environmental education within the local school system.

  • Reduction in the number of indigenous trees cut from the community forest.

  • Increased in number and activity of school based environmental science clubs.

  • Increase in the number of tree nurseries for forest regeneration within the community.

Project Implementation Methods/Project Activities

The primary methods for achieving the goals and objectives of the project will be:

  • Creation and or reinforcement of environmental science clubs within the target schools.

  • Production of sensitization and training materials such as fliers, posters, stickers, brochures etc.

  •  Hands-on field training lessons on environment, nature protection, agroforestry, organic farming and climate change.

  • Hans-on field training on tree nursery development and management, tree planting and management.

  • Participation in tree nursery development and management for the school.

  • Tree planting within the school premises and in homes within the neighboring communities.

  • Tree development monitoring.

  • Student's intearactive radio program development for the Community Radio focussed on project activities, and impacts.

In addition, a documentation/dissemination plan will be developed to guarantee the systematic collection of information about the operation of the project and provide the basis for sharing information with other similar projects especially using blogs and other social networks.


Who will take these actions?

The program will be realised by the Society for the Promotion of Initiatives in Sustainable Development and Welafare in partnership with 15 secondary schools and their Parents Teachers Associations. 1000 students from Government Bilingual High School Tolon, which is the pilot school will be trained in the initial or pilot phase. It will be replicated to the over 14 secondary schools in the community through student exchange environmental programs. The program will also involve five  teachers from each of the schools. The Oku Community Radio will be involved in radio program development.


Where will these actions be taken?

Oku is a rich biodiversity hotspot. It is home to the remaining patch of the last surviving montane forests of West Africa. This forest is known as the Kilum Mountain forest. The forest is very important to the people in that it provides honey, fruits, spices, firewood, and herbs for traditional medicine, host shrines and sacrificial sites for cultural activities, and is home to the Bannerman’s tauraco; an endangered bird species whose feathers are used to decorate notables. In additions it serves as a watershed for the community and many others beyond. The forest also serves for ecotourism. The growing population is mounting lots of pressure on the forest resources. The threats to the forest include bush fires from unsustainable bee farming, slash and burn farming, grazing, and as well cutting down of trees for firewood and artisan carving.


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Forests and forest soils account for about 45% of the global stock of vegetation and soil carbon. Trees absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Some is returned to the atmosphere by respiration and decomposition of dead organic matter in soils. Carbon levels stored in established forests and other land carbon sinks eventually achieve equilibrium and no more is sequestered. Both continuous cover forestry and minimum or non-intervention management lead to increased retention of carbon in the vegetation and on the forest floor within established woods.


What are other key benefits?

Income generation  for school funds from sales of nursed trees. The trees are bought by private owners for private plantations.

In the future the tree bark if exploited sustainable can provide revenue to the local community.

Organic farming will promote sustianble use of land. The community has a problem of decreased agricultural land due to unsustainable practices.

There will be less conflicts in th use of farm land since knowldge gain can be applicable in domestic intensive use of land.


What are the proposal’s costs?


Time line


Related proposals


References