The whole basis of my work in Cameroon, and of the work that ExCiteS does, is to empower local communities, enabling them to have a say in conservation.
For me, this means consulting with Baka hunter-gatherer and Bantu farming communities who reside inside and nearby the rainforests of the Congo Basin, asking these community members themselves as to what their imminent issues are and whether our data collection and reporting app Sapelli might be of use.
Promoting this essential idea of community participation is best done by other local people. This means that well-trained local people with experience in social and environmental anthropology are essential for sustainable resource-use and effective conservation in Africa. Unfortunately, local people who tick this box is far too few. Aiming to change this, however, is the Centre of Social Excellence, based both in Cameroon and Indonesia.
The inspiring, beautifully made, and highly informative film below explains their work and the importance of training African leaders for the future of their continent.