I am filled with joy to be MIDORI Prize Winner. It came like a dream but my efforts and achievements in biodiversity conservation merit it. I am happy that my local actions are seen globally and acknowledged.
I have grown up with a passion for biodiversity. This pushed me to do Environmental Sciences at the undergraduate level and Environmental Restoration at Masters Level. At the undergraduate level, I was columnist in ‘The Post’ Newspaper on the green page. Later, I worked as volunteer with the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund (CWAF) on ex-situ conservation of primates. I moved from ex-situ conservation to in-situ conservation in Global Village Cameroon to protect gorillas and chimpanzees in Deng Deng forest from poaching and also protect their habitat from being flooded by Lom Pangar dam.
In 2007, we created Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW). We tackled bushfire that destroyed biodiversity in Kilum-Ijim forest. Through CAMGEW, I used apiculture to engage communities in conservation. This helped reduced bushfire from 7 in 2012 to zero in 2019. It created jobs and income for communities. The CAMGEW-Honeyshop (Climate SmartShop) was created to convert bee farmers honey to money and it serve as opportunity cost for forgone bushfire by communities. I have led the planting of 87250 native trees of 12 types in Kilum-Ijim forest and trained more than 1200 bee farmers.
This award tells a story that passion, hard work and commitment cannot be hidden. I dedicate this award to communities that use indigenous knowledge to protect their forest.