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Cameroon’s Coastal Management Plan Validated 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

The Marine and Coastal Management National Action Plan of Cameroon has been validated. The plan was validated at a workshop jointly organized in Kribi, Ocean Division of the South Region November 22 and 23 by the Ministry of Environment and Protection of Nature and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO.

Participants at coastal management validation workshop

Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Environment and Protection of Nature, MINEP, Pierre Helé, said work for the elaboration of the plan began on April 14, 2010 in Douala. He noted that amongst tasks assigned MINEP is the conservation of the marine and coastal areas through integrated management processes. He said the zones play important roles considering the nature of the ecosystem it harbours.

He told the participants drawn from sectoral ministries, councils, development partners, donor agencies, researchers, university lectures and the civil society that the plan falls within the framework of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GEM-CG) which requires countries concerned to draw up such plans.

He maintained that the plan brings to focus specific actions and priority projects in conformity with policy and national legislation which must be put into effect in harmony with plans of member countries of the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem Project. The plan, he stated, is to ensure that the objectives of the Strategic Action Plan of the GEM-CG project is attained at the regional level.

Disclosing that the GEM-CG project is pegged on the Abidjan Convention relating to cooperation in the protection of marine and coastal zones of West and Central Africa and the UN Biological Diversity Conventions, Helé, said the project has witnessed a pilot and two major phases.

He said the first phase of 1995 to 1999 which laid the base for the integrated coastal areas management helped in the choice of the project demonstration sites in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo. The second phase saw the extension of the sites to Angola, DRC, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sao-Tome and Principe, and Sierra Leone.

He added that major components of the second phase was the elaboration of a national action programme for the protection of marine environment against pollutants originating from land, a trans-frontier diagnostic and an analytic document as well as a feasibility study on the integrated coastal areas management. He noted that the documents enormously contributed to the drawing up of the Strategic Action Plan.

On what the government of Cameroon is doing, the Minister mentioned a demonstration project on integrated coastal areas management at Kribi Campo which falls within the framework of GEM-CG project. Another project Helé talked of is the conservation and participative management of mangrove ecosystems of Cameroon in the villages of Lokoundjé, Béhondo, Campo Beach and Ipono which entails sensitization and the production and planting of some 20 000 mangrove trees, etc.

The 92-page three chapters draft national action plan locates the coastal zone which runs from Kombo Abedimo in Ndian through Limbe, Douala, Kribi to Campo. It also describes the resources of the marine coastal area and gives a list of some 45 industries located along the coast of Cameroon and whose activities constitute a potential danger to the coastal ecosystem. Justifying the national action plan, the document highlights bad governance, loss of integrity of coastal ecosystem, deterioration of water quality, destruction of natural habitats, reduction in artisanal fishing zone amongst other shortcomings

To effectively implement and fight against the destruction of the marine and coastal areas, the plan proposes the development of alternative income generating activities, the restoration of the depleted mangroves as well as the promotion of its sustainable management. It also envisages surveillance and control of fishing activities; fight against coastal erosion and pollution; the promotion of good governance, etc. The integrated management plan of coastal areas of the Kribi Campo zone was also validated during the workshop.

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