The Cameroon government and the International Centre for Forestry Research (ICFR) have launched a national campaign aimed at promoting a behavioural change among timber users and to favour the buying of sustainable wood products.
The campaign, launched on Monday, June 14, 2021 is being carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and has as its theme “Legal Timber Is Great.”
Supported by the ICFR, the national campaign aims at sensitising consumers of timber in the country’s principal urban centres on the necessity to buy but timber from legal sources.
According to the report of a study carried out by ICFR in Douala the economic capital of the country, and Yaounde the political capital, the timber products supposed to be of legal origin constitute only 12 to 18 per cent of the volume sold.
“In order to promote the long-term sustainability and availability of the forestry resources in Cameroon, it is crucial to augment the presence and the demand of timber of legal origin in the internal market,” a senior official of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife who opted for anonymity told HumAngle.
The campaign will involve different activities including radio broadcasts, publicity spots, and the placing of handbills at timber market sites.
“Most Cameroonian citizens are not interested to know the origin of the timber products they buy but we must do everything to demand from vendors all the documents necessary to ensure the legality of the timber such as copies of the consignment notes which enabled the transportation of the timber or the delivery documents,” declared Liboum Mbonayem, a researcher at the International Centre for Forestry Research.
“The weak proportion of sawed timber from legal sources constitutes an obstacle for the rational management of forestry resources and thus on the development of Cameroon,” Hortense Motalindja, sub director for the promotion of timber in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife said.
“With this campaign, we look forward to augmenting the demand, which would certainly incite the producers to conform with legality and supply the market with timber of legal origin,” he added.
The national sensitisation campaign is part of the “Boom in Transactions of Sawed Timber of Legal Origin in Cameroon (ESSOR 2)” project which aims at increasing the quality of sawed timber of legal origin by supporting the emergence of national demands and by facilitating transactions between sellers and buyers.
ESSOR 2 is financed by the European Union through the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)-European Union (EU) Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Action Plan (FLEGT) and put in place by the ICFR and the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. It will last till the end of 2021.
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