Forest Management and unlawfull logging in Cameroon (centre Africa ) - Thesis Example

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Logging is very crucial activity for the regional as well as the national income of the country. The government of the country has realized this. So they have given a high priority to the conservation of forest and the issue figures in almost all the agendas of the local and national politics. …
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Forest Management and unlawfull logging in Cameroon (centre Africa )
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Download file to see previous pages The Congo Basin in Africa has the second largest rain forest in the world after the Amazon rain forest. It had almost one hundred and ninety million hectares in 1995 (Hutter, 2000) and was spread across countries like Equatorial Guinea, The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and also Cameroon. Cameroon is located to the north of the equator and is bordered by countries like Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Central African Republic, Chad, and Nigeria. While in the north, Cameroon is covered by savannas, in the south it is has a dense tropical forest (Cameroon Forests, n.d.). The country is inhabited by more than two hundred ethnic groups and has a diverse wildlife with over four hundred species of mammals and seven hundred species of birds. There are also numerous plant species in these forests many of which are endangered. About seventy five percent of Cameroon consists of dense forests or woodlands. The country also has an affluent literary heritage. The biodiversity of Cameroon especially in flora and fauna is worth a mention. Of the total forested area seventy percent has a dense forest cover with a thick canopy of leaves that covers the sky. It consists of fifty percent of the country’s area. The entire forested region of the country is not suitable for logging. Out of the twenty four million hectare spread of dense forest in the country seventeen million is suitable for logging activity (Cameroon, n.d.). Logging is an important economic activity for the people of Cameroon and accounted for nine percent of the tax revenue of the country. Data suggests that logging generated $60 million for the Cameroon government in 1997-98 as tax revenue. Commercial logging had been an active source of livelihood for a large number of people for over a century. But in recent times the environment of the Cameroon is being threatened by rampant felling of trees for the timbre. In the past few decades a large amount of the forest has given way to open lands for agricultural tracts, farms and human settlements. Though cutting of trees for agricultural lands is the primary reason of deforestation, logging activities is also responsible for the threat that the forest faces. Some facts about deforestation have been revealed in a report of the Global Forest Watch. The report mentions that the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimated that out of the 21.6 million hectares of historic forest cover of Cameroon in 1980 only 19.6 million remained in 1995. From 1980 to 1998 the population of Cameroon increased by more than sixty six percent (from 8.6 million to 14.3 million). This caused an increase in demand for land and resources. The excess demand of land for agriculture and human inhabitation was satisfied at the expense of the forest cover. According to the legislation of Cameroon, the locals have a right over the products of the forests though the government owns the right to the trees and everything below the soil like oil. As of now, Cameroon ranks among the top five exporter of timbre in the world. But the population is increasing steadily and the modest reserve of oil that the country had been blessed with is depleting at a fast rate. This depletion of oil, the environmentalists fear, will put more pressure on the demand for forest resources to supplement the loss of income when all the oil has been exhausted. Logging is very crucial activity for the regional as well as the national income of the country. The government of the country has realized this. So they have given a high priority to the conservation of forest and the issue figures in almost all the agendas of the local and national politics. Towards the end of the past millennium the president of the country Paul Biya organized a summit for the head of the states to discuss the issue of proper management of the forest and its resources. It resulted in the Yaounde Declaration where five ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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