March 12, 2012
Cameroon’s minister of forestry and wildlife, Philip Ngole Ngwese, recently announced that the government has suspended 27 logging licenses from timber companies that have continuously violated forest-protection legislation.
Cameroon’s tropical forests make up a large part of the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest continuous ecosystem after the Amazon Rainforest. The forest is home to indigenous communities, great apes, and other rare flora and fauna. Some estimates say that Cameroon’s forest is being depleted by as much as 1% every year.
Samuel Nguiffo won the Goldman Prize in 1999 for his efforts to curb deforestation in the Cameroonian forest. He is the director of the Center for Environment and Development. Nguiffo commended the government announcement, saying:
“Legal and illegal cutting of trees both contribute to climate change. That has been scientifically proven over the years. Deforestation, especially in tropical Africa, is one of the main sources of human-originated greenhouse gas emissions.”
Nguiffo and other environmental experts in Cameroon hope that the government crackdown will curtail deforestation and the effects of climate change in the region.