Cameroon: Marine Resource Protection – Diplomats Urged To Join the Fight

by Feb 16, 2011Marine & Coastal

The Ministry of Environment organized a sensitization meeting in Yaounde on Tuesday to solicit the support and assistance of diplomats.

The Minister of Environment and Nature Protection, Hele Pierre has called on foreign diplomats based in the country to join efforts in protecting the degrading mangrove ecosystems of West African countries which he said were being threatened by growing human activity and climate change.

Opening a one-day sensitization seminar at Yaounde’s Mont Febe Hotel on Tuesday February 15 on “Combating Living Resource Depletion and Coastal Area Degradation in the Guinea Current through Ecosystem-based Regional Actions” organized for the diplomats, the Minister noted that there was urgent need to support the efforts of 16 Central and West African countries that had committed to protecting the large marine resources of their countries in order to live behind a good legacy for future generations.

“The project seeks an integrated approach to resolving the problem that stretches from Angola to Guinea Bissau,” explained the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO Resident Representative, Van Rompe. He announced that a conference of stakeholders on the issue to hold in Douala from February 17 to 18 would try to mobilize resources for the implementation of the action plan as well as creating a forum for interaction among partners.

It was also revealed that among efforts made since the project’s commencement in 2005 to resolve the issues at stake, were the carrying out of surveys of available fish stocks from Angola to Guinea Bissau and measures taken by various member states to protect their fishery resources. An inventory of degraded habitats has also been carried out and an integrated management approach for such areas adopted by the six founding members of the project.

The project area constitutes one of the most productive marine waters with fishery resources, precious minerals, oil and gas reserves and huge potential for coastal tourism. However, constraints to socio-economic development in the area persist because of high population growth and literacy levels, malnutrition, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and limited human and institutional capacity in managing natural resources.