Covered on its southern half by the Congo Basin Forest, Cameroon is an important reserve of global biodiversity and home to hundreds of endemic species. The biological diversity in Cameroon is of international significance and ranks as one of the most important in Africa in terms of variety, quantity, ecosystems and genetic resources. With a high rate of endemism for different taxa of flora, Cameroon ranks 4th in Africa in terms of the richness of its flora. The country is home to 92% of Africa's ecosystems, and has extremely high levels of biodiversity, for instance containing 8,300 species of identified plants. Of these plants, very little information is available in non-proprietary digital platforms. Before our first wikipedia project in 2016, there was only 7 encyclopedia entries of endemic plants of Cameroon in French and 200 articles in English. On August 2017, we increase the number of articles up to more than 330 articles. Very few digital databases of plants have photos. This project aims to increase the availability of data on endemic plants through census, identification and open access dissemination of data on endemic plants. As far as possible with available books, the plants will be described as well as their ethnobotanical characteristics (food uses, medical, traditions, legends ...) and, hopefully, accompanied by a color photograph.
Titled #Wiki-agripo 1.0, the aim is to share and spread documented information on plants of Cameroon through scholarships and group-editing:
- Publication of more than 500 endemic plants on Wikipedia as part of a dedicated portal with a collaborative action with students in botanic.
- Taking photographs of accessible plants with a focus of endemic plants in the Southwest province of Cameroon.
- Mobilisation of documented information to on-line encyclopedia articles in French on endemic plants in Cameroon.
This project is implemented by a partnership between a local group, volunteers with interested students in botanical, ecological, ethnobotanical or agricultural sciences. The page for the initiative on the French Wikipedia : w:fr:Portail:Plantes_du_Cameroun
This project has been founded around the principles of engaged students, sustainability, and culturally appropriate knowledge. The available educational knowledge shall be used to build free-use biodiversity database with a focus on delivering sustainable and appropriate knowledge-based information. We anticipate that this project will directly produce information on more than 200 endemic plants. It will also have long-term benefits to countless individuals interested on biodiversity in the Congo basin and beyond. Organized into a coherent and dynamic whole, this project supports learning goals by creating strategies to link education to field practices. Students will apply the knowledge contained in their courses to practical opportunities that arise from this exercise. The topics covered include a number of uses opportunities. For example, we plan to place specific attention on medical uses of plants. We anticipate strong linkages to be created between students and national park or botanical garden teams that will expose students to current best practice approaches in botanical research. We want to establish networks with engaged students where they will take a lead role in supporting the sharing of information on biodiversity.
This progressive African initiative, titled #Wiki-agripo will help to :
- Support free acces documentation by a reliable encyclopedic information on tropical plants.
- Raise awareness about hundreds of endemic and threatened species.
Tell us how you'll carry out your project. Be sure to answer the following questions:
1. Are you doing one editathon or training or a series of editathons or trainings?
With the technical support of Wikipedia contributors, Agripo (Agriculteurs Professionnels du Cameroun), headquartered in Tayap (Nyong-et-Kéllé), will organise, from the 20th October to the 20th November 2017, encyclopedic writing, photography and digital publishing collaborative editing under the theme (Plants of Cameroon).
2. How will you let your community know about the event? Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions.
- Create a simple social media communication to share the results
- Scholars’ facility for endemic plants data. AGRIPO will involve 10 students of botanical, ecological, ethnobotanical or agricultural sciences from Cameroon universities in a collaborative editing to build free-use knowledge accessible on endemic plants in French language.These students could travel to Limbe botanic garden or Korup National Park to take pictures. This will offer wide ranging learning opportunities, for instance in plant identification and verification skills for students (Latin names, uses, etc.).
- Wikipedia Development by articles on plants of Cameroon. AGRIPO will improve online knowledge and information database on endemic plants in the French version of Wikipedia.
3. Do you have experienced Wikimedia editors to lead the event?
The project will be organised by a national team who centralise the content, mobilise writers and communicate on common sharing information, and will organise the social media visibility. The project will be based at AGRIPO in Cameroon, a professional organisation active in rural development activities in Cameroon, but well-known at international level. The organising team will be responsible for mobilisation actions and social media surrounding the project. The organising team - supported by an international team of Wikipedia activists - will encourage contributors to write and improve articles on plants of Cameroon during the project period. They will lead the scholarship selection.
4. Do participants have the equipment or skills needed to participate and contribute high quality content? If not, how will you support them?
This project constitutes a continuation and expansion of a successful program already in place (Wikivillages), on which the basic processes, networks, and groundwork are based to advance development and knowledge issues by involving specific students in a focused initiative.
5. How will you engage participants after the event(s)?
Set up and rollout of the local editing process
- Set up monitoring processes to improve contributions
- Dissemination of results
- Provide and distribute scholarships to students
6. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this project?
On this aim, the global activities will be:
Project management and administration
- Maintain the Wikipedia page of Plants of Cameroon: w:fr:Portail:Plantes_du_Cameroun
- Set up documentation of best practices (in particular with regards to what constitutes a good botanic photo)
- Create communication systems for reports and evaluation metrics
- Monitor statistics and entries
- Maintain communication with partners including relevant staff at Wikimedia Foundation
- Evaluate the project as a whole
Budget and administration
- Build and operate financial structure and control
- Full financial report and governance.
French Wikipedia are to host the newly created articles. New illustrations will enrich Wikimedia Commons. Target readership is first the Cameroon people, second African readers, third World Wide Readers..
- Data on species in the country made freely accessible online
- Development of national biodiversity information portal
Fit with strategy
Primary goal would be to increase content on Cameroon and tropical plants. The secondary goal would clearly be improving quality, in improving the coverage of Cameroon, which is currently fairly limited. From 20th of May 2016, the French Wikipedia features raise more than 3,000 articles related to Cameroon, around 330 of which are about tropical plants. However, the biodiversity of Cameroon is very rich. Cameroon has around 8,000 identified endemic plants, which play a vital role in the importance of Congo Basin. Cameroon cannot be documented without including its specific biodiversity.
So Wiki-agripo is a local initiative that hopes to rebalance the amount of visual, contemporary coverage there is of Cameroon on Wikipedia. The initiative will heighten awareness of the biodiversity issues, and drive home the concept that Wikipedia is not just something to passively consume, provided by the “West" and “media areas”, but that it is locally relevant, and can reflect local reality if local people contribute.
Although the focus will also be on improving quality on the ground in the country. The project hopes to visually harness some of that rich biodiversity to add to the understanding of subjects that relate to the deep part of Cameroon.
This project supports the key organisational objectives of the Wikimedia Foundation in:
- driving awareness in African countries of Wikipedia as a resource,
- lowering barriers for contribution by ordinary people across Africa,
- providing guidelines to ensure quality submissions,
- providing a large amount of previously unavailable, high-quality, culturally specific material on a universal practice.
Measures of success
The initiative will welcome students from Cameroon (and relevant students association).
Measures of success for the Wiki-agripo initiative
- Minimum of 200 pages created from across the country
- Minimum of 10 uploaders from across the country
- reuse on Wikimedia projects of at least 10%
Measures of success at the organizing team
- A grant request is accepted successfully, and a report is produced according to the request
- A list of improvements is proposed for a following initiative
- The project are handed out before February 2018.
What resources do you have? Include information on who is organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).
Other supporting people
Additional resources that will benefit the project and ensure its initial success is that it:
- Will be operated by AGRIPO in Cameroon which has a well-known history of supporting rural development activities through its projects.
- With the project managed by AGRIPO, it can take advantage of an established track record in managing grants and partnerships with international donors and partners like United Nations or WWF with proof of satisfaction.
- The project will benefit of the notoriety of AGRIPO in the country.
What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense and include a total amount.
- Project budget table
|Number of units
|Follow up and awards
- Total cost of project
- 3 400 euros
- Total amount requested
- 2 000 USD
- Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
- Operational cost of this project is funded by utilising existing resources at AGRIPO.
Community are notified by:
- Done The project page w:fr:Projet:Plantes endémiques du Cameroun with the launch of a related scholarship program.
- Done Information twitted, facebooked, emailed and posted in Agripo website on September 1st, 2017
Community members are encouraged to endorse your project request here!
- Anthere (talk) 20:21, 21 August 2017 (UTC)
- I am confident in the ability of the organizing team and supporting people to complete the project in due time. I think the project will really improve the accessibility of plant biodiversity information for Cameroonese people, especially students and contribute to improve the awareness to nature conservation. Cymbella (talk) 18:21, 23 August 2017 (UTC)