The government of Cameroon approved a feasibility assessment for the first REDD+ project in the Central African nation, reports the Global Green Carbon Corporation, which is developing the project.
The project aims to conserve forest in and around the Dja Biosphere Reserve, an area known for high levels of biodiversity. The reserve is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site but is at risk from logging and poaching.
Global Green Carbon says the project will is multifaceted:
The DBR project aims to reduce deforestation and degradation and encourage an increase in carbon stocks within the 624,000 hectares of reserve, as well as reduce deforestation/degradation and reforest areas of a 15 km buffer zone surrounding the park equating to 604,500 hectares. In total the Dja Biosphere Regional REDD+ project will conserve and/or rehabilitate 1,228,500 hectares of forest in the Congo Basin. In addition, the project incorporates a comprehensive integrated land management strategy benefiting the Baka (traditional forest dwellers) and Bantu communities living in the region, as well as a research facility twinned with an educational eco-tourism lodge.
The Center for Tropical Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a partner on the project.
With a deforestation rate approaching 1 percent annually, Cameroon has its sights on REDD+ as a means to slow deforestation while improving rural livelihoods. The country is receiving funds through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility to support REDD+ readiness activities.