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US Ambassador Wants Illegal Loggers, Poachers Prosecuted 

By Marceline Chick & Sixtus Mbom

US Ambassador to Cameroon, Robert P. Jackson, has called for the prosecution of those who perpetrate illegal logging and poaching in Cameroon.

US Ambassador Jackson (Middle) wants illegal loggers prosecuted

He was speaking in Yaounde on April 7, in a workshop on “Lessons Learned during the Implementation of the Central African Regional Project for the Environment”, CARPE.
According to the Ambassador, if these illegal activities are stopped, it would ensure sustainability and viable environmental protection.

Jackson disclosed that CARPE – a United States Agency for International Development Initiative, USAID, is aimed at promoting sustainable natural resource management in the Congo Basin. He lauded Cameroon for being an active participant amongst the nine countries in the Congo Basin, whose tropical forests stores huge amounts of carbon and at the same time, have highly diverse environments, accounting for 25 percent of all living plant species. 

The Ambassador said in recognition of the important role of the Congo Basin forest amidst the increasing pressures facing the forest, CARPE works to reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity by supporting increased local, national, and regional natural resource management capacity.

He added that the programme originally conceived as a three-part mission, has helped build regional capacity in many areas, including human resources, supporting sustainable natural resource management, improving environmental governance and monitoring capacity, and biodiversity conservation. Representing the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, the Technical Adviser No. I, Machia Abdoulaye, appreciated CARPE for rallying different actors to share the conservation strategies undertaken and the results achieved.

He said the Cameroon Government, through the Ministry, has contributed enormously to the conservation of the Congo Basin and much effort is being deployed, for advanced development.
Earlier, the representative of CARPE-USAID, Nicodeme Tchamou, stated that CARPE is a large and complex programme covering Cameroon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Rwanda, Central Africa Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Burundi and Soa Tome and Principe.

He said its activities involves field based conservation activities in 12 remote and geographically dispersed landscape, covering over 80 million hectares. Tchamou explained that the overall objective of CARPE is to reduce the rate of forest degradation and loss of biodiversity. He added that a goal of the programme is to prepare an exit strategy whereby, national Government institutions and civil society organisations progressively take over their activities.

Kenneth Angu, one of the presenters, remarked that the lesson learned publication has three integrated components called intermediary results. He said they include the sustainable management of natural resources, natural resource governance and natural resource monitoring.

Angu disclosed that the first phase of the programme started from1997 to 2007, while the second phase that kicked off in 2007 shall end in September 2011. He said phase three shall continue through 2016, with a strong focus on mitigating climate change through forest conservation and sustainability of the programme.

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