Environmental Protection: Gov’t Presents Balance Sheet

It was presented in Yaounde on June 3 in prelude to the World Environment Day.

A balance sheet presented by the Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Hele Pierre, shows some 5,000 companies in Cameroon have been found to be dangerous and dirty while 1,300 tons of non-biodegradable plastics have been confiscated from businessmen so far, as government continues its 25-year-old tussle with environmental hazards. The report was presented in Yaounde on June 3 in a press conference organised as part of activities marking the National Environment Week. The activities will culminate in the celebration of the World Environment Day on June 5 under the theme, “Air Pollution.”

“With support from the African Development Bank and the World Bank, we carried out a pilot study on pollution caused by road transport in two major junctions in Yaounde,” Minister Hele Pierre said, adding that his Ministry is also working with the Standards and Quality Agency to lay down norms to regulate industries working with substances like mercury, benzene, cadmium, PM10, PM2.5, SO2, NO2 among others. With regards to the fight against climate change and desertification, it was disclosed that 30,250 hectares of degraded land has been recovered in the Far North Region thanks to the Green Sahel project implemented at the behest of President Paul Biya.

The creation of Green Spaces in 148 towns within the framework of the Green Towns scheme, finalisation of the National Climate Change Adaptation Plan, signing of the Paris Agreement, and afforestation of 240 hectares of land in Benoue, were also cited as major successes. The environment boss also mentioned several activities carried out despite the limited resources, including the ongoing recruitment of a consultancy firm to test the quality of air in Yaounde and Douala and subsequently do same for other regions, the preparation and eventual signing of decrees to regulate deliverance of environmental permits and the drawing up of a national air observation plan. Strides covered in the areas of sustainable biodiversity management, waste management and the fight against pollution was also highlighted.

Talking about the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, Minister Hele Pierre said atmospheric pollution causes 7 million premature deaths every year worldwide and urged citizens to fight against pollution not only because it destroys the environment, but also because of its negative effects on human health.

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