Campo-Ma’an National Park, Cameroon

Geographical location:

Africa/Madagascar > Central Africa > Cameroon

Young woman working in the area of the Campo Ma’an national park. Cameroon.
© WWF CARPO / Peter Ngea

Summary

Located in the southwestern corner of Cameroon, bordering on Equatorial Guinea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Campo-Ma’an National Park and its buffer zone cover an area of approximately 700,000ha. Here, one finds 80 species of mammals, such forest elephants, leopards and gorillas, as well as 302 bird species, 122 reptile species and 250 fish species. Threats to this rich biodiversity include coastal development, unsustainable and illegal logging, and poaching.

WWF works in Campo-Ma’an, providing technical assistance to local authorities, especially the forest and wildlife service, to manage and protect the national park. WWF also implements scientific research and ecological monitoring programmes in the park, and promotes initiatives that boost local development and community-based management of the area’s natural resources.

Background

The Campo-Ma’an landscape covers a surface area of about 776,202 ha spread over the Ocean and Ntem Valley divisions. The landscape features a national park (264,064 ha), 2 logging concessions, an agro-industrial belt made up of rubber and palm oil plantations and community agro-forestry zones. Current inventories show that the Campo-Ma’an landscape is a miniature reflection of the rich diversity of plant and animal species of Central Africa’s rainforest.

Threats to this rich biodiversity include: immigration resulting in high demand for land and forest products, over-exploitation of wildlife (commercial poaching and transborder poaching), unsustainable and illegal logging, weak governance of forest royalties and excruciating poverty. Another potential threat is the planned hydro-electric dam at the Memve’ele falls on the Ntem River immediately South of the Campo-Ma’an national park.

Partial funding for the project came from the Foundation for Environment and Development in Cameroon (FEDEC), a trust fund set up as an environmental compensation scheme by companies involved in the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline project. Other funding partners are the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) and the European Union (EU).

Objectives

Main objective

Conserve globally significant terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the Campo-Ma’an / Rio Campo area, through landscape planning and management for sustainable development.

Specific objectives

- Ensure the conservation of endangered species (elephants, great apes, marine turtles) and their habitats.

- Ensure the integrity of the Campo-Ma’an national park.

- Secure equitable and sustainable use of natural resources, improved access to markets to enhance the livelihoods of local communities.

- Ensure the effective management of the marine ecosystems for biodiversity conservation and improved livelihoods.

- Define and implement transborder conservation activities.

- Ensure the conservation of mangrove ecosystems around the Ntem Estuary by strengthening resistance and resilience to climate change and socio-economic activities.

Solution

Working with local communities, government, business and other conservation organizations in the area, WWF, with support from DGIS, FEDEC and EU, is ensuring the sustainable management of biodiversity for improved livelihood in the Campo-Ma’an landscape.

WWF is working to strengthen the capacity of partners and other stakeholders to manage and protect the park and its peripheries for the interest of the people living in the area, as well as increase awareness of target stakeholders on environmental issues and bring them in as partners.

Achievement

Achievements of the first phase of the project which ran from 2003 to 2006 included:

- Establishment of 3 functional checkpoints at strategic zones around the park to fight against poaching.

- Support given to effective and systematic anti-poaching measures.

- Support given to local communities to develop ecotourism for improved livelihood.

- Development of community-based natural resources management (CBNRM) committees.

- Establishment of groundwork for ecological monitoring.

- Collaborative conventions with major companies in the area.

- Development and adoption of a management plan for the park.

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