Yaoundé Forest Declaration - Background
The Yaoundé Forest Summit, held in Cameroon in March 1999, was the first time in the history of forest conservation where leaders from neighbouring countries came together to take action for their forests.
The principle outcome was the Yaoundé Declaration: outlining specific commitments to the conservation and sustainable management of forests.
The Declaration has resulted in solid conservation achievements, including:
- the creation of millions of hectares of new forest protected areas,
- increased funding,
- cross-border conservation cooperation, and
- establishment of a regional body, the Commission of Ministers in charge of Forests in Central Africa (COMIFAC) to coordinate regional conservation initiatives.
5 years after...
In 2005, the governments in Central Africa are celebrating these achievements as well as taking their commitments in conserving the Congo Basin forests several steps further.
Some of the major milestones include:
- the signing of Africa's first regional treaty on conservation and sustainable management of forests, the COMIFAC Treaty;
- signing and ratification of the TRIDOM Accord, a tripartite trans-border conservation initiative; and
- expansion of the Yaoundé Process to include two more Central African nations - Angola and Sao Tome et Principe.
Participating countries will also be renewing their commitments to implement actions to step up the establishment of more forest protected areas, control the bush meat trade and illegal logging, and promotion of sustainable forest management initiatives.
Both these Summits and their outcomes should signal to the world, and other government leaders, that forest conservation is essential for not only the people and wildlife who depend upon them now, but in saving an entire ecosystem which our earth depends on for the future!