Emmanuel Wirsiy is Director of Cameroon Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW). He holds a Masters Degree in Environmental Restoration and BSc in Environmental Science. He has been practicing forest conservation since 1998. In 2007, Emmanuel obtained a Certificate in Environmental Leadership from the University of California, Berkeley. He has Certificates from distance learning in Agroforestry obtained from Trees for the Future USA and Conflict Analysis obtained from United State Institute of Peace-USA. He completed a one-month certificate course for environmental changemakers from the University of Bern in July 2013, the Global Environments Summer Academy, and a 20-day certificate course on Creative Environmental Leadership offered by USA based Creative Action Institute from 2016 to 2018. These trainings are helping Emmanuel function better.
Emmanuel was a green page columnist from 1998 to 2000 in the The Post Newspaper producing articles on forest conservation in Cameroon with funds from German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ). Between 2000 and 2003 he worked with the Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund in the Mefou National Park as Education Officer. In 2005 with funds from New England Biolabs Foundation-USA (NEBF), Emmanuel did environmental sensitization in radios and schools in Yaounde about fighting against deforestation and poaching. In 2006 with funds from Rufford Foundation-UK, Emmanuel worked in the Deng Deng Forest to fight poaching of gorillas and other wildlife and deforestation. Between 2006 and 2008, Emmanuel worked to protect the rights and interest of forest communities through forest royalties with funds from Rainforest Foundation. In 2008 and 2009, he worked to protect the tropical forest from destruction by biofuel investors in Cameroon with funds from Levinson Foundation-USA and IUCN Small Grant. In 2009 and 2010, Emmanuel worked with schools and communities in Limbe, Cameroon to create awareness on the importance of tropical forest ecosystem with funds from NEBF. In 2011, he won the World Bank’s Development Market Place Competition on forest governance in Cameroon as project leader of “Oku Community Forest Management for Benefit Sharing”. 7,000 trees of Prunus africana were planted in the Oku Community Forest by all forest stakeholders and 166 persons were trained on bee farming, who were provided with 200 beehives. Another project funded by Both ENDS engaged Emmanuel to carry out forest education with students and to create a forest stakeholder platform in the Oku Community Forest. Emmanuel learned that apiculture is the best way to engage local people in forest management. Emmanuel was project leader for the PPI.3-IUCN project where he carried out five bee-farming trainings for 181 persons, planted 6,600 Prunus trees in the Kilum Forest and carried out sensitization to build nature lovers and change negative behaviours towards the forest. Emmanuel also led studies in July 2014 to determine the quantity of honey and wax produced in the Kilum-Ijim Forest and is project leader for the Man and Nature – France project funded by French Development Agency that is developing the green value chain for Oku White Honey through organization of bee farmers to cooperatives and providing them with technical and management trainings, equipment and material to function better.
From 2012 to 2018, under Emmanuel’s leadership and technical support, CAMGEW planted 75,000 bee-loving trees in the Kilum-Ijim Forest and trained 1,018 bee farmers in honey production and bees wax extraction. He distributed more than 895 beehives to trained bee farmers and organized more than 1000 bee farmers into five Oku White Honey cooperatives located around Kilum-Ijim Forest and created a CAMGEW honey shop in Bamenda to convert bee farmers’ honey to money in town. 772 farmers have been trained on agroforestry techniques. As of December 2018, around 1,580 women have been trained on business skills and 1,325 women received financial assistance in the form of loans. 24 teenage boys and girls have been trained in dress making, shoe making and hair dressing. CAMGEW has also developed three tree nurseries with more than 150,000 trees.