Media Centre

Tree propagation; ‘Cheating’ Trees, Saving Forests

Farmers in the Mambonko village in South West Cameroon have been encouraged to use mostly grafted and marcotted trees in their farmlands as it allows trees with poor rooting systems and good quality fruits to be combined with those of the same species that have good rooting systems for better yields.

Grafted bush mango tree


With grafting, you cut a tree from the middle area and replaces it with another upper part and then nurture. In the course of time, the two parts will attach nicely and begin communication. They must, however, have the same genes.  Marcotting on the other hand, ‘cheats’ trees by taking advantage of their memory cells. The branch of a two-year-old tree, for instance, is cut, rooting ignited at one end and then planted. The plant takes some time to adapt to this new condition (acclimatization) and then continues growing like a two-year-old. As such. many plants can be generated from one tree. This method reduces the fruiting time of trees by up to half depending on the age of the marcotted mother tree.

Marcotted Dacryodes edulis (African plums)

“The most sustainable promise for agroforestry, forest gardening or any profitable tree planting endeavour is tree propagation.  People need some form of incentive. It is not easy to plant trees that take up to 10 years to start producing fruits. Humans are not that patient,” said  Mr.  Shu Jerome as he distributed marcotted forest and fruit trees for planting into the Irvingia forest garden in Mambonko village in Cameroon.

The forest garden is composed of crops (maize, various vegetables, cassava, potatoes, plantain), forest trees (bush mango, njangsang), fruits trees (African plum, oranges, avocado and mango)  and animals (goats, pigs and fowls). The crops are planted  10m2  from each other and trees in order to minimize shading.

Animals, on the other hand, walk around the farm freely and their dung serves as manure. This farm will enable Ecological Balance train 25 women every 6months on how to incorporate indigenous trees into existing farmlands.

The rationale of this forest gardening practice is to combine crops, trees, and animals of different fruiting cycles, hence, enabling women to harvest all year round. This reduces their vulnerability to market prices as surpluses can be sold offseason. Forest garden also reduces dependence on forest for timber and other forest products, while also ensuring land optimization.

By Ndimuh B. Shancho

Media Centre

NGO leaders to Create More Forests Using ‘Miyawaki’ Method

Some five Founders and Chief Executive Officers of non-profit organizations in Switzerland, India, Australia, Pakistan, and Cameroon have discussed ways of successfully creating forests using the Miyawaki Method, an innovative technique that restores indigenous ecosystems and natural vegetations by practically forcing, reproducing and accelerating natural successional times.

NGO leaders in an online meeting

Meeting online, September 23, 2019, these NGO bosses including Elise Van Middelem of SUGI-Switzerland, Shubhendu Sharma of Afforest-India, Brett Krause of Brettacorp Inc.-Australia, Shahzad Qureshi of Urban Forest Karachi-Pakistan and Limbi Blessing of Eco Balance-Cameroon, learned the steps and process involved in using the Miyawaki Method.

While chairing the meeting Mr. Shubhendu Sharma shared his close to one decade experience in the Miyawaki method that has him create over 138 forests across the world and planted over 450,000 registering at least an 82% success rate in each case. He explained that the method has been proven to work worldwide, irrespective of soil and climatic conditions with over 3,000 forests already created around the world using it.

On the uniqueness of this method, the Afforest boss said it “creates forests that are 30times denser, grow 10times faster, recharge groundwater 30times faster, are 30times better habitat for pollinators, have 30 times better carbon-dioxide absorption capacity and conserve soil properties 30times better than monocultures”. He added that “they are 100% natural and designed to mimic historical indigenous forests and hence, are 100% as bio-diverse; they are completely maintenance-free”. Additionally, as a matter of protocol, the method involves local communities and people of all age groups in tree planting.

According to the Crowther Lab (Zurich), about 0.9 billion hectares of land across the world should be reforested to capture two thirds (about 205 billion tonnes) of human-made carbon emissions.

Inspired by this training, the Executive Director of Ecological Balance, Limbi Blessing Tata, has committed to the regeneration of forests in Cameroon, with a 20,000 capacity tree nursery already established in Buea, South West Cameroon, in collaboration with community leaders. The importance of effective forest regeneration in Cameroon cannot be overemphasized given that Cameroon is part of the Congo Basin and losses up to 30ha of forest every hour.

By Ndimuh B. Shancho


Media Centre

Eco balance Embarks on Radio Sensitization for Natural Resources Conservation

Eco balance is running a series on radios in the South West Region of Cameroon dubbed ‘wa forest, wa money’ meaning our forests, our ATMs. The programme, which comes up Mondays and Fridays on environment slots on Bonakanda & Tiko Council Community radios, started in September to run till October 18.

Radio sensitisation

Organised within the framework of the Irvingia Project, the radio series is aimed at raising the awareness of about 50% of the local population around the Mt Cameroon National Park. It highlights the importance and richness of Cameroon’s forests, especially in terms of non-timber forest products with the goal of bringing local people to perceive forests as ATMs, capable of providing money all year round in the form of spices, fruits, nuts, medicinal herbs etc. It is hoped that through this radio programme,  rural women will increase the market value of forest products by processing them and youths will take the responsibility to protect the forests, their heritage.

Inspired by the impact of the radio series, the Station Manager of Tiko Council Community Radio, Mr. Ngong Ivo, expressed his wish for a long term partnership with the project. “I am glad that an initiative like this is coming to Tiko. It directly speaks to people who want ‘hot money’ and cut trees for it. Tiko also has mangroves and a program like this can help change people’s attitudes towards them and save us the stress of floods,” he said.

The Executive Director of Eco Balance said they hope to extend the series to Revival, Ocean City, and Mediafrique radios, all in Fako Division.

It should be noted that Cameroon has over 710 different species of such products and the market value of 45 stands at over US$1.028 billion annually.


Media Centre

Rural Woman Reaps Fruit of Eco Balance’s Empowerment Workshop

Less than two months after a week-long hands-on skills-based training by Ecological Balance aimed at combating youth unemployment and poverty for natural resources conservation, some rural women within the Buea Municipality are already reaping much profit using the skills acquired.

Mrs. Atang Mary transforming coconut to coconut oil

A Bomaka-based rural woman, Atang Mary Nyong, earns at least fcfa 60,000 as profit in less than a month from coconut oil, a skill acquired during a workshop organized last September by Ecological Balance. “I was amazed by the analysis done on the business during the workshop. Immediately after the training, I decided to try my hands in the processing and selling of coconut oil; I invested my life’s savings into the business. In 3weeks or so, I have made 60000frs (about 101 USD) profit. It is official, I am an entrepreneur,” she said.

Instead of selling 80 coconuts for fcfa 10000 (about 17USD), she extracts 3litres of coconut oil and sells for fcfa 45000 (about 76 USD). The cost of raw materials, packaging and labour comes down to about fcfa 25000 (about 41USD). Thus she makes a profit of fcfa 20000 (about 35USD) per consignment.

She said processing coconut oil is an uphill task. “My biggest challenge is in the processing of the oil. Everything is manual from cracking coconuts,  removing the shell, slicing it into bits, to grinding, washing, and squeezing out the milk before letting it settle. The lack of equipment slows down the process, otherwise, it is a good business,” he said while hoping to employ an extra pair of hands soon.

Proceeds from the coconut oil business are helping her a great deal. “I am a shareholder in my home,” she quipped, adding that “my children had to relocate to Yaounde for school and I was able to support with fcfa 50000. I am so happy. I also have a small njangi (daily collection), where I save money for the future”

Mary wants to expand to the processing of other oils from forest seeds and nuts; bush mango oil, njangsang oil, njabe oil and kernel oil in the near future.

 By Agborkang Godfred



“I Love Creating Nature Inspired Arts”

I am Seraphine-Destiny Lum Ngwa,  a student in Buea, Cameroon and 20 years old.  Growing up was not easy but I have d always found solace in nature. I use to spend hours at the stream near our house watching birds and sometimes fish. Then, everywhere was green; there were a lot of trees and the waters were sparkling. We could even bend on our knees and drink directly from the stream.  Today, everything is gone. The trees and stream exist only in my memory and I refuse to let go. Hence, I have decided to paint pictures of them.  I started painting when I was 18. I use these paintings to hide my fear as I struggle through life.

My desire is to create nature-inspired art pieces. I want to be a great Environmental Artist, having my own studio and running an art school. I think many people desire to paint but are just scared.

Destiny’s nature artwork
Media Centre

Eco Balance to Partner with NGO, FMCs for Forests Creation in Fako

Ecological Balance is set to partner with some four community water and forest management committees and a non-profit organization for the creation of forests of at least 5600trees in close to 2ha in Fako Division, South West Cameroon, using the Miyawaki method.

The Miyawaki technique is an innovative reforestation method, which restores indigenous ecosystems and natural vegetation by practically forcing, reproducing and accelerating natural successional times. The method has been proven to work worldwide, irrespective of soil and climatic conditions and more than 3,000 forests have been successfully created around the world.

In August 2019, as a build-up to the global climate strikes, Eco Balance undertook the commitment to plant at least 5000trees every year. These trees, which are to be planted as closed forest blocks, seeks to contribute towards climate change mitigation as well as train help community forests fulfill their reforestation objective.

So far, the organization has had a series of meetings in September with WEWULEY Consultancy with headquarters in Bova 1 village, Lyangamelle Bonalyonga & Upper Bwando village water management committees and the Bakingili & Woteva Community Forests, with roles in the implementation of the project, spelled out.

WEWULEY Consultancy, for example, is to serve in community mobilization and monitoring while Lyangamelle Bonalyonga and Upper Bwando village water management committees provide nursery and planting sites. They are also expected to provide after-care for planted forests in their localities. Meanwhile, Bakingili and Woteva Community forests, led by their management officers, will provide nursery and planting sites as well as aftercare for planted forests. Eco balance, on the other hand, will serve as the resource mobilizer and provider of technical services.

According to the Founder/Director of WEWULEY Consultancy, this project is a stitch on time that would definitely save lives. “I can tell you that without trees we are nothing. Today, we suffer from a severe water shortage in my village, Bova 1. We buy water because our sources have all dried up’. ‘We cannot even sustain the cost of running a community tree nursery in Bova,” he lamented.

By Limbi Blessing

Media Centre

Nature conservation, a myth?

Beaches all over the world have this 2019 recorded more people than ever before seeking to cool off from increased heat waves all across Europe, glaciers ‘disappeared’ from Alaska and, for the first time, the Amazon rainforest considered “lungs of the Earth,” registered 74,000 fires with species going extinct 1,000 times faster.

Flaming Amazon, not given much-needed attention

These have made one question whether current efforts are enough to save the earth;  Who has the mandate to conserve nature?  and if the numerous Protocols & Agreements mean anything to the local and indigenous population, who have no form of formal education but yet can be instrumental in saving the forest?

Unfortunately, ‘despite extensive institutional arrangements and vast legal instruments on conservation, there has been a decline in biodiversity on the one hand, and an increase in the impoverishment of biodiversity-dependent people on the other hand.

Is there any political will to conserve nature? A friend once said that media is in love with politics; when the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire earlier this year, many media outlets reported live from the scene till the fire was put out. They said ‘it is a historical structure’. Is the Amazon forest not as historic?  ‘If everyone sweeps in front of their door, the world would be clean’.

By Limbi Blessing