At Crelicam, we have spent years perfecting methods of replanting ebony to contribute to the regeneration of forests in which we work.
Throughout our years of work, we have been able to open a path in this field, which has little documented research that we can base our work on. We have had to do the research ourselves, which has resulted in our ebony nursery (Pépinière) at Crelicam, our first step towards reforestation.
Our work on replanting has been twofold. On the one hand, we have had to develop agro-forestry techniques. On the other, we have worked with the government to obtain legal permits for replanting. Due to the ownership structure of Cameroon's forests, which are always controlled by the central government, replanting Ebony was not allowed in the country. Through negotiations with the government, we have obtained permission for replanting in community forests at the end of 2015, and we are about to start the process.
Learning to replant: the ebony nursery
We have been pioneers in the replanting of ebony and, therefore, we have had to learn how to germinate and grow plants from scratch.
Experience has been our best teacher.
Working day to day and observing our results, we have achieved a good percentage of seed germination and stable growth through the first year, when the young tree can be planted in the forest.
We have collaborated with the School of Agro-forestry Engineering at the Universidad Complutense de Madridto develop the Pépinière project (nursery), which today is maintained by Crelicam employees.
Reforestation with the local community
In late 2015, we have obtained permission from the Cameroon government to replant ebony in community forests. We want to do this while involving local communities in the management of their forests, training them in the care the young trees need and offering them an extra income through this work.
We are working with the Congo Basin Intitute, a research center that is part of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). This project will be carried out within the framework of the center’s initiative on climate change and biodiversity.