Two conservation schools in Cameroon and DR Congo will benefit from the funds injected into a programme to be implemented by the German development agency, GIZ.
Conservation efforts in the Congo Basin is expected to get a boost with the availability of new financing for logistics and training of personnel. The European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) have availed 5.6 million euros (circa FCFA 3.6 billion) for actions which fall under the European Union's programme for the preservation of biodiversity and fragile ecosystems (ECOFAC 6).
The beneficiaries of the funds are training schools which are members of the Network of Forestry and Environment Training Institutions in Central Africa (RIFFEAC). The money will be used to fund the programme dubbed: "RIFFEAC Training Scholarship Programme," to be implemented by the German development agency - GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH).
A convention to cement the deal and set the ball rolling was signed in Yaounde, Tuesday January 15, 2019, between the EU and GIZ. While Hans-Peter Schadek, EU Ambassador to Cameroon signed for the political and economic union, the Country Director of GIZ penned for her agency. The EU is funding the programme with up to 4.5 million euros.
According to officials, scholarships will be awarded to 120 persons; forestry administrators and officials in charge of the management of protected areas, to undertake an advanced diploma programme in either the Garoua Forestry School in Cameroon or in 'Ecole régionale postuniversitaire d'amenagement et de gestion integrée des forêts et territories tropicaux de Kinshasa (ERAIF)' in DR Congo.
"We think the preservation of tropical ecosystems in Central Africa is a major aspect as the ecosystems are part of our heritage. We hope the funds will help train qualified personnel who will be able to sustainably manage forest and wildlife in the Congo Basin which has a rich and unique biodiversity," Hans-Peter Schadek said.
To Babale Michel, Director of the Garoua Forestry School, besides the scholarships, the programme will help them acquire the necessary logistics in the likes of auto-mobile, computers, and office stationeries. He said they will henceforth be more operational.