Community discussion

Talking with the head of units for Collaborative Management (CMU) and Community Development Units, it is certain that individuals, communities and families can overcome poverty if they harness resources from their immediate environment sustainably. For instance, upon the creation of the park, some park communities signed a Conservation and Development Agreement (CDA) which involved some activities which these villages have to execute in collaboration with the national park service.

On the other hand, the document equally engaged the park service to carry out certain Income Generating Activities (IGA), offer Conservation Bonuses (CB), and provide other opportunities like portable pipe born water, academic scholarship just to name but these.

In all, the population we talked to is convinced that natural resources or conservation is a veritable stepping stone towards eradicating poverty at every level in the community especially in the fields of tourism, modern beekeeping and wildlife protection.

Conservation will send our children to school, pay bills, provide grounds for other social amenities and above all provide a safe, caring, supportive environment for our children to learn, play and develop physically and intellectually.

We also talked to some local stakeholders and actors of local development like Mr. Ferdinand Ikome Wonganya who says poverty can lead to inferiority and inequality.

To him, poverty can not only be overcome through white-colar jobs.
Families and communities can exploit opportunities provided to them within their respective environment. For instance, Ferdinand was once a hunter because his parents did not have the opportunity to go to school, likewise himself. As a hunter at a very young age wen he joined his parents, he would spend 3 to 4 days in the bush without a kill but today, as a tour guide he is sure to make at least XAF 30000 for every 3 days hike on Mount Cameroon. So far, he has been able to send his children to school and provide their basic needs and amenities.

To conclude, he testify that life is much better with the conservation of natural resources which has been a pulling factor to nature lovers from all over the globe. Also, he makes more income than before. Working as a guide is less strenuous and not as demanding as being a hunter.

He equally advises other hunters and communities to work on sustainable natural resource exploitation like modern beekeeping rather than wild honey hunting to eradicate poverty in their families and communities just so that our children can have a better life.

Facebook page of the Mount Cameroon Hikers