Environment & Climate ChangeNews

Advocacy Group Petitions Cameroon Gov’t Over Forest Reserves

Biodiversity advocacy group, Greenpeace Africa, has kicked against the Cameroonian government's attempt to give out 400,000 hectares of forest areas to forestry companies.

The international Non-governmental Organisation (iNGO), Greenpeace Africa, has expressed concerns over a Dec. 2021 announcement by the Cameroon gov’t offering 400,000 hectares of forest to be competed for by forestry companies that have been forced out of the Northwest and Southwest regions of the country where a separatist war has been raging for the past five years.

Greenpeace Africa on Wednesday, March 16, with its partners, Green Development Advocates (GDA) and the Service d’Appui aux Initiatives Locales de Developpement (SAILD), have called on gov’t to annul the tender calling for bidders for the 400,000 hectares and also called for the cancellation of the Nkam and Donga-Mantung concessions declared in Aug. 2021.

Cameroon gov’t had launched a tender for forestry concessions in Dec. 2021 with a view to aiding forestry companies that are victims of attacks by separatist fighters in the Northwest and Southwest regions.

The four forestry concessions that offered to bid at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife are located in the East and Central regions of the country. 

The Cameroon government had indicated that the four concessions were offered in line with the government’s policy of inciting economic development but Greenpeace and its partners consider this policy as an additional threat to biodiversity in Cameroon.

Three of the four forestry development units reserved for forestry companies operating in the two English-speaking regions of the country occupy a total land area of 287,562 hectares which represents 74 per cent of the forestry concessions put up for bidding in the controversial tender of Dec. 2021.

The government has said the measure is to compensate for the losses incurred by the companies operating in the two restive Anglophone regions.

For Ranece Jovial Ndjeudja of Greenpeace Africa, “The decision by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to allocate this forestry landmass, using as argument, the crisis in the Northwest and Southwest region seems to be contradictory and paradoxical. More so, the allocation of these forests would further add to threats on the livelihoods of communities which live and depend on their biodiversity.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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