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Palms for the future of Africa

Multidimensional approaches to the socio-economics, resilience and sustainable harvesting of Raphia species in Cameroon

Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) play a central role in the tropics - They also play vital roles in low-income food-deficit countries such as Cameroon (Africa). The RAPHIA project will use interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to describe, characterize and model the economic importance and future trends of Raphia species in Cameroon.


  • Document and quantify the current socio-economic importance of Raphia species in Cameroon.
  • Evaluate the resilience of Raphia species in Cameroon to overharvesting and climate change.
  • Assess recent innovations for the sustainable harvesting of Raphia species and promote Raphia as an important natural capital in Cameroon.


  1. Compile previous knowledge and collect new data on the taxonomy, uses and trade value of Raphia species in Cameroon.
  2. Analyze value chains and estimate future trends of Raphia species products.
  3. Explore spatial genetic structure of selected Raphia species
  4. Evaluate methods to estimate Raphia population sizes and biomass via remote sensing.
  5. Model the response of species to future climate change scenarios.
  6. Assess the potential of innovations for sustainable harvesting of Raphia products.
  7. Produce a general public documentary on the importance of Raphia in Cameroon.
  8. Implement dissemination actions via collaboration with NGOs and local associations.


  1. Increase knowledge about NTFPs as a tool to fight against poverty / food insecurity in Cameroon and Africa.
  2. A solid taxonomic framework of Raphia species.
  3. The general public, professionals and educators gain knowledge about the use and value of Raphia palms.
  4. Understand the threats and resilience of populations to over harvesting, climate change and habitat degradation.
  5. New innovations in the sustainable harvest of Raphia palm wine and grubs.
  6. Effective communication between farmers and government officials on questions related to the sustainable harvest of Raphia in Cameroon.
  7. Submit a large EU Horizon 2020 project of African palm harvest and trade.
  • Appel à projet :
  • Date de démarrage :
    1er janvier 2015
  • Date de clôture :
    31 décembre 2017
  • Responsable
    Thomas Couvreur
  • Etablissement
  • Unités de recherche du réseau
Partenaires scientifiques :

CARD : Cercle d’Assistants en Ressources pour le Développement Durable, Douala, Cameroon
Université de Yaoundé I, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Yaoundé, Cameroon
LIFT : Living Forest Trust, Cameroon
CIFOR : Center for International Forestry Research, International
MINFOF : Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Cameroon
Aarhus University, Denmark
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, United Kingdom
Future Energy Technologies, Aarhus, Danemark