http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/en/state/Cameroon

Institutions, organizations, contacts

National institutions

Permanent Delegation of Cameroon to UNESCO
Maison de l’UNESCO
Bureaux M.2.01 et M2.49
1, rue Miollis
75732 PARIS Cedex 15
dl.cameroun@unesco-delegations.org

National Commission of Cameroon for UNESCO
B.P. 16536
YAOUNDE
Cameroun
cnucameroun@yahoo.fr; owonada1955@yahoo.fr (SG)

Designated authority for the use of the emblem:

This country did not designate yet any national authority in charge of the use of the emblem of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

Read more on the use the emblem

UNESCO’s contacts

UNESCO Office in Yaoundé
Rue 1778, près de la Compagnie de Sécurisation des Diplomates - Bastos
YAOUNDE B.P. 12909
Cameroon
Culture Program officer:
Ndombi, Christian (c.ndombi@unesco.org)

UNESCO headquarters (ICH Section)
Regional officer:
Munier, Caroline (c.munier@unesco.org)

Accredited NGOs located in this country

Name, address and sourceActivities related to ICH
Rural Women Environmental Protection Association - RWEPA
B.P. 463
Sonas Street
Bamenda
North West Province
CAMEROON
Tel.: (+237) 336 18 40

Accreditation request No. 90153: English
Decision-making meeting: 3.GA - 2010

Year of creation: 1996
Domain(s):

- oral traditions and expressions
- social practices, rituals and festive events
- knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe

Safeguarding measures:

- preservation, protection
- promotion, enhancement
- transmission, (non-)formal education
- revitalization

Main countries where active:

Cameroon, Central African Republic, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, United States of America

Objectives:
The general objective of the organisation is to preserve the flora and the fauna and also to protect sacred shrines of the Fondoms of the North west Region of Cameroon. We also encourage the indigenous and tribal peoples of Cameroon to preserve their rich cultural heritage and their identity. Cameroon has over 250 different tribal groups that are living together harmoniously with about the same number of local languages. After the colonnial masters , these tribal peoples adopted two official languages which were French and English. Cameroon then became a bilingual country after independence. All of these merit special attention because RWEPA realized that all of these put together constituted a gold mine for Africa. That is why Cameroon is considered as Africa i Minature.

Rural Women Environmental Protection Association (RWEPA) is a people centered organization working towards the protection of the traditional and cultural rights of the indigenous peoples of the Moghamo area in Batibo Sub Division, Protection of the cultural and intellectual rights of traditional healers from the Widikum tribe, the promotion of environment friendly farming methods, promotion of the education of marginalized communities especially the Fulani girl child, empowerment of the rural woman through the encouragement of income generating activities, and best health practices.

RWEPA’s objective is to sensitize the populations of Cameroon on the need to protect Africa’s vast diversity of both cultural and biological diversity, which is naturally rich in traditional knowledge (TK), practices and innovations. African knowledge systems are linked to a spectrum of economic and cultural systems, ranging from hunting and gathering, to transhumance pastoralism, to traditional agriculture, traditional myths and beliefs.

Activities:
Cameroon has over 250 different tribal groups that are living together harmoniously with about the same number of local languages. After the colonnial masters , these tribal peoples adopted two official languages which were French and English. Cameroon then became a bilingual country after independence. All of these merit special attention because RWEPA realized that all of these put together constituted a gold mine for Africa. That is why Cameroon is considered as Africa in Minature. RWEPA is a network of subgroups whose common goal is to preserve and protect the environment through the promotion of positive cultural values among the rural populace. These concerns the Fons who are the custodians of the traditions and the culture of every group of people. The Fons perform the traditional rituals after they have been initiated traditionally into the village secret societies. RWEPA executives that are made up of sub group presidents , secretaries and treasurers are mostly acting as advicers and educators since most of the time, these custodians of the customs and traditions are not educated and may not be able to read or writeThese cultural festivals help to educate their children that are delivered out of their native land to know the customs and traditions of their ancestors, and also to ensure the sustainability of the various positive culural aspects that are existing in Cameroon. RWEPA has been actively participating at the international level since 1998 till today at various UN conferences to advocate for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in Cameroon. We have been working with ILO and OHCHR IN Geneva to educate the Gouvernment of Cameroon to respect ILO Convention 169 that takes care of the marginalized indigenous groups of Cameroon such as the Pygmies and the Mbororos. RWEPA participated at the recently end COP2 of the UN convention on the promotion and protection of cultural diversity. We educate the rural populace through organising them into village group meetiongs on aspects that shall improve on their livelihood without necessarily affecting their cultures. RWEPA is enjoying the SPECIAL CONSULTATIVE STATUS of the UNECOSOC from Jully 1999 till today( copy of letter attached). RWEPA has also been working with the UNCBD, UNCCD; UNFCCC; and WIPO to promote and protect cultural diversity and identity of tribal and indigenous peoples, fight against global warming, and promote the sustainable use of the natural resources .

In Africa in general, and Cameroon in particular, there have been changes which are creating new opportunities for partnerships between the state and its citizens to protect and promote traditional knowledge and its application to the monitoring and protection of biological diversity.

The General Coordinator of RWEPA participated fully in the elaboration of Law
N  2003/006 of 21 April 2003 laying down safety regulations governing modern biotechnology in Cameroon. In this light, RWEPA organized two seminars in 2004 and 2005, for 23 traditional rulers of the Moghamo Area in Momo Division, and 75 Aldos in Sabga. The objective was to sensitize them on the rules and regulations governing biotechnology in Cameroon, since they are like the custodians of the native laws and customs of the people. These seminar participants have been sensitizing their subjects to practice safe farming methods, thereby protecting the environment and biological diversity.

RWEPA sensitizes the traditional healers of the North West province and Traditional Rulers on the right to their traditional practices and beliefs and educates them on their cultural heritage rights, advising them to use the traditional myths in a way that can help improve their living standards.

Cooperation:
Traditional rulers are an integral part of the executive of RWEPA. within RWEPA, they are schooled on the positive values of preserving and protecting their sacred shrines and cultural artifacts jealously. The sacred shrinses such as those of the Tadkon Area in Batibo are protected and farming withi the shrine is prohibited. RWEPA has been encouraging the twenty two villages of the Moghamo area in Batibo sub division in the North West Region to organise annual festivals every year around the end of year. This brings a lot of tourists and people from the diaspora. We also encourage the various sub groups of the diaspora to always organise cultural events yearly like the MEDA USA SUBGROUP ,the Nigerian sub groups, the Bamako Sub Group and the fifteen national sub groups spread over the National territory. These cultural festivals help to educate their children that are delivered out of their native land to know the customs and traditions of their ancestors, and also to ensure the sustainability of the various positive culural aspects that are existing in Cameroon. RWEPA has been actively participating at the international level since 1998 till today at various UN conferences to advocate for the promotion and protection of the rights of indigenous peoples in Cameroon. We have been working with ILO and OHCHR IN Geneva to educate the Gouvernment of Cameroon to respect ILO Convention 169 that takes care of the marginalized indigenous groups of Cameroon such as the Pygmies and the Mbororos. RWEPA participated at the recently end COP2 of the UN convention on the promotion and protection of cultural diversity.