Build a Strong Association of Environmental NGOs Operating in Cameroon
Environmental NGOs operating in Cameroon could consider organizing a national association with regional and local branches that can foster networking, synergy, and the development of younger NGOs. These steps will enhance the sector’s credibility. In addition, an association might help the sector to attract additional long-term funding and collaborators, since donors sometimes find it difficult to identify or screen local NGOs and might be able to rely on an association to provide relevant information. Such an association might also work toward forming an intermediate NGO (Roberts, 2000), whose purpose is to mediate between funders and smaller NGOs and provide them with training, or the association might undertake this role itself. An association could also help to cleanse the sector of briefcase NGOs, encourage environmental NGOs to comply with local and international norms, serve as a platform for proposing reforms in environmental law and policy, and facilitate the relationship between NGOs and the state.
Our intent in this book has been to provide a clear portrait of Cameroon’s environmental NGOs, including both their strengths and problems, as well as useful suggestions for a way forward. We hope that environmental NGOs will both contribute to civil society and work with government to influence national policy, leading to rational use of natural resources and protection of the environment in a country that is paradoxically endowed with enormous resources but plagued by environmental problems and poverty.