Two Countries, One Vision: Doing More with our Forestry Resources

Cameroon and Canada are two diametrically opposed countries. But beyond the climate differences and the thousands of kilometres separating them, the desire to build a forestry economy based on a collective management of resources has resulted in the Model Forests of both countries creating strong ties. To strengthen the relationship built at the IMFN Global Forum in June 2008, Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest (FMLSJ in French) president, Colette Robertson, and general manager, Stéphane Turcot, welcomed the New Year in Cameroon during an exploratory visit from January 1 to 14, 2009.

Ms. Robertson and Mr. Turcot travelled the country to visit the leaders of the Initiative de forêts modèles en Afrique (IFMA) in Yaoundé; they also visited the Dja et Mpomo and Campo-Ma'an Model Forests. During this journey, they met with several forest communities and examined potential avenues for partnerships. Major activities and outcomes from the visit included:

  • A capacity building workshop in Dja et Mpomo – Mr. Turcot trained participants on wooden pen fabrication and provided the tools required by the community to develop wood pens as a small-scale enterprise
  • Extensive engagement with the women’s platforms and indigenous stakeholders in Campo-Ma’an leading to renewed commitment by partners there to seek further collaborative opportunities
  • Strategic discussions regarding multi-resource forest industry training and youth engagement
  • Potential collaboration between FMLSJ and Dja et Mpomo on an eco-cultural tourism initiative in Cameroon

A second visit to Cameroon by representatives from FMLSJ is being planned for July 2009.