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Project co-financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Sisley-d'Ornano Foundation, and the Franklinia Foundation for 3 years (2020 - 2023).




Support for pro-biodiversity value chains as an innovative model combining conservation and economic development


Linking the conservation of biodiversity and the economic development of the populations living around the Dja Biosphere Reserve and the Bénoué National Park in Cameroon is the ambition of the BIONAT project. The approach aims to involve all territorial and national stakeholders with a role to play in the identified value chains, from collection and production, to processing and marketing, as well as the management of territories and species. 

Those "pro-biodiversity" value chains aim to create synergies between the economy and biodiversity as follows:

  • The products of nature are becoming a sustainable source of income for people living around protected areas (PAs). These populations develop an economic interest in protecting PAs and the biodiversity they contain.
  • By associating the development of value chains with conservation activities that have a positive impact on biodiversity: the populations commit themselves through their practices (sustainable resource management plan, agroecological practices, agroforestry, etc.) and by getting involved in conservation activities (anti-poaching patrols, bio-monitoring, protection of emblematic habitats, etc.). PA managers and local authorities are interested in access to resources and their sustainable management. End-users are aware of the issues at stake and make the value chains more dynamic.  


The BIONAT project


The BIONAT project is implemented by 2 NGOs (CERAF-Nord and TFRD) and a social enterprise (TFFC) from Cameroon, and is coordinated by Noé.

The project partners focus on the structuring of sustainable value chains of natural ingredients:

  • Shea and honey on the outskirts of Bénoué National Park;
  • Cocoa and other non-timber forest products (moabi nuts, wild mango, mbalaka, etc.) around the Dja Biosphere Reserve.

The specific objectives of the project are to :

1. Enhance the value of these forest and agroforestry products by guaranteeing organic quality: develop resources as processed products (shea butter, moabi, mbalaka oil, cocoa juice, etc.), with low ecological impact and high added value. Raising the quality of all these products is a major challenge of the project, as well as guaranteeing this quality. This will involve developing, through the structuring of producers and collectors’ groups, technical training, investment in equipment, the establishment of specifications and resource management plans:

  • A pilot organic cocoa value chain with a guarantee of forest protection in the Dja;
  • An organic shea value chain in the Bénoué;
  • Increase the processing capacities of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) already collected.

2. Scaling up the marketing of Cameroon's natural forest products. Through the implementation of innovative marketing approaches: iterative prototyping of cosmetics best suited for urban consumers, support to emerging social enterprises for the processing and marketing of products with high ecological value, etc.

3. Capitalizing and sustaining innovation: transferring new capacities to project partners in the field, disseminating results and sustaining innovations through community involvement from the design stage, and the dialogue with public and private stakeholders in the pro-biodiversity sectors developed by the project.

BIONAT carto en 01

The expected outputs of the BIONAT project are :

  • At least 2 sustainable value chains (Cocoa, NTFPs) commercialized on the Cameroonian national market, economically profitable and generate positive socio-environmental impacts;
  • At least 600 producers, of which more than 60% are women, trained and organized, and develop products according to organic sustainability standards;
  • At least 65 t of products from pro-biodiversity value chains sold on the national and international markets;
  • A range of Cameroonian natural cosmetic products on the market;
  • The processing and marketing enterprises supported are approaching financial self-sufficiency;
  • Long-lasting links with urban and/or international buyers;
  • At least 15,000 people reached by the awareness campaigns and 100,000 € turnover generated by the sale of "organic" products on the Cameroonian market;
  • A series of key innovations tested and disseminated (organic cocoa specifications with a guaranteed forest protection, innovative products, practices, marketing etc.);
  • Civil society and economic actors contribute to the future institutional and professional recognition of organic agriculture in Cameroon;
  • The hypothesis that organic agriculture can be used as a leverage for better biodiversity conservation in two PAs is being tested.




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