Thanks to funding from the European Union, the UFA-REFOREST project, implemented by ATIBT, supervises four forestry companies in Cameroon, namely GRUMCAM, PALLISCO, SEEF and SEFAC, with technical support from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Nature+ and the ENSET of the University of Douala.
As part of the implementation of its activities, the project organized an exchange trip. The aim was to bring together the project's stakeholder companies, other actors from the private forestry sector (FIPCAM, ACFCAM, CTFC), the academic sector (ENEF) and the Ministry of Forests and Fauna (MINFOF) to share experiences. For nearly a week, on the PALLISCO industrial site in Mindourou, 18 managers of forestry activities from eight companies and institutions discussed reforestation issues. The exchanges, coupled with field visits, focused on the management of nurseries and plantations on plots, parks and felling gaps.
Visit to a bulldozed plot of land that was reforested in 2022
During the visit to the Mindourou nursery, several topics were addressed and discussed, including the seed supply system, the nursery traceability and monitoring system, the diversification of species in the nursery and the production of non-timber forest products important for the local communities (Andok, Essessang, Afroxtyrax, Moabi, etc.). Particular emphasis was placed on Ayous cuttings, notably with the experience of GRUMCAM and FIPCAM which have very satisfactory success rates with a recovery rate close to 70%. Technical orientations were thus made on the basis of timely and effective practices in order to allow an upgrading and improvement of techniques in other forestry companies.
Visit of a treefall gap
Regarding the plantations on plots, parks and gaps, the technical itineraries applied in the framework of the project were also shared among the participants. The challenges and difficulties encountered in the implementation of these plantations were also widely discussed, particularly the manual preparation of the plots, a very time-consuming step, which generally prevents the teams from increasing the reforested areas. The participants also visited the former plots reforested in 2009 and 2012 in the Forest Management Units of the company PALLISCO. This allowed them to visualize the concrete results of the plantations and to appreciate the growth of the different species according to their temperament. The participants were also able to understand the issue of thinning by visiting plots on which this had been done previously. Technical explanations were given on the practice of this operation which favors the growth and conformation of young trees in plantation a few years later.
Visit to an old plot of land reforested in 2012
The numerous exchanges allowed everyone to find solutions to the problems encountered in their respective companies and institutions, especially in the management of nurseries, installation and management of plantations. Following the success of this trip, some recommendations were made at the end of this meeting, notably: to organize other exchange trips, to associate other actors of the forestry sector (national and sub-regional) to the future sharing of experiences and to supervise the different stakeholders in the follow-up of the silvicultural activities (support and advice).