17 April 2006

Cameroon: West : Atlas to Ease Forest Management

A one-day seminar on sustainable forestry management, organised by Global Forest Watch, an international NGO, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife took place in the CAPLAMI Conference hall on March 15, 2006.

The seminar which brought together 36 stakeholders in the forest sector, including NGOs and economic promoters in the forest sector and officials of the Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, was also aimed at sensitising managers and orientating national opinion on GFW new product "Interactive Forestry Atlas of Cameroon".

Opening the workshop, the Provincial Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife Mme Mbah Grace said Cameroon's forests are some of the country's most valuable resource and warned that if not very well conserve may disappear completely. She said the situation has aroused anxiety in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, and there has been substantial increase and change in policies, with agreements signed between GFW and MINFOF.

Presenting the new product "Interactive Forestry Atlas of Cameroon" Mr. Nsoyuni Ayenika Lawrence, consultant with Global Forest Watch, also resource person at the seminar said the Atlas was a unique initiative in that it gathers forestry data and information and presents them in a visual manner . He said the data and information pertaining to the forestry sector, collected through the use of modern tools such as RS and GIS, will have to contribute significantly to the improvement of the management and rational, sustainable and responsible use of forest in Cameroon.

He emphasised that by contributing to the Atlas, the Government of Cameroon, through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife confirmed its commitment to increase transparency and good governance in the Forest sector. Mr. Nsoyuni Ayenika Lawrence invited all parties concern in the exploitation of the Atlas, to first of all recognise that the product has a positive vision in improving the forest sector and management.

Mr. Nsoyuni revealed that Global Forest Watch in year 2000 published a document entitled "An over view of logging in Cameroon aimed at improving the forest sector. The Interactive Forestry Atlas of Cameroon includes a map which will help users know areas of interest, support in field missions, monitoring and enforcement of forest laws and regulations, in the construction of farm-to-market roads, in carving out boundaries in forest zones, etc.

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