|Participants pose with RRI Associate Africa Program Officer|
RRI is a coalition of civil society organizations that supports the developing world’s Indigenous Peoples and local communities in forests and other rural areas, helping them to secure and realize the rights to own, control, and benefit from the natural resources they have depended on for generations.
According to organizers of the workshop, their aims were to improve understanding of media men on the issues of security of land rights of local and indigenous communities in the ongoing reforms in Cameroon, identify potential opportunities that can be used to address the problems raised by the expansion of investment projects and agro industries and build a communication task force on issues related to natural resources in Cameroon in connection with the rights of communities among others.
According to Samuel Nguiffo secretary general of the centre for environment and development (CED), lead organization of the coalition of RRI Cameroon, it is important for civil society organizations and the media to work together on issues of land and forest rights of indigenous people.
The workshop which was the second in a series also permitted attendees to develop a roadmap whose implementation will benefit from the support of the media to make wide publicity. Attendees also constituted a task force to disseminate news on natural resources and the rights of communities.
The first of such a workshop took place in Kribi in 2014 where coalition presented it activity plan for 2015. Participants at the first workshop visited some areas indigenous people’s rights to land and forest are being threatened by the implantation of some agro industrial projects.
At the second in Douala, member organizations of the coalition like CED, REPAR,REFACOF, IUCN among others also presented their proposed activities for the year 2015 to the media partners who evaluated their various communication strategies.
Created in 2008, activities of the Cameroon coalition of RRI are little known according to Mireille Tchiako, communication officer of the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) Cameroon.
Thus, in its communication strategy for 2015, as presented by Mary Nyuyinwi, RRI facilitator for Central Africa and Liberia, the Coalition has put a focus on the media as a key player in supporting the visibility of its actions and in improving the understanding of its areas of intervention.
Like Nguiffo, Emily Snow RRI’s Africa program associate from Washington said she was delighted with the outcome of the two days workshop.
Ndi Eugene Ndi in Douala