Story | 07 Nov, 2023

Supporting communities to develop nurseries in CAR to support restoration

Throughout 2023, The Restoration Initiative (TRI) project in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the managers of the Dzanga Sangha Protected Area (APDS) worked to support local and indigenous Aaka communities in the Mona-Sao, Nguénguéli and Madao villages of the Yobe-Sangha sector in setting up nurseries to produce 50,000 local seedlings and fruit trees. 

content hero image

A tree nursery in one of the project locations in the Southwest of the Central African Republic (CAR).

Photo: FAO/H.J Kondaoule

With support from TRI, over 200 households, 36% of them belonging to the indigenous Aaka people, have formed an agricultural cooperative and pooled their efforts to develop nurseries for local species in each village. 

The communities requested support in the form of fruit trees and cola (C. nitida), as seeds and shoots are not easy to collect in the Bayanga forest. 

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the project's implementing partner, provided seeds collected in the Ngotto forest and built the capacity of project communities through two training sessions on collecting seeds by WWF experts.

TRI is providing support to local and indigenous communities, which has enabled the creation of three nursery production sites in Mona-Sao (20,000 seedlings), Nguénguéli (55,000 seedlings) and Médao (25,000 seedlings). Activities are progressing well, and at least 100,000 seedlings will be available for transfer to degradation front zones on the periphery of protected areas. 

Each head of household, a direct beneficiary of the project, receives a lump sum of thirty thousand (30,000) CFA francs to mobilise family members to maintain the beds (watering and weeding) and prepare one hectare to plant 500 trees for food crops. 

To date, over two hundred beneficiaries have been mobilised for this activity. The support the project provides helps to improve household incomes and acquire work tools such as shovels, as most households are also mining craftsmen.

As the world races towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets by 2023, the TRI project in CAR will develop a training guide for communities on the process of community forest allocation, streamline management activities, clarify staffing requirements, and collaborate with TRI projects across other countries and landscapes to glean lessons learned – all of which will continue to lead the project to success in CAR.