Central African Forest Ecosystems: Commission Examines Management

Protecting the species-rich Congo Basin, home to the world’s second-largest tropical rain forest, remains primordial for COMIFAC

Experts began meeting yesterday in line with the 10th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) scheduled to end on July 11.

The management of forest ecosystems in Central Africa has come under examination at the 10th ordinary session of the Council of Ministers of the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) opened in Yaounde yesterday. For two days, experts, COMIFAC national coordinators, public administrators, COMIFAC executive secretariat officials, subregional representatives of forest-related institutions, sub-regional chiefs of programmes and projects, development partners and civil society activists will develop strategies for sustainable and concerted management of the ecosystem for approval by the Council of Ministers.

Ministers in charge of forest and those of the environment from COMIFAC member countries will meet on July 11, 2019. The Prime Minister, Head of Government is expected to preside over the meeting, organisers said. While opening the session on Tuesday, Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo called on participants to put in their best in order to formulate concrete and mature proposals.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of COMIFAC, Raymond Ndomba Ngoye said their work is geared at encouraging member countries to sustainably protect their biodiversity. “We come up with directives and strategies which we put at the disposal of member countries. These countries, depending on their specificities, will then turn to implement the proposals,” he noted. According to Ngoye, though other countries do face a lot of difficulties as concern their financial contributions, Cameroon has always been up to date. “Ministers due to take part in this gathering will certainly discuss this issue,” the Executive Secretary disclosed.

It is expected that at the end of the session, a reduced value added tax for legally-sawn wood will be adopted for the internal market. The Council of Ministers will also have to approve the 2019-2020 plan of action and budget, amongst others.

It should be recalled the legal basis for COMIFAC was laid in 1999 with the Yaounde Declaration which recognises the protection of the Congo Basin ecosystems as an integral component of the development process and reaffirms the signatories’ commitment to work together to promote the sustainable use of the Congo Basin forest ecosystems

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