Front Page - Climate Change and what to do about it.
iBerry Hub - Latest news and information on Climate Change.
Contact iBerry - Views, comments, contributions and help are all very welcome!
Learning more about Climate Change - Includes Infrequently Asked Questions.
Green Jobs - Job-seekers support.
Mainly for Young People - Climate Change links and information.
Eco-anxiety - Eco-anxiety and what to do about it.
Climate Change and Coronavirus Parallels - Wake-up call for humanity?
Cameroon is a sub-Saharan African country located in the central Africa subregion and part of the Congo basin forest that makes up to 60% of the total land area in six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo (Congo - Brazzaville) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Over 80% of the Cameroon population rely on agricultural and forest products such as gathering non-timber forest products, farming, hunting and animal husbandry. These activities are crucial for poverty alleviation and national development. The forest sector contributes 6 -10% to gross domestic product and the Climatic Change value of forest products such as logs, sawn wood, plywood, veneers and parquets run into millions of dollars annually. This sector alone employs up to 13,000 people and many more within the informal sector involved in domestic timber trade and charcoal. Unfortunately, the adverse effects of climate conditions are significantly affecting these resources and consequently, also the economic, social and environmental aspects of national sustainable development.
Cameroon consists of five different agro-ecological zones: Sudano Sahelian, high Guinean savannahs, high plateau, a zone with bimodal rainfall (mostly from the Atlantic but some from the Indian Ocean) and one with monomodal rainfall (once per year only from the Atlantic Ocean), making Cameroon more vulnerable to climate change. It is the most pressing issue of our time.
Problems of climate change education.Despite Cameroon's vulnerability to climate change, little is being done to address the issue, especially in the domain of education. The government through its Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) and national adaptation plan, has only allocated 4% of the INDC budget to climate education, capacity building and climate related scholarships. Also, not enough climate information and research is readily available to the population especially in schools and there is a lack of swift and precise education for the general public, particularly for young people. Interviewed In 2019, the pedagogic inspector from the Ministry of Secondary Education indicated that the school curriculum is already saturated with no space for additional subjects. Topics such as the environment and climate change were already incorporated into other subjects.
Some civil society organizations also consider climate change education as part of environmental education. During a forum of civil society organizations promoting environmental education in Cameroon, it was confirmed that 90% of participants believed that climate change education identified with environmental education. The Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development is in charge of environmental protection and climate change. Despite the bilingual nature of the country, important and key climate information is mostly published in French but little is done to make the information readily available for those in French speaking parts. English speakers also find it difficult to locate and interpret information. This has seriously delayed the evolution of climate change education in Cameroon.
Civil society organizations working on climate change education.Some international, national and civil society organizations are working hard to promote climate change education. For example, the Presbyterian church in Cameroon signed a 10 year commitment to promote climate change education in all its educational establishments.
Issues affecting climate change education.The government of Cameroon submitted its First Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plan in June 2015. The small percentage allocated to climate change education must be one of the main reasons for a low promotion of climate change education. Although Cameroon has a series of policies and legislation in place that promote environmental protection, little is said or written on climate change and its education despite the impacts of climate on the forest and agricultural sector.
The economic sector and livelihoods are also affected by climate variability and irregular weather patterns leading to flash flood and prolonged dry seasons, especially in coastal and Sahel areas respectively. Cameroon is also part of the world meteorological organization. Some meteorological stations are located in strategic parts of the country such as Nkonsamba in the littoral region of the country so climate information is readily available. Unfortunately, due to poor transmission of climate information to stakeholders, the population is often taken by surprise by climate extremes such as frequent and rampant floods in the North and other regions. Cameroon, as a signatory of the Paris agreement, is committed to put in place ways and means for the implementation and reinforcement of capacity building through seminars, workshops and training. However, little action has been taken by the government leading to a reluctance by many young people to develop an interest in their climate change education
ConclusionClimate change education is a significant problem in Cameroon which must be addressed to prepare the country for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. Not enough is being done by government and civil society organizations. Given the saturated school curriculum, basic climate change knowledge is merely inserted into other subjects and treated only as a small part of environmental education. Little attention is given to the science of climate change and its implications. Extracurricular school activities such as clubs promoting climate change education should be created within the school environment closing the gap between formal and informal climate change education in Cameroon.
Further ReadingCameroon, 2015, 'Climate change national adaptation plan', Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, vol. 1
Cameroon, 2015, 'intended national determine contributions', Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, vol. 1
Fongzossi, F, Sonwa, D, Kemeuze, V, & Mengelt, C, 2018, 'Assessing climate change vulnerability and local adaptation strategies in adjacent communities of the Kribi-Campo coastal ecosystems, South Cameroon', ELSEVIER, 2212-0955
Francis, O, 2017, 'Climate Change in Cameroon Political Discourse: A Case Study of Paul Biya's cop21 Speech', Bergen Language and Linguistic Studies, Vol. 7
Carolyn, P, Denis, J, 2015, 'Rural local institutions and climate change adaptation in forest communities in Cameroon', Ecology and Society, Vol. 20
Ambe, E, Hans-Jurgen, V, Roy, L, 2013, 'Vulnerability of water resources in Northern Cameroon in the context of climate change', Environ Earth Sci, Vol.
The author working with students, integrating basic climate change education with information technology skills as an extracurricular activity.
Cameroon's first national adaptation plan published by the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development - but only in the French language! Sable, one of the neighbourhoods in Douala, Cameroon's economic capital, hit by floods due to heavy downpour on August 21st 2020.