Environment & Climate ChangeNews

Cameroon 2nd Most Active Country On Forestry Transparency Portal

Cameroon has been listed as the second most active country in the world after the United States (U.S.) on the Open Timber Portal (OTP), a web forestry transparency portal.

The platform promotes transparency in forestry activities and Cameroon has 600 users on it, coming behind the U.S. which has 1,900 active users.

With its 600 users, the Central African country is ahead of the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Open Timber Portal centralises information from forestry companies on the legality of their activities on the one hand, and the administration on the official limits of forestry licences, legal documents and list of licensed forestry companies on the other, as well as independent observers on potential cases of illegality.

Set up by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with diverse organisations, the OTP was deployed between September 2018 and August 2019 in Cameroon under the “Promotion and Deployment of the Open Timber in Cameroon Portal” project.

It is financed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) within the context of its FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme and put in place by the Field Legality Advisory Group (FLAG).

Once established, the project enabled the platform to become operational in Cameroon in association with the forestry administration and forestry companies in its deployment and exploitation.

The work led to the opening of 20 accounts on the OTP by Cameroonian companies and the uploading of several documents on the platform, now accessible to the public.

Over 400 documents grouped in nine categories are currently available on the portal which make reference to several licences and other themes related to forest exploitation.

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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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