The Area

Lestuaire du Ntem, sa plage et ses barques, Campo, Zone tampon du parc national de Campo-Maan, ... rel=
Lestuaire du Ntem, sa plage et ses barques, Campo, Zone tampon du parc national de Campo-Maan, Cameroun 2004
© WWF / Olivier van Bogaert

Covers 16% of the southern province

Located in the south-western corner of Cameroon, bordering on Equatorial Guinea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Campo-Ma'an National Park and its buffer zone cover an area of approximately 700,000ha (the park itself covers an area of 264,064ha) - 16 per cent of the country's southern province.

Created in January 2000, the park is a result of the commitments made by the Cameroonian government to protect the country's biodiversity through a network of protected areas, and a compensation scheme for damage caused to the Atlantic coastal forests by the building of the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline, which ends near Kribi, the region's main town.

Campo-Ma'an National Park also fits in the context of other international, sub-regional, and national moves made by Cameroon to protect biodiversity. These include the adoption of resolutions by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), compliance with the Yaounde Declaration signed by the Heads of States of Central Africa at the Yaounde Forests Summit in 1999, and contribution to the national strategy to combat poverty.

The park's buffer zone includes five logging and two agro-industrial concessions, and an agro-forestry zone where many local villages and labourers' encampments are located. Only four of the five logging concessions are currently allocated (to the Cameroonian La Société Camerounaise d'Industrie and d'Exploitation des Bois, and the Dutch Bubinga and Wijma). The agro-industrial concessions are allocated to HEVECAM (rubber) and SOCAPALM (palm oil).

Archaeological sites and waterfalls
The Campo-Ma'an area is rich in natural scenic landscapes, including kilometres of navigable rivers, spectacular rapids, and waterfalls, such as those of Lobe and Memve'ele. Archaeological explorations undertaken in the park and its periphery have discovered prehistoric sites and caves. It seems that the area could reveal valuable knowledge on ancient populations and their interaction with, and impact on, the surrounding vegetation.

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