It is the first documentary about a successful example of sustainable management and corporate social responsibility program related to Prunus africana
Genetic variation in the afromontane tree Prunus africana
, an endangered medicinal species.
Cameroon earned US$700,000 from exporting Prunus africana in 1999, but Western pharmaceutical companies who bought it earned US$200m.
In the case of Prunus africana, Cameroon can supply approximately 200 tonnes a year sustainably.
Because yields from his staple crop, maize, are no longer measured in bags, but tonnes, he has also been able to set aside a small area for another longer-term venture, Prunus africana, a native tree which is the source of a drug used to treat enlarged prostate condition in men.
SMALL-HOLDER farmers in Africa are being encouraged to plant a native tree, Prunus africana to save it from extinction as awareness of its potential to treat prostate conditions in older men spreads.
Prostate-preserving plant imperiled An African tree, Prunus africana, faces extinction due to demand for a medicinal extract produced from its bark.
A few years ago, Prunus africana was appended to the Appendix II list of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which allows only licensed trade of products from the tree.
The commercial harvesting of the bark of Prunus africana, a multiple-use tree species with local and international economic and medicinal value, has resulted in serious conservation problems in Cameroon, according to a recent study by Tony Cunningham and Fonki Mbenkum published in the People and Plants working papers by the UN Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation (Unesco), through its Division of Ecological Sciences.
The bark or its processed extract is then exported to Europe (mainly to France and Italy), where it is used in the preparation of medicines, states the report, which is entitled Sustainability of Harvesting Prunus africana Bark in Cameroon: A medicinal plant in international trade.
It is not a secret that Jonathan Leakey has been exporting the products of the Prunus Africana
to the European market for the last 20 years," says an unhappy Dr Newton Kulundu.