3 January 2014

Cameroon: Carbon Market Woes Blunt Prospects for Cameroon CDM Projects

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"We in Africa need to cushion current CDM efforts - such as integrated bio-gas production in countries like Kenya - from ongoing and future shocks, instead of letting (the CDM) die at a time when it is beginning to function," said Robert Gichange from Kenya at an event organised by the PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance on the sidelines of the Warsaw conference.

Some representatives of civil society groups said the creation of a special fund to support CDM projects - especially in Africa where they are suffering setbacks after a slow start - was imperative to revive investor interest.

"The private sector needs to be encouraged because this is the prime mover of any economy," said Agustine Njamnshi of the Cameroon branch of the Bioresources Development and Conservation Programme.


But some environmental experts in Cameroon believe all is not lost.

"Financing of climate change (activities) in developing countries today - be it mitigation or adaptation - has both the approach of carbon markets and that of carbon funds," said Zachee Nzohngandembou of the Centre for the Environment and Rural Transformation, a Cameroonian nongovernmental organisation.

"The Cameroon government, like other developing countries, cannot afford the resources required to encourage low-carbon and climate-resilient development, but they get support in the forestry sector, especially (from) international donor institutions like the European Union and World Bank," he said.

Officials at the ministry of forestry and wildlife also struck a positive note.

"Carbon financing from bilateral and multilateral institutions in the forestry sector constitutes the major source of funding for the fight against climate change in Cameroon," said Koulanya Koutou Danis, secretary-general at the ministry.

Officials point to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, a readiness fund that prepares countries in the Congo Basin and elsewhere in the developing world to receive and spend grants and other funding to protect their forests.

Cameroon's application for $1.6 billion was approved by the World Bank at the end of November.

Elias Ntungwe Ngalame is an environmental writer with Cameroon's Eden Group of newspapers.

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