Herstoryofchange – Ernestine’s Story

Ernestine has been involved in regeneration and livelihood improvement in the Kilum-Ijim forest area since 2012. Together with her organization Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW) she strengthens female leadership by providing training on agroforestry, soil conservation, tree planting, and forest governance.

In 2019, Ernestine was one of the winners of the Gender Just Climate Solution Award. This is a yearly event at the UNFCCC Climate Summit , organized by WECF International and the Women & Gender Constituency.

In Cameroon’s north-western region, on Mount Oku, the Kilum-Ijim Forest has been ravaged by wildfires for years. Since 2012, many bushfires have afflicted the country, destroying the biodiversity with little concern from the local communities and authorities. A method called ‘slash-and-burn’, a practice of burning down parts of nature for agriculture, is causing most of these bushfires. In the past, this method was not seen as dangerous. However, due to climate change, the climate has become extremely dry, making these small fires extremely risky. The forest fires not only have negative consequences for biodiversity. Through burning the forests, communities are destroying the very tools needed to combat climate change, as forests and their biodiversity are important for the storage of greenhouse gases.

Ernestine and CAMGEW found a solution: apiculture, also known as bee farming. This not only provided a solution for the bushfires but also gave the opportunity and the ability to change women’s lives.

Read Ernestine’s full story here