CENTRAL AFRICA: Forestry officers will be better trained in environmental issues

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CENTRAL AFRICA: Forestry officers will be better trained in environmental issues ©Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock

The European Union (EU) delegation in Cameroon and the GIZ regional office in Yaoundé (capital) have concluded an agreement to finance training scholarships for officials of forest administrations and institutions responsible for the management of protected areas. The partnership agreement was signed during a working session held on January 15, 2019, in Yaoundé.

How can conservation and environmental protection activities in the forests of the Congo Basin be made more professional? That is the question at the centre of a partnership agreement signed on the 15th of January 2019 in Yaoundé (Cameroon) between the European Union and the GIZ, the German Agency for International Cooperation. 120 professionals from forest administrations and institutions responsible for protected area management will receive training as a result of this partnership agreement. The training sessions will be held in selected schools of the Network of Forest and Environmental Training Institutions in Central Africa (RIFFEAC). The two parties also wish to pool their efforts to improve the functioning of the Kinshasa Regional Post-Graduate School for the Integrated Management of Tropical Forests and Lands (ERAIFT) and the Garoua Wildlife School (EFG).

The GIZ will be responsible for the implementation of the project, which will cost CFAF 3.6 billion (€5.6 million). The project itself is part of the support programme for the preservation of biodiversity and fragile ecosystems (Ecofac 6). This European Union programme enables it to provide support to the Central African States for ecosystem management and biodiversity conservation. It was launched in Cameroon on October 25, 2018, with a budget of CFAF 10 billion, or 12.5 million euros. In Central Africa, the overall cost of the programme is estimated at CFAF 40 billion.

The Congo Basin Forest is the second-largest tropical forest massif after the Amazonian forest. In 2010, the Congo Basin had 268 million hectares of forest cover. In recent years, the forest has been under serious threat from climate change and especially deforestation. Nonetheless, this forest massif is an important source of wealth for the countries in which it extends.

Luchelle Feukeng

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