9 August 2005

Cameroon: New Forest, Wildlife Control Strategy Out

The strategy was officially presented to the public last Friday in Yaounde.

Five silent threats to the sustainable management of the forest have been identified. These are: absence of national control strategy for exploitation of forest and wildlife, approximate understanding of laws and regulations, inadequate organization, competence and lack of equipment; limited involvement of the civil society and business operators in the implementation of the forestry law and poor collaboration with partner administrations.

Considering the devastating effect, all these flaws have had on forest and wildlife activities in Cameroon, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, last Friday, August 05, presented a new strategy to step up the fight and control of improprieties in the forestry and wildlife sector. The strategy covers four major areas of interest: capacity building of control structures, involvement of all stakeholders, information, education and communication, and promotion of good governance.

As explained by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Egbe Achuo Hillman, the publication of the strategy comes within the backdrop of renewed commitment to forge ahead, as fast as possible, toward the exportation of timber and its by-products, harvested from sustainably managed sources by developing a new vision through the Forest-Environment Sector Programme. "Honouring this commitment entails strict control of operations throughout the process", he said.

The control strategy document is the operational translation of legislative and regulatory provisions on the sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources. It takes into account international commitments taken by Cameroon and those still to be taken, especially, adherence to the African Forest Law Enforcement and Governance process (AFLEG), and to the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade action plan (FLEGT).

The forest and wildlife sector for which control will be tightened, stands out as one of the mainstays of national economic development. It represents 11 per cent of the GDP and 20 per cent of revenues in foreign currencies, coming second after the oil sector.

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