Cameroon: Forestry & Wildlife Litigations - MINFOF Drills Personnel on Criminal Procedure Code

Forestry and wildlife controllers from within and without the central services of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) are sharpening their skills in legal matters so as to better handle impending litigations regarding forestry and wildlife products.

This is within the framework of a two-day capacity building workshop holding at the Yaounde Mvog-Betsi Zoological garden on the new criminal procedure code, drawing up of a defence file and the follow up of forestry and wildlife litigations.

In a speech during the opening ceremony yesterday March 21, the Inspector No. 1 in MINFOF, Joseph Claude Abena, who sat in for the Minister, said given the irreversible bend government has negotiated in ensuring good governance in the forestry sector, it was but logical that forestry and wildlife controllers be well armed given the central role they are called upon to play.

He said with the Cameroon-European Union Cooperation Voluntary Partnership Agreement of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance, FLEGT process, which consists in combating illegal exploitation of forest resources and trade associated to the activity, personnel need good knowledge of the legal system for optimal implementation.

The recent decision by MINFOF boss, Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, to put an end to the logging activities of 72 wood and timber recovery companies in the non-permanent forestry sector for non-respect of laid down rules, Mr Abena said, was part of government’s move to cleanse the forestry sector of illegal practices, and controllers must be armed to sustain the move and handle impending ones.

The overall objective of the confab is to update the skills of the controllers and put at their disposal legal dispositions for efficiency in their policing rule of forestry and wildlife resources.