Defending Women’s Right to Manage Land and Forests Wins First Environmental Prize | The Guardian Nigeria News

NEW YORK, USA, May 6, 2022 – / The African Information Agency (AMA) / – A veteran Cameroonian activist working to conserve her country’s forests and improve the lives of the people who depend on them is the latest winner of an international competition supported by the United Nations for an environmental prize.

Cécile Ndjibet received the 2022 Wangari Maathai Forest Champions Award from the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF( chaired by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations )FAO).

The award was presented to Ms. Najepet at a ceremony in Seoul, Republic of Korea, during the 15th World Forestry Congress.

vote for equality

This award celebrates Cécile Ndjebet’s energy and dedication for more than three decades to advance women’s land and forest rights. She has actively demonstrated that women’s participation in forest management and conservation is critical to achieving sustainable forest management.” She said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General and Head of the Collaborative Association of 15 international organizations.

Ms. Najibet is one of the founders of the African Women’s Network for Community Forestry, founded in 2009 and now including 20 member countries across the continent.

He has become a leading voice, both nationally and internationally, in creating global recognition of the importance of Gender equality in forest management.

Promote the participation of women

In Cameroon, nearly 70 percent of women live in rural areas and depend, at least in part, on harvesting wild forest products for their livelihoods.

However, in some societies, women cannot own forest land, inherit it if their husbands die, or even plant trees on degraded land.

Ms. Najeeb has tirelessly promoted the concept Women should participate in forest management and have equal rights to land and forest resources. When they do this, not only are forests better preserved, but entire communities benefit.

“In general, men are aware of the important role that women play in improving the standard of living of families,” he said. “But it’s also important that they agree that for women to continue to play this role, and even enhance that role, they need secure access to land and forests.”

The FAO added that the activist has long been a driving force in the implementation of the Forest Law and Good Governance in Cameroon, and the development of a new approach on community forestry and the restoration of degraded lands and forests, through of Cameroon Environment (Cameroon). -Eco), which she founded two decades ago.

The organization has worked to inform, train and support women to understand sustainability issues and participate in forest conservation and restoration.

Honoring the heroes of the jungle

The Jungle Champions Award is named in honor of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winning Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, who was also United Nations Messenger of Peace.

CPF established the award in 2012 in his memory to honor inspiring individuals who have helped conserve, restore and sustainably manage forests.

Ms. Najepet met Ms. Maathai in 2009, who personally encouraged her in her work to help women plant trees.

Previous winners of the Wangari Maathai Forestry Championship award include Nepalese Community Forestry Movement leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Mexican environmental activist Martha Isabel ‘Pati’ Ruiz Korzo, and Burundian forestry activist Leonidas Nzigyemba.

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Defending Women’s Right to Manage Land and Forests Wins First Environmental Prize | The Guardian Nigeria News