Posted on 01 March 2022
After launching the first call for business proposals WWF is pleased to announce a major milestone in the progress of the Mobilising More for Climate program (MoMo4C) in Cameroon.
The hard work put in by the WWF Cameroon office in Yaoundé in sharing our message across a multitude of platforms and networks has been reflected in the encouraging response we have received from local businesses and projects. Across Cameroon over 100 candidates applied to be part of our program to develop climate-resilient and gender-inclusive green business propositions. After completing our selection process, we now have a final 6 projects which we be working with providing technical assistance and business development support.
To select projects from this large pool of applicants we had the help of a panel of six independent local experts with diverse backgrounds, ranging from environmental science, value chains, and project development. These panelists were tasked with assessing the projects from 4 different perspectives: impact on people, impact on nature, commercial viability, and project feasibility. Four components that are essential to a successful Bankable Nature Solution.
Besides these four perspectives, MoMo4C conducted research on the ground in the TRIDOM landscape in Cameroon to see where the most impact can be made. Three pillars were distinguished: sustainable cocoa production, community forestry, and the harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). All these pillars relate to agriculture, one of the biggest commercial sectors in the country. "By tackling problems in this sector, we kill two birds with one stone", Roberty Essama from WWF Cameroon explained in a previous interview. "Not only do we make sure farmers can have more income by embracing sustainable agricultural practices, but they also protect the environment they live in." Read more: Roberty Essama (WWF Cameroon) on priority themes for impact entrepreneurs
After long deliberations, the following six projects from a diverse background of both geographies and sectors were selected.
- We have a solar powered mobile drying unit for non-timber forest products (NTFP) from Cameroon Cosmetic Counter in Yaoundé. This project aims to improve the value of the products gathered by the local community by providing a method to properly dry and package them. Getting the best price possible will help develop sustainable NTFP harvesting as an alternative to expansive agriculture.
- GIC LEKA is another NTFP project from Ndimako. This project is a cooperative for the Baka (a local indigenous group) women that requires its members to use non-destructive collection techniques to ensure sustainable harvesting. The cooperative will then negotiate as a bloc to ensure the best prices possible, thus contributing to the social development of the Baka harvesters who have been historically financially exploited.
- The third project that was selected is TAFCAM, a cassava-focused project from Bertoua that tries to realize deforestation-free organic cassava production. By paying its smallholder partners a higher than market-rate price, they encourage producers to grow cassava in a more sustainable way. The group will then use a solar-powered factory to process the cassava into end products for sale. The project will prioritize women and youth for their staff and will reinvest in social development locally.
- AAFEBEN is a financing project in Bertoua focused on cocoa farmers. It aims to set up a prefinancing system to allow cocoa farmers to increase their yields through investing in improved farming systems instead of farm expansion and thus preventing deforestation. This project aims to replace the current exploitative informal loan systems in the region to ensure a more equitable system that will contribute to the social development of the cocoa farms.
- Another cocoa-related project is ASFABB: an association with 50% of the members being female cocoa farmers. It is based in Lelene and focused on sustainable management and social development. Through focusing on farm improvement without expansion they too hope to avoid further deforestation. Because they negotiate pricing as a collective, they work to ensure the best possible prices for all involved. The group then has plans to use their profits to reinvest in both local farms and in the social development of their local community.
- Finally, we have SARB. This project wants to develop alternative protein production as a substitute to bushmeat in Batouri. They aim to do this through an agroforestry system where they plant trees in logging gaps. In this part of the forest, caterpillars grow as well as NTFPs. This project also hopes to partner with vulnerable groups in the region such as indigenous people and refugees to provide opportunities for these marginalized communities.