Decentralisation and Local Development: Mayors Examine Better Forest Management Strategies

Stakeholders from different councils belonging to the Association of Councils with forest in Cameroon (ACFCAM) met in Yaounde on December 06, 2018 to deliberate on better forest management resources for the development of their respective communities. The over 120 local councils represented exchanged ideas of using forest resources to generate revenue for the country while on the other hand ensuring that forest lands are well protected. The two-day seminar was presided at during the opening ceremony by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development, Fred Ebongue Makolle, on behalf of the Minister. In his preliminary remarks, he told Mayors of forest areas to protect the geographical zones of their municipalities by aptly utilizing budgetary allocations placed under their management for development. Ebongue Makolle urged them to respect forest laws and ensure legal dispositions concerning the trade in forest resources are respected as Cameroon seeks to protect her biodiversity. He said recommendations from the seminar will be given special attention once forwarded to the Ministry.

On his part, the President of ACFCAM, Thomas Dupont Obiegni, highlighted the necessity to protect the Congo Basin and the various forest lands in the country. He noted that they fight against illegal forest exploitation in their different municipalities given that the forest law of 1994 gives them such rights. While underlining their challenges, he said budgetary constraints and inadequate sensitisation slow proper management. With partner Mayors from France and Benin, all stakeholders exchanged models on better forest control mechanisms with regards to challenges of global warming, poaching and other forestry irregularities.

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