Deforestation in Cameroon

Photo credit: Mongabay

Cameroon’s forests are home to two endangered subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Photo courtesy of Greenpeace/Filip Verbelen.

Satellite images show deforestation on fringes of UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cameroon

With more than 3,000 hectares cleared so far and more to come, Greenpeace and other organizations call for detailed land-use strategy in Cameroon

by John C. Cannon

In its push to become a middle-income country in the next two decades, Cameroon has courted investments in its vast natural resource wealth in the form of mining, logging and large-scale agriculture. But deforestation and land prospecting revealed by a recent Greenpeace Africa investigation highlights a lack of coordination in determining how to use the country’s land.

In 2011, Economy Minister Emmanuel Djoumessi Nganou was quoted by Reuters: “The private sector in general, and the agricultural sector in particular, must play a leading role in our country’s quest to become an emerging economy by 2035.” The government had just approved plans for an oil palm and rubber plantation of more than 45,000 hectares by the company Sud Hevea Cameroun. Current estimates put the number of jobs the company has created or will create at more than 6,000.

But Greenpeace and several other organizations say that instead of having an overarching strategy that governs how land should be used for extractives, communities, and conservation, concessions and permits are distributed by individual ministries that are stymied by corruption and don’t often communicate with each other.

Read the full article: Mongabay

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Use fish scales for smoking fish to conserve mangroves

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Wikimedia commons/Boricuaeddie

Innovative project helps women conserve mangroves

Speed read

  • Cameroon’s mangroves declined from 272,000 hectares in 1980 to 195,000 in 2014
  • A project is promoting use of fish scales for smoking fish to conserve mangroves
  • An expert says mangroves have many benefits, and thus should be used in REDD+

About 400 women in Cameroon’s coastal zones are contributing to environmental conservation by smoking fish with fish scales and kitchen waste as alternatives to using wood from mangrove forests.

In Cameroon, mangrove forests — made up of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs found between small streams and the sea — are in danger of becoming extinct because of the tendency of women to harvest them for smoking fish.

“Since 2009 when we got in contact with Organisation pour l’Environnement et le Développement Durable (OPED), we learnt to smoke fish using fish scales and kitchen waste, [which add] add local aroma and the result is an even better colour and taste,”says one of the beneficiaries, Wendi Eko, a fish smoker in Kribi, Cameroon.  “Before then we used mangrove wood to smoke fish because we obtained a good colouration and better taste than wood from tall trees of the dryland.”

Read the full article: SciDevNet

Chronic food and malnutrition crisis in the Sahel

Photo credit: UN NEWS Centre

Drought has affected residents of the Mbera refugee camp, Mauritania, in the Sahel region of Africa.

Photo: WFP/Justin Smith

UN, partners seek $2 billion to help millions of people across Africa’s Sahel region


The United Nations and its partners today launched an appeal for nearly $2 billion to provide vital humanitarian assistance to millions of people in nine countries across Africa’s Sahel region.

Some 145 million people in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal live in a region that is constantly challenged by chronic food and malnutrition crises, and is vulnerable to climate change, droughts and unpredictable rainfall.

The Sahel humanitarian appeal for 2015, launched today in New York and totalling $1.96 billion, is part of a regional multi-year strategy to respond better to the chronic challenges in the region by emphasizing early intervention and forging closer partnerships with governments and development actors.

Over 20 million people in the region are short of food, 2.6 million of whom need life-saving food assistance now; and nearly six million children under the age of five are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2015.

Violent conflict and insecurity have worsened over the last 12 months in many of the countries. As a result, 2.8 million people have been uprooted from their homes, over one million more than this time last year.

Read the full article: UN NEWS Centre

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