3 February 2013

Cameroon: Students Sensitised on Wetlands Protection

Activities to mark the World Wetlands Day in the littoral began on February 1 to end February 14. The Littoral Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (Minepded) have been holding a series of awreness-raising and educative activities that include video projections of some Ramsar sites in Cameroon, workshops and a sensitization march across part of the city of Douala.

Speaking during a workshop in Bonanjo under the theme "Wetlands protect our water", the Regional Delegate of Minepded, Sidi Bare, told students of the University of Douala among participants from the civil society and government that government has made studies towards the declaration of more wetlands as Ramsar sites. Despite the numerous wetlands of national and international importance, only seven are recognized as Ramsar sites in Cameroon since it ratified the Ramsar Convention on January 13, 2006.

The sensitization workshop which was facilitated by Dr. Ndongo Din of the University of Douala underlined the importance of wetlands in the fight against erosion, flooding, nutrition, pollution as well as in water reservation and water quality regulation. He decried attitudes that dry up water and degrade wetlands like farming, bushfires, deforestation, urban waste deposits, occupation by invasive species like water hyacinth, among others.

The population around Ramsar sites in Cameroon like the Lake Chad (Far North), flood plains of Waza Logone (Far North), crater lake of Barombi Mbo (South West), Sangha River (South East), Rio Del Rey estuary, Ntem River (South) and Ebogo humid zone as well as other wetlands yet to be considered under the Ramsar Protocol like the Douala estuary were called upon to conserve wetlands, work towards their restoration. Meanwhile other actions like compensation, education of parties involved and the creation of further Ramsar sites were considered important to fight the ills.

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