Stella Asaha is a Cameroonian Social Forester with a strong social research background in forest and rural livelihoods. She received her BSc from the University of Calabar, Nigeria in 1996. Stella strongly believes that conservation and development can be achieved without compromising each other if people at all levels are considered in decision making concerning their immediate environment (forest) and also if the rural poor are given meaningful alternatives for livelihoods and sustenance.
Since 2007 she has been the coordinator of the non-profit Forests, Resources and People (FOREP), which she cofounded in 2004 with three other entrepreneurial Cameroonian scientists, including a forester, socio-economist, and botanist. It is here that CREE got involved to support this budding network of scientists in the growth of FOREP. With this start, Stellla got engaged in snail farming for conservation and livelihoods, a project that is carried out in the South west of Cameroon, primarily due to support from CREE. With its passion to help rural women develop and better their lives, the project is gearing towards the formation of a cooperative for women snail farmers of the Mount Cameroon region.
Through her NGO she looks forward to continue working with rural communities, channel their ideas to the higher levels, make their voices to be heard and also contribute ideas for policy formulation and amendments. Her activities as a researcher and FOREP coordinator has inspired and trained many young persons in the area rural development, forests and natural resource management. With close to 20 years of working in various domains she decided to take a step forward in her education. With an Award from the British High Commission, Yaounde, Cameroon through the Cameroon Women Scholarship Scheme, she is in a process of completing an MSc in Environment and Natural Resource Managment at the Pan African Institute for Development, West Africa in Buea, Cameroon.
Update: after considerable success and growth from our global field partners, CREE is happy to say that our leaders and institutions are now more self sufficient and we have closed down our charitable operations. We will remain an information clearinghouse for lessons learned on empowering communities for positive conservation and livelihoods outcomes, so please get in touch with us.