Mangrove forests, which serve as breeding grounds for fish and crustacea, contribute to livelihoods of communities living on Manoka Island in Cameroon. In the absence of sustainable management mechanisms, these same mangrove forests and livelihoods are under pressure due to overharvesting of wood for fish smoking.
Sustainable woodfuel value chain options for Manoka were identified through a scoping study and exchanges at a multistakeholder platform, which built the foundation for successful participation.
The improved brick and metal smokehouses, developed and tested in collaboration with a women’s fish-smoking association (AFUMA), reduced wood consumption by 33% and 88%, and smoking time from three days to two days and one day, respectively.
Forest conservation, forest production and reforestation zones were designated by the Manoka Community Forest management institution based on a consensual local land-use plan with stakeholders.
Plan Vivo, as the chosen environmental standard, contributed to the successful submission of a Project Idea Note (PIN) for a planned PES project and to developing the community’s own code of conduct for improved management of mangrove forests.
The sustainability of interventions to reverse the mangrove forest degradation and deforestation trends on the island depends on further appropriation by the local council and other stakeholders, as well as on their capacity to replicate and scale up improved management, harvesting and smoking practices.