6 October 2006

Cameroon: Urgent Need to Protect Mangrove Ecosystems

It was very clear at the Yaounde Conference Centre last Friday, September 29, when experts in forest management met to draw up a policy and strategy for the management of mangrove ecosystems, that the later has an enviable role to play in sustainable development.

The Secretary General at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Dr. Madi Ali, who presided at the workshop, did not fail to recall this capital role. "The Cameroonian Mangrove ecosystem covers an estimated area of 400,000 hectares and harbours important timber and non timber forest products as well as fauna", he said. He underscored the role these resources play in protecting the coastal regions from floods and erosion and regretted the devastating effects of human activities on them.

Just how these nefarious activities can be contained to save the Cameroonian Mangrove ecosystem is the major point of worry. With the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, government, through the ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, came up with a project code name: "Cameroon Mangrove Biodiversity Conservation and Participatory Management". The objective of the project was to assist the Cameroon government in the definition of tools that can contribute to the management and use of Mangrove biodiversity for the interest of local population in a bid to strengthen food security, fight against poverty and promote sustainable management of natural resources.

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