Dieudonne Tantoh Nforba, popularly known as Farmer Tantoh, was born in Nkambe, a rural community of the North West region of Cameroon. He became very interested in environmental and agricultural activities while a teenager in high school, thus earning him the nickname “Farmer”. After high school, he studied agriculture at the regional college of agriculture in Bambilib, Cameroon and graduated with an HND in 2004, specializing in spring water catchment conservation and agroforestry. In 2007, he was selected as the first participant from Africa, in the Tahoe Baikal Institute, to study the watersheds of the world. Later on, he also studied organic farming practices and horticulture /landscaping at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Currently, Farmer Tantoh has been elected an Ashoka Fellow in Washington DC. He will work in Cameroon to protect, conserve and build spring water catchment facilities that will provide clean water to poor communities.
My pledge as Ambassador:
As FN Ambassador, I have expectations to achieve a number of objectives within my region as well as I will be expecting FN to assist in achieving these objectives.
- To nurse and plant 25000 trees annually in various communities (churches, schools, private residence /farms, hospitals, Fondoms (a Fon is Cameroon royalty; a regional ruler. A fondom is his area), municipal councils and water catchment areas) all over the North West Region of Cameroon.
- To encourage young people to plant trees by disseminating information at sporting events such as football tournaments, marathons, cycling etc. Each participant /spectator would sign an undertaking to plant at least 5 trees.
- To sensitize the nation through TV /radio on the importance of planting trees, hence fighting climate change.
To work in the whole of the North West region of Cameroon with both rural and urban communities, encouraging them to plant trees. The trees to be planted shall be classified into these categories (forest trees, trees of economic importance like fruit trees. Agro forestry trees to be integrated into farming systems, ornamental trees/shrubs).
To encourage individuals, farming groups, churches, environmental clubs in rural communities to plant agro forestry trees, forest trees, water catchment conservation trees in catmint areas etc.
To plant mostly ornamental trees, grafted fruit trees, shrubs and shade trees in an urban area (Bamenda where I live), individual homes, churches, and schools environmental clubs shall be encouraged to plant trees.
- In order to obtain seedlings, I will work with local nursery growers. They shall be encouraged to grow seedlings using local available seeds in their communities. They shall be given nursery materials like polythene pots, wheel barrows, spades, watering cans, seeds etc.
- I shall collect half of the seedlings and transport to communities in need for planting while the remaining half goes to the nursery grower where he/she can sell as their own benefit to raise income for themselves.
- I shall create more awareness through national and local radio and TV stations on the importance of planting trees. Through the media, interested individuals and groups shall contact me to come to their communities to work with them.
- I shall also work in partnership with the Regional delegation of ministry of forestry and wild life and also CAMTRACC (Cameroon traditional Rulers against Climate Change). This is an NGO founded by all the traditional rulers to fight climate change by planting trees in their various Fondoms, conserve existing natural forest, etc.
- Above all, one of my best strategies is to involve youth to plant trees through sporting events. Example, Organising an Environment Football Tournaments and Marathons, whereby every participant and observer will sign an undertaking to plant at least 5 trees.