Cameroon now has a logotype label that will be affixed on wood products from the country destined for the European Union markets. The label, conceived through an ACP FLEGT Support programme within the framework of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement signed between Cameroon and the European Union, was presented in Yaounde on Monday January 28 by its technical committee at a ceremony chaired by the Secretary General in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Denis Koulagna Koutou.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Secretary General said the conception of the logo was in line with the Cameroon-European Union Voluntary Partnership Agreement which ensures that only legal timber are exported to the European Union market. Cameroon ratified the agreement in 2011 and it was put in place by the two parties since December 16, 2011. "This label like other actions meant to effectively implement the government-European Union agreement notably the certificate of legality, FLEGT authorisation and control manual comes to boost government's engagement in ensuring sound forest governance," he said. The eight-month project, he added, was implemented in a participatory approach by government ministries, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and the European Union.
According to the project's Coordinator, Samuel Ebia Ndongo, as well as the Technical Assistant of the project, Désiré Loumou, "it will consist in putting on each wood that leaves Cameroon with a kind of stamp with label, "FLEGT-Cameroon" which will help in identifying timber from Cameroon in the market. It will increase the competitiveness of our products and therefore shows the country's compliance with the legislation." The overall objective, they noted, is to ensure a sustainable management of the country's forest and the effective eradication of illegal logging in the country. "There is a legality verification system that has been put in place through which there is the traceability of timber from the forest to the market. At each step of the process, you can certify that this timber comes from this forest and has been produced in respect with all the legality needed of forest products. A decision from the minister will institutionalise the label as well as a promotion plan in Cameroon and abroad," they explained.