3 December 2015

Cameroon: Facility to Protect Environmental Defenders in Place

The Support Fund for Environmental Defenders in Central Africa was launched in Yaounde on November 27, 2015.

Nature lovers in the Central Africa Sub-region will henceforth receive financial and technical assistance from the Support Fund for Environmental Defenders in Central Africa, FADAC. The European Union-supported programme was launched in Yaounde on November 27, 2015, at a ceremony with the EU Ambassador and Delegation Head to Cameroon, François Collet, chairing.

FADAC, the Secretary General of the Centre for Environment and Development, Samuel Nguiffo said, is a greening programme that seeks to respect the rights of environmental defenders in the sub-region. At the head of the programme is a Board Chairman, Prof Alain Didier Olinga, with seven members.

He explained that requests from community members, Non-governmental Organisations and persons suffering rights voilations will be entertained. The requests will be lodged at the Board from where they will be assessed before decisions are taken. Defenders will receive financial and technical support (legal counselling).

The introduction of the programme comes on the heels of reports of the abuse of rights of defenders of evironment in the sub-region. The project initiators argue that in the rush to exploit natural resources, companies and States sometimes forget to take into account the rights of the population. "We are not here to stop development projects. Our plea is for sustainable protection of the environment and its surrounding population," said Samuel Nguiffo.

François Collet stressed that the EU was; "uniting with some organisations for the defence of the environment, with emphasis on the need for sustainable growth and development." She said forests are international public goods that should benefit local people.

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