October 30, 2011
Climate Change - Bold Efforts to Challenge the Advancing Desert
Reforestation, improved firewood stoves and sensitisation are major strategies in Cameroon's action plan to combat desertification.
The Ministry of the Environment and Nature Protection, MINEP, has since 2008 undertaken a bold reforestation initiative to restore the ecosystems in some parts of the Far North, North and Adamawa Regions within the framework of its operation "Green Sahel" as an urgent measure to combat desertification.
The disclosure was made by the Deputy Director of Promotion and the Restoration of Nature in MINEP, Dr. Bring, while speaking yesterday, October 25 during the workshop on the "Fight Against Desertification" holding at the Forum on the General State of the Environment going on at the Yaounde Conference Centre. He blamed desertification now affecting parts of the northern regions on natural factors such as soil degradation, transformation of ecosystems, loss of vegetation and decreases in water levels. As for human factors, he cited uncontrolled agricultural and livestock rearing practices on vast expanses of land.
"Along the banks of the River Benue where uncontrolled farming goes on, for example, we have reclaimed 25 metres on either side and planted trees on 20 km on the left bank," he said. He explained that emphasis was placed on the stabilisation of the River Benue Basin because it has seriously been degraded by agricultural activity. "We will continue planting trees until we reach Lake Lagdo and the Nigerian border," he added.
Dr. Bring also disclosed that under the Plan of Action To Combat Desertification (PAN-LCD) that was designed in 2006, improved firewood stoves have been distributed to the people in identified priority zones alongside sensitisation on the need to halt the destruction of vegetation. This, he said, was in line with recommendations by the United Nations Convention To Combat Desertification, UNCCD, that PAN-LCD in different countries be harmonised with the Convention's Ten-Yeat Strategic Framework Plan covering the period 2008-2018. The latter provides, amongst others, for the improvement of livelihoods of affected community people and improvement of affected ecosystems. "In this forum, we expect to improve our PAN-LCD as proposed by UNCCD so as to have access to international funding for our projects instead of relying entirely on the public investment budget as has been the case," Dr Bring said.
The Forum on the General State of the Environment continues today with more workshops on climate change, biodiversity, desertification, pollution and environmental governance. The day will end with a meeting of the forum's scientific committee.
Article source Cameroon Tribune
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