|COMINSUD has been involved in contributing towards raising awareness, stimulating community participation, creating framework conditions for broad-based strategic collaboration, both horizontally and vertically on issues of natural resource management and conservation, climate change and livelihoods. All of these initiatives have been carried out through small grants, schemes and assistance to local communities in the form of giving them a voice and power to speak on issues of climate change, biodiversity conservation and promoting livelihood.
With the sponsorship of the British High Commission, Cameroon through the Challenge Fund, COMINSUD has carried out a project on Climate Change. This raised awareness on the causes, effects and some local actions, to mitigate climate change. The project produced a sensitization manual, created community nurseries, and demarcated forest areas for conservation, and water catchments for protection in three council areas of the Menchum Division of the North West Region.
Besides, another action was focused on the management of 10 Protected Areas since 2005. In that year, with funds from CBBIA/ IAIA, COMINSUD carried out an assessment of the protected areas, as a basis for developing biodiversity indicators for conservation. This assessment revealed that there were gaps in the comprehension of the laws related to these protected areas as the local communities had no voice with respect to management and benefits from the protected areas.
In 2007, with assistance from the Forest Governance Facility (FGF), Laws related to Protected Area management and Biodiversity Conservation was vulgarized. In 2008/2009, still with assistance from the FGF, the issues of livelihood were addressed through trainings on alternative sources of income and the creation of microfinance schemes for communities around four protected areas.
Furthermore, COMINSUD is involved at a micro level in facilitating the process of enterprise development for non wood forest products by encouraging the sustainable exploitation and regeneration of these natural resources. This process, sponsored by the FAO, ensures that farmers collect non timber forest products in the forest without causing destruction and degradation, and also that they should promote regeneration. The value chains of these products are assessed and the farmers understand the importance of conservation and regeneration, as opposed to former environmentally unfriendly practices.
Nursery in Olonrounti, Widikum.
COMINSUD has gone a long way therefore to establish a micro nursery scheme where environmental and agro forestry trees are nursed to serve the communities. Some environmental friendly trees such as Lucaena and Acacia are planted in schools where environmental education is taught like at ST. BRIDGETTE BILINGUAL NURSERY AND PRIMARY SCHOOL Upstation, Bamenda whilst agro forestry trees are incorporated in the farms of the various farming groups cominsud works with. These groups are well educated on responsible farming habits. This farming habit can be defined as an environmental friendly organic farming practice where healthy food is raised for the population using the organic waste as natural input with the complete absence of synthetic fertilizers that have a degradable effect on the environment. Such farming habits include: Practicing agro forestry, use of improved and high yielding crop seeds, Crop rotation, Change of crop varieties and livestock.
With the help of a small grant support, COMINSUD has been able to shape the sanitary aspect of Bamenda town as far as waste management is concerned. The town has been able to locate waste collection points. Community members involved in waste generation are aware of waste separation and management into useable form, such as composting, recycling, and reuse.
Waste management practices have given birth to so many local recycling initiatives such as the women Empowerment Centre in Old Town Bamenda that uses waste papers for beads and bangles production.
COMINSUD in the domain of natural resource management plays an active role in WHINCONET (Western Highlands Nature Conservation Network), a regional network. Within the framework of WHINCONET, COMINSUD is involved in the promotion of community forestry, an initiative that empowers communities to own and manage forests.