Good People Good Work
Prince Nasser Raoul Kemajou: Protecting Human Rights and Nature in Cameroon (In Bassa)      
Today’s Good People, Good Works will be presented in Bassa, English and French, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

The organization I’m head of delivers (results) because since we have popularized environmental issues in Cameroon, Cameroonians have become aware of protecting their environment and to paying attention to their daily activities.

Welcome, green viewers, to this week’s edition of Good People, Good Works, featuring Prince Nasser Raoul Kemajou, founder and president of the Organization of Human Rights and Citizens’ Protection, a non-profit group based in Douala, Cameroon. Now let’s meet Prince Kemajou and find out more about the Organization’s fine work, which, besides citizen advocacy, includes building awareness of environmental issues among communities in Cameroon.

Our main goal is firstly to promote human rights; that is, to inform, to involve citizens in respecting the fundamental rights, as defined by the United Nations since 1948, in its 30 Articles (of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). And also, with regards to different conventions, we have more than 300 international conventions regarding the protection of nature; that is to say, the environment.

We have taken action to be able to sensitize this population to get a lot more involved, with the respect for nature and the preservation of nature, of the environment. And we get involved directly in the fight for the protection of the environment and the promotion of human rights within a universal framework to inform, to sensitize and to always organize conferences so as to involve everyone in the respect for human life and the respect for humanity.

For decades, our biosphere has been abused in many ways. Practicing environmental conservation is crucial to helping ensure the continued existence of all species, including our own.

And as I say very well, the time is so short that really everything can disappear because everything in nature that breathes is bound to disappear. We try to instill, to sensitize, to inform the entire population to become aware of the preservation of the environment and also of our animal species on the brink of extinction. The challenge is vast.

As I say, my first priority is to fight against the destruction of mangroves and also encouraging the population to get involved in afforestation, be it in humid zones, or arid zones, especially arid and semi-arid areas.

Climate change is drastically changing life in Cameroon in many ways. Water is precious and like many nations in Africa, Cameroon is facing drought conditions that are leading to food shortages, particularly in Northern Cameroon. Given the extremes caused by an increasingly hot planet, flooding and other natural catastrophes are becoming more commonplace in the country.

The red (danger) zones with respect to climate change in Cameroon are the northern and the western regions. And the western region has many problems, (such as) soil instability and also dryness. And the north has two problems, hurricanes and tornadoes, plus dryness as well.

Already, the agricultural fields will be very much affected. And if you also look at what can happen in the month of August, the water levels increase nowadays in our rivers, and also in the sea. That is to say that we can experience really very severe flooding in the months of the rainy season.

And that’s why I say, as a wakeup call, that the government should evacuate these populations in indigenous zones like Manoka, Swelaba and Tonde and so on and in Bonaléa, which I visited, because every day when we go to the sea, we observe that the water has advanced more than 20 meters, so it’s very serious. And I think that those are the multiple signs of climate change.

And global warming is a global mutation like tornadoes, winds, storms and all those catastrophes have taken a different turn since 1987 and it’s getting worse. When we speak of ice melting, glacial melting, it is a phenomenon that we, who are in the coastal zone, very near the Atlantic Ocean (see)… If you go to certain islands today, many islands in the coastal areas are about to disappear.

Increasing the number of trees has been identified as one of the important steps to mitigating global warming. The benefits of having more trees is practically endless and include helping to maintain biodiversity, lessening the chances of flooding, and providing shade on hot days.

I think that every citizen of the world should respect trees, knowing that trees are health, trees are life.

I think that if every citizen on Earth, seven billion people, everyone planted a tree, it should maximize the reduction of global warming and also maintain the soil in eroded areas. We have to get the population involved in the development and the awareness of where to plant trees, such as what you have seen on the table, because here we have the seeds of the plant called the China Tree. The China Tree has a fast growth rate whereby in one year, it can grow and become more than two meters high in less than two years.

We have already put in place an educational program in schools; that is, “One Child, One Tree, Double Present for Children.” And every year we offer, in all of Cameroon and also in Africa in general; that is to say, we have already gone to Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), to Gabon, to Chad and also to Senegal, to establish the concept of plant distribution in schools.

We have diverse activities; firstly with regards to the environment, we fight against the destruction of the marine ecosystems; that is, the mangroves. Today, we don’t even have 1,500 kilometers of mangroves due to their destruction. And when we talk about mangroves, it’s a humid zone that has to be preserved because that is where fish reproduce.

And that is also where other animals reproduce like birds, etc., etc. There are species today that can no longer be found, for example, the eagle. You know that the eagle often lives in the mangroves’ trees. For today’s generation, rare are those who experience (seeing) the eagle alive. They only see the eagle in schoolbooks.

I’m Mr. Manish Parihar. I’m a member of this organization, and my job is to sensitize the people about environmental protection and human rights in Cameroon. This year, we are going to give 60,000 seeds to the schools for planting. So they are going to plant these seeds and hopefully, we will be having a lot of trees in, in the country, and this will be good for the environment.

It was in 2008 that this tree that you see in front of you was planted. At the time, it was not more than 45 centimeters. Look at the height of the tree. It’s already more than three meters high. You see this little girl? She participated in the 2008 ceremony. And now, today, she grows with the tree, and the tree is taller than she is.

Trees also absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. In just one year, a tree can take in all the carbon emitted by a car that has traveled nearly 42,000 kilometers.

We should review the management of our vehicles; that is to say, if you keep accepting used vehicles of an advanced age and the cargo ships, it’s not a way to fight against global warming because the coastal zone has a strong concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, more that 80%, contrary to the south, which does not even have 15%. The north and the west, the center of the west, is at the summit of Bamiléké Mountain.

It’s true that they also have a problem with unbalanced soil and also pockets of gas. The amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere by a single motorcycle exceeds that of 100 new cars. Thus, it’s extremely catastrophic for Douala. And the population of Douala will be victim of many types of illnesses caused by those emissions of sulfurous carbon residues.

This coal can provoke pneumonia, stress and memory disruption. This is the reason why you see that today a majority of children sometimes suffer from trance states. Trance states are indeed signs due to the coal and sulfur residues that are too highly concentrated in those areas where the vulnerable people are women and especially the youths.

Finally, let’s hear from a local school principal about the benefits of trees planted on the school grounds.

I am flattered, really, by your presence here today, by the presence of Prince Nasser. It’s almost been two years since he offered us, you see, those trees that you see here, and already we have some positive effects. See now we are not very far from the shade, and imagine what it will be like next year. It will cool the environment in the area where the children go regularly… to cling to them sometimes, you see. When it’s very hot, it’s necessary for them, you see, to get a bit of fresh air, under all those trees. So isn’t this their happiness?

It’s for the future; it’s not only for those who are here today. Some will not be here next year, but the trees will remain. And these trees will serve a purpose, you see, to others and will serve a purpose for future generations.

I take my hat off to Prince Kemajou and I encourage him to continue on the same wave. He should not limit his project to this school only; other schools in the whole territory also need this. Really, it’s a beneficial act and we truly thank him. Thank you.

Our sincere thanks Prince Nasser Raoul Kemajou, Manish Parihar and members of the Organization of Human Rights and Citizens’ Protection for informing Cameroonians why environmental conservation is so important and promoting the planting of trees in communities. May your healing work continue to bless the people of Cameroon with ever more shade and comfort.

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Wonderful viewers, thank you for your company on today’s program. Up next is The World Around Us after Noteworthy News. May our beautiful planet be filled with love and compassion, transmitting harmonious, peaceful energy to the whole universe.

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