10 January 2019

Central Africa: Sustaining Congo Basin Landscapes - Experts Map Out Priorities for Cameroon

They are being drafted in a 2-day workshop opened in Mbankomo, January 9.

Environmental protection experts, stakeholders and conservators are currently drafting Cameroon's priorities of the Impact Program for the Congo Basin. They are mapping out the priorities in a 2-day workshop the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED) opened in Mbankomo on January 9, 2019.

Prudence Tangham Galega, Secretary General of MINEPDED said the Impact Program aimed at increasing landscape restoration was introduced during the 7th replenishment of the Global Environment Facility - the main funding body that accompanies developing countries in the implementation of the priorities of the Rio Convention on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification.

Based on a number of criteria set by GEF, countries that ought to be part of the program are required to demonstrate that the activities they will be carrying out to improve livelihoods and ensure the conservation of biodiversity and the environment in general, are done in a sustainable way. Cameroon as a country within the Congo Basin which with the Amazon make the earth's two largest remaining areas of tropical rainforests, covering 1.1 billion hectares, has made several commitments in this direction.

The workshop, we gathered, is a follow up of a national dialogue that was organised in Cameroon by the GEF and stakeholders who agreed to be part of the program are taking part. Cameroon has already designated the company that would accompany it through the Impact Program; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). "Our expectations are to see projects that would create jobs and improve livelihoods of locals. It is a program that would contribute greatly to the country's vision of growth and development," Galega said.

Dr Hanson Njiforti, Country Director of WWF told stakeholders and representatives of indigenous communities taking part in the workshop that they need to collectively decide the content of the program. Herve Fleuvre, Senior Manager of WWF in Washington DC said the conservation organisation was chosen because of its expertise and knowledge of environmental problems in Cameroon. He said WWF's role is to ensure that the program follows GEF eligibility criteria and respect the rights of indigenous people.

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