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Thursday
Mar062014

Brush with the law: 60 enforcement officers benefit from training on illegal logging

A truck loaded with timber, Cameroon © Roland Melisch / TRAFFIC Kribi, south Cameroon, March 2014—60 law enforcement officers from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF); Ministry of Finance (Customs and Forest Taxes Securing Programme); Ministry of Defence (Police and Gendarmerie) and Ministry of Justice have received training on how to ensure good governance and transparency within the logging and timber industry in Cameroon.

The “training for trainers” workshops were part of a series of capacity building events carried out under a joint TRAFFIC/MINFOF/International Tropical Trade Organization (ITTO) project on “Strengthening the national process for controlling illegal logging and associated trade in Cameroon”.

TRAFFIC helped organize the final two workshops in the series, which targeted finance (customs and taxes) officials and defence (police, gendarmerie and justice) officials respectively.

The meetings focused on issues related to unsustainable logging, weak forest law enforcement and illegal timber trade as well as providing information on forest law enforcement and how forestry logging in violation of national and international laws takes place and its impact on the national economy.

Mr Anicet Ngomin, a representative of the Director of Forestry at MINFOF, said “(Illegal logging) is a contributing factor to deforestation and climate change as well as contributing to loss of biodiversity.

“Illegal logging leads to conflict over land resources, the disempowerment of local and indigenous communities, corruption and armed conflicts as well as resulting in loss of revenue by the State and local communities.  

“We hope to see results from this collaboration with TRAFFIC through improved awareness of illegal logging and associated trade.”

“TRAFFIC is pleased to contribute towards the efforts to tackle the severe problem of illegal logging and associated trade in Cameroon,” said Dr Germain Ngandjui, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Central Africa.

The two-year ITTO project arose out of the need for improved co-ordination and communication between various government services and trade organizations at the local and national levels to combat illegal logging.

Louisette Sylvie Ngo Yebel, TRAFFIC Communication Officer-Central Africa

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