Cameroon evaluates progress in the implementation of its National Ivory Action Plan
Ebolowa, Cameroon, 6th—7th September 2018—Three years after of its establishment in 2015 Cameroon held the first meeting of the National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP) inter-ministerial committee to evaluate progress and discuss future actions to further reduce threats to elephant conservation from ivory trafficking in the country.
The NIAP Committee was created by Prime Ministerial Order N°055/CAB/PM of 6th July 2015, and includes members from relevant ministerial departments including the centralised and decentralised services of Cameroon Ministry of Forest and Wildlife (MINFOF), Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Territorial Administration, Ministry of External Relations, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence (Secretariat of State in charge of the Gendarmerie), General Directorate of National Security (Police) and Customs Administration..
The two day workshop was organised by MINFOF in collaboration with TRAFFIC, with financial support from the USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS). The workshop brought together 30 participants including representatives from ministries mentioned above as well MINFOF technical partner organisations such as, IUCN, WWF, MIKE and LAGA.
- Following two days of constructive deliberations, MINFOF committed to;
- Increase efforts to ensure a more effective implementation of the Cameroon NIAP and to meet at least 80% of planned activities;
- Work more closely with other Ministerial departments, especially the ministry of finance and technical partner organizations to raise fund for the implementation of NIAP activities and effective functioning of the NIAP Committee.
“TRAFFIC welcomes this necessary and important step by Cameroon to further address the continuing threats posed to the countries’ elephants by poaching gangs and transnational organised criminal syndicates
Sone Nkoke, TRAFFIC’s Wildlife-TRAPS Programme Officer for Central Africa
New ministries (transport, post and telecommunication and commerce) were identified and recommended for inclusion in the committee in view of their potential impact on ivory trafficking. It was agreed that a platform be established for information exchange between committee members between meetings. It was recommended that MINFOF follow-up with the services of the Prime Ministry and the Ministry of Justice on the enactment of the new wildlife law criminalising wildlife offences—a key activity of the NIAP that will further strengthen elephant conservation in the country.
At the end of the workshop, the Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas in MINFOF, Mr. Lekealem Joseph, reiterated the commitment of the Cameroon government to fight poaching and trafficking of wildlife products especially ivory through the effective implementation of the NIAP and assured participants that MINFOF will ensure the recommendations from the workshop are fully implemented.
About Wildlife TRAPS
The USAID-funded Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) Project is an initiative that is designed to secure a transformation in the level of co-operation between an international community of stakeholders who are impacted by illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia. The project is designed to increase understanding of the true character and scale of the response required, to set priorities, identify intervention points, and test non-traditional approaches with project partners.