CBI was happy to host a team of botanists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, at the CBI/MINFOF Bouamir research station in December 2018. In collaboration with the National Herbarium of Cameroon, IRAD, they are working on a project to determine which areas in Cameroon classify as Tropical Important Plant Area’s, TIPAs. TIPAs are a means to identify a scientifically sound network of key sites for wild plants using the best available data. They were also collecting seeds for seed banking of threatened trees in Cameroon. The seeds are deposited in the Seed Bank at the National Herbarium of Cameroon, IRAD in Yaoundé and in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank in Wakehurst, UK. The Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation program in the world. Their focus is on global plant life faced with the threat of extinction and plants of most use for the future.

At the same time, CBI invited to Bouamir a team from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France, and Ecole Normale Suppérieur, Yaoundé, to undertake forest inventories and both ground-based and air-borne LiDAR survey of the the forest around Bouamir. The data collected will help us understand the micro-habitat of the species we study at CBI, including West African Ebony. This work is part of a large project seeking to monitor seasonal and inter-annual fluctuation of the forest carbon stock and fluxes.