Green Connexion (GC) is an environmental group working for biodiversity conservation and environmental protection. For biodiversity conservation, its strategy is essentially modeled on the Global Conservation Strategy of the CBD (Convention on Biological Diversity) as well as the National Strategy and Action Plan for Biodiversity (NBSAP) in Cameroon. For the protection of the environment, GC complies with the Cameroonian law n ° 96/12 of 05 August 1996, framework law on environmental management, Title III, Chapter V on the management of natural resources and the conservation of biological diversity, Article 62.
During fiscal year 2018, Green Connexion has conducted several actions, and therefore the most important ones are:
– Participation as a partner in the national project entitled “Developing an accessible information system on biodiversity for sustainable development in Cameroon”.
– Continuation of the Ledermanniella strategy as part of the Nachtigal project.
– Preparation and participation in the celebration of the International Day of Biodiversity;
– Preparation and participation in COP 14 on biodiversity in Egypt.
II.1. Project “Developing an accessible information system on biodiversity for sustainable development in Cameroon”.
This project includes three major institutional actors: IUCN, Green Connexion and the Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED). It has three main objectives which are: 1) Establish and strengthen national biodiversity information facilities, with the expectation of increasing the national capacity to manage the biodiversity-related information in Cameroon 2) Increase the available data on biodiversity, during and after the fellowship period, with the expectation of establishing national biodiversity information facilities, including the establishment in Cameroon of infrastructure and information management committees at the national level, and 3) Publish biodiversity data to respond to national priorities.
II.1.1. Role of Green Connexion in the project
In general, Green Connexion was responsible for implementing the component “data mobilization and digitization” on floristic biodiversity in number and quality; more specifically :
– Make available to the project data on freshwater plants contained in its database;
– Establish a thematic map of potential data holders on the species identified in the project (edible fruits, freshwater plants, endangered and threathened, medicinal plants, rattan and raphias);
– Raise awareness and put in place memoranda of understanding for the provision of these data by their holders;
– Support and facilitate the establishment of the network of data holders;
– Participate in capacity building activities on the use of GBIF tools;
– Process, digitize and publish data collections from the GBIF IPT
– Produce periodic (technical and financial) reports on the missions listed above;
– Possibly support coordination and monitoring of the project if necessary.
II.1.2. Implementation of the component « data mobilization ».
The main members of Green Connexion responsible for this work were the Coordinator, an Assistant Researcher and a Computer Scientist. They have previously learned the Darwin Core language (which is a set of standards for biodiversity data sharing, developed by the international group Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG) and which allows data owners to publish their information in a format (eg Darwin Core archives) that can be understood and used by all). Subsequently, they mobilized and digitized systematic and geographical data on Cameroon’s edible forest fruits; some freshwater plants from Cameroon; recent data on endemic and endangered plants; data on medicinal plants and finally data on rattans and raphias of Cameroon. For each category of data, a checklist was prepared as well as occurrence data.
Data mobilization was based on the collection of information from articles and documents published online. Sometimes, it was also based on the consultation of the herbarium samples. The table below presents the statistics on the number of data processed and published on the Cameroon GBIF interface.
Table. Statistics on digitized data.
|N°||Plants type||Category||Check list||Occurrence|
|1||Wild edible fruits||253||976|
|3||Threatened and Endangered plants||27||109|
|5||Rattans & Raphia||29||69|
Subsequently, the Green Connexion team was invited to take part in the workshop on capacity building and mobilization of biodiversity data holding institutions held in Douala from 05-07 December 2018. This workshop was aimed at strengthen the capacity of contributors to use the Biodiversity Information System (BIS) Interface and to make recommendations on the type and quality of data to be published. During this workshop, Green Connexion made a presentation on its involvement in the project and the statistics on data mobilized, digitized and published. Green Connexion also gave a presentation on the practical case study on IUCN’s Red List contribution. This presentation highlighted the need to give a conservation status to a species and presented the different steps leading to the allocation of conservation status.
II.2.1. Goals for Green Connection
The aim of this project was, according to the TOR, to continue prospecting for two species of Ledermaniella, namely L. sanagaensis and L. thalloïdea, and to collect the genetic material to be kept in a seed bank.
The areas to be surveyed included: the Sanaga River and its main tributaries upstream from the Nachtigal Falls, the Mbam River towards Bafia in several places considered suitable for their settlement, and finally the Mpem and Djim rivers in the Mpem and Djim National Park.
More specifically, during a 12-month period, there was a question of:
– Update the mapping of the up cited species in the areas impacted by the project;
– continue the prospection of these species and other associated species found in the rivers surveyed,
– To identify the botanical and reproductive characteristics of these species;
– To quantify the hydraulic conditions and the characteristics of the habitat where these species would be met and finally;
– To safeguard the genetic material of the two Ledermaniella species concerned in a seed bank at the National Herbarium of Cameroon and the Botanical Conservatory of Brest.
II.2.2. The implementation
II.2.2.1. Botanical prospecting and map updating
All watercourses targeted for advanced inventories in 2018 have been visited. This is Sanaga and its tributaries, Mbam, Mpem and Djim. Globally 21 stations were visited, including 8 new ones, which had not been visited in previous campaigns. On the Mbam, it is Biamo, Nchiaya, Nchiaya ferry and Bayomen; on the Djim it is Mekobim and Kampom; finally on the Mpem it is Mbom 1 and Mbom 2.
Most of the stations visited on the Mbam upstream of point 4.78˚-11.29˚ show no trace of Podostemaceae. Apart from these, the other points visited on the different rivers present species of aquatic plants in general and Podostemaceae in particular. Overall, 29 collections were made for a total of 14 taxa: Ledermanniella sanagaensis, Inversodicraea boumiensis, Ledermanniella linearifolia, Ledermanniella pusilla, Ledermanniella bifurcata, Ledermanniella sp., Ledermanniella sp. nov., Letestuella weaverantii, Tristicha trifaria, Dicraeanthus africanus, Dicraeanthus zehnderi, Leiothylax quangensis, Marsdenia abyssinica and Pistia stratiotes. Since fiscal year 2016, a new species (probably a new genus) had been found on the Mbam (Ledermanniella sp nov above). This species has also been found in 2018.
With regard to the target species Ledermanniella sanagaensis and L. thalloidea, the first was found on the Mbam in 2018 in Enangana and on the Sanaga in Nachtigal. These two points on these two rivers had already been recorded in previous campaigns, and no new populations of these species were found. Since the launching of the Lom Pangar dam, despite all the prospecting efforts provided, L. thalloidea has not been found either on the Sanaga or elsewhere during the various surveys.
Dry capsules of Ledermanniella sanagaensis were harvested from Mbam. This material was treated at the National Herbarium of Cameroon, and some of these seeds were transferred to the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens of the city of Brest (France).
II.2.2.2. Analysis of the biological and physico-chemical parameters
Although Ledermanniella linearifolia are larger than Ledermanniella sanagaensis (1 cm against 0.5 cm), they have a much higher density in the sterile state (about 180000 individuals / m2 compared to a maximum of 25000 individuals / m2 counted in 2015). It is possible that this density is less important in the dry season when the water level drops and the plant blooms.
Overall, both species share an identical ecology: Distance to shore (often less than 10 m), weak depth from bottom to the rock, same fixation rock (gneiss), flow facies fast etc.
The objective of this section was to determine the physico-chemical parameters of the waters in which the genus Ledermaniella develops on the Mbam and Sanaga rivers respectively in the cities of Bafia and Obala. Different parameters have been identified as playing an important role in the growth of these species. These factors include the effect of climate (dry season / rain) and environmental variables such as turbidity, conductivity, dissolved oxygen and temperature.
The genus Ledermaniella is a submerged benthic plant of the family Podostemaceae and plays an important role in the ecology of tropical rivers. The different attributes of Podostemaceae that are the primary production contributing to primary carbon, the important food source for aquatic herbivores (Gessner & Hammer 1962), their contribution in the absorption and release of nutrients and their participation as substrates for various assemblages of the microscopic epiphytic flora as well as for the wildlife habitat, make that the habitats of the species of this family deserve to be conserved and protected. This is why the waters of the Mbam and Sanaga rivers were sampled during the year 2018 during the months of April, August, September and October.
This preliminary work aimed at characterizing the groups of algae colonizing environments rich in Podostemaceae as well as those in relation to the roots of these plants revealed that the samples collected at the roots of Podostemaceae harbor a more diversified algal flora, essentially represented by Cyanobacteria, Chlorophytes and Dinophytes. Diatom diversity also showed high values for samples collected from the roots of Podostemaceae. Subject to further analysis of the samples collected during low water periods, these results suggest that there is some relationship or symbiosis between the algae and the roots of Podostemaceae.
International Biodiversity Day is held on May 22 each year. The theme of the celebration this year was “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity”. Green Connexion put a particular emphasis on the preparations for this day, which he then celebrated, together with the whole earth and in a pomp worthy of major events. Green Connexion, made up of about fifty of its members, paid courtesy visits, first to CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), then to WWF (World Wildlife Fund). It was a question of sharing with these organizations their experiences on biodiversity and discussing the future of the world.
Green Connexion subsequently participated, in collaboration with IUCN, in an exhibition held at the esplanade of MINEPDED-Cameroon (Ministry of the Environment and Nature Protection) for two days (from May 23 to 24, 2018).
Green Connexion was honored this year by being invited to participate in COP 14 (Fourteenth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)), held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, 17 – 29 November 2018. The theme of COP 14 was “Investing in Biodiversity for People and the Planet”. As an observer, if Green Connexion could not participate in the decisions (to take part in the votes), he could attend the sessions, participate in debates and, in this chapter, his long experience in the field of biodiversity conservation counted. By inviting Green Connexion and many other Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) around the world, the United Nations has relied on all its credibility resources to add value to the global event that’s COP 14.
About the Author