Dja et Mpomo Model Forest

Country: Cameroon
Location: Eastern Province
Year joined IMFN: 2005
Area of Model Forest: 700 000 hectares

Contact information

Name: Dr. Chimère Diaw, Director General
Address: African Model Forest Network Secretariat
P.O. Box 33678
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Phone: +237-77696804
Forest and resource profile
The Dja area is known for its striking biological diversity. Gilber tiodendron dewevrei is the dominant tree species out of 1600, including Baillonella toxisperma and Irvingia gabonensis, the seeds of which are important sources of food for local peoples. There are about 165 species of mammal, 120 species of fish and 320 species of bird. A number of local mammals are listed as threatened or endangered, including the white collard Mangabey (Cercocebus torquatus) the forest elephant (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis), leopards (Panthera pardus), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). The Dja Reserve is a well-known neighbouring protected area.
The population is estimated at 25,000 inhabitants. There are five main indigenous groups in the area: the pygmy-Baka, the Badjoué, the Ndjemé, the Menzimé, the Nzimé and the Njiyèm.
  • Agriculture lands 10%
  • Forest management units 40%
  • Community forests 15%
  • Protected areas 23%
  • Mining 10%
  • Municipal forest  2%
Economic profile
The economic value of the zone is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Paradoxically, the purchasing power of the indigenous populations is very low, as are the local processing and manufacturing capabilities of both timber and non-timber forest products. Wide-spread poverty limits people's access to the tools necessary to add value to these forest products, further contributing to economic strife. The GDP in the Model Forest area is unknown due to the largely informal character the local economy. Besides forestry-related activities, handicraft production, farming and mining are also common
Why a Model Forest?
The need to overcome the many conflicts between forest actors is a prerequisite for establishing frameworks for good governance, innovation, and equitable use of, and benefits from, forest resources and revenues. Reforms in Cameroon have led to the establishment of land use and management plans for logging concessions, protected areas, agro-plantations and community and council forests. Unfortunately, the functional link between these various forest management units is weak, which has contributed to the fragmentation of local landscapes upon which sustainable development policies should be based. The relevance of Model Forests to this challenge is obvious. They constitute a coherent network at the global scale for experimenting with sustainable management principles on the basis of voluntary partnerships.
  • Government 40%
  • Local communities 25%
  • Municipalities 15%
  • NGOs 10%
  • Private sector (forestry) 7%
  • Private sector (mining) 3%
Strategic goals
  • Sustainable forest resource management
  • Promote a governance structure that is transparent and consensus based
  • Sustainable economic development, particularly for the indigenous pygmy people
  • Conflict reduction
  • Promote and consolidate participation and access of all stakeholders, particularly with regard to those marginalized from decision-making in natural resource management
  • Build capacity of local communities and site actors to engage in the negotiation process, project identification and implementation
  • To function as a pilot project for creation of a Congo Basin Model Forest network
Accomplishments to date
  • Establishment of the Model Forest as a legal entity
  • Elaboration of a governance structure; election of a Board of Trustees (BOT)
  • Strategic planning process underway
  • Conducted workshops for Model Forest stakeholders to improve and plan site communications, visioning and awareness
  • Wide-spread media outreach
International policy links (planned)
Dja et Mpomo Model Forest activities will directly address several of the Millennium Development Goals: 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, 7. Ensure environmental sustainability, and 8. Develop a global partnership for development. Further, issues of good governance and rural development will be addressed. Other linkages to international policies and conventions include the  G8 Africa Action Plan, NEPAD and the Maputo Declaration.