A conference on training to meet up the challenges of sustainable management of the Congo Basin tropical forest opened on Monday in Douala.
The International Tropical Timber Organisation, ITTO, within the Convergence Plan of the Commission of Central African Forest, COMIFAC, executed by the Network of Forestry Training Institutions of Central Africa, RIFFEAC, is organising an international conference in Douala, March 5-7.
The training is to meet up the challenges in sustainably managing the Congo Basin forest. Speaking during the opening ceremony on Monday March 5, the Secretary General at the Littoral Governor’s Office, Thierry Ki-Nou Nana, representing the Secretary of State in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, said sustainable management needs human resources both in terms of quality and quantity.
He noted it is for this reason that the government set up the Mbalmayo forestry school and the Garoua wildlife school, with opening to the sub-region. Thierry Ki-Nou Nana said an IITO sponsored study revealed that there was a deficit of local experts on biodiversity conservation and noted that the training project will reverse the trend. He expressed gratitude to ITTO for including the Forestry school in Mbalmayo among the seven institutions to which it provide equipment.
The ITTO Executive Director; Gerhard Dieterle called for attention to be paid to deforestation, saying countries of the Congo Basin have received increased funding since the Paris Declaration but the aspect of training was neglected.
Corroborating Ki-Nou Nana, Gerhard Dieterle said African countries were dependent on foreign countries for forest conservation expressing the wish to see African countries depend on their own financial and human resources in the future.
He said population increase in Africa was exerting pressure on the environment as people look for land for agriculture and exploit forest recourses for the livelihood.