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General News of Monday, 4 July 2016

Source: The Post Newspaper

Prosperous communities vital to forest security-H.E Olley

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The British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E Brian Olley, has advised that ensuring the wellbeing of communities of the forest zone can be a vital way to fight illegal logging and insecurity.

The British diplomat made the statement while launching the project dubbed ‘Congo’s Project’ recently in Yaounde alongside other NGOs.

He stressed that the wellbeing of the forest zone will bring about sustainable and equitable development in the Congo Basin.

Brian Olley said wealth in sub-Saharan Africa lies in the forest and a good number of people make their livelihoods out of these forest resources.

This project organised under the theme “NGOs collaborating for equitable and sustainable community livelihoods in the Congo Basin Forests (CoNGOs)” is geared towards sensitising indigenous people of the forest zone to properly manage their forests so as to improve their living conditions.

The three-year project to end in2019cuts across five countries of the Central African sub-region; Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central AfricanRepublic.

The CoNGOs will work directly with a range of key stakeholders in forest dependent communities like farm and forest producers, indigenous people and other groups, to help establish a base for a more inclusive and equal forest and land use sector in the Congo Basin.

According to James Mayers and Anna Bolin, officials of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the project will help improve community forest management and decision-making about the forest and natural resources exploitation.

It will also identify means of ameliorating the livesand prosperity of forest-dependent communities

Countries in the Congo Basin are at crossroads in managing their lands and forests. Government in this region often focus on the exploitation of natural resources and forests for economic growth, and do not adequately support small-scale producers whose aspirations might lead to equitable and sustainable growth.

CoNGOs Project will equally ensure that policies and laws as well as services aimed at supporting implementation, offer real opportunities to participate in, and contribute to, sustainable economic progress in line with their own development visions.

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