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FCFA 1.8 billion For Cameroon To Fight Climate Change 

By Colette Endale* — The World Bank will grant Cameroon FCFA 1.8 billion for the next three years to enable the country put in place structures and legal framework for pilot REDD+ projects.

REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, including conservation, sustainable management of forest and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
Cameroon is amongst some 20 countries selected after the World Bank validated its Readiness Preparation Proposal (RPP).

The RPP is a REDD+ preparation strategy document which opens a floodgate for funds to execute REDD+ activities and enable Cameroon to develop a national strategy. “We shall identify actions to be carried out and then elaborate a strategy as from 2013,” says Pierre Hele, Cameroon’s Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development.

The International Community, within the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention Forum on Climate Change, UNFCCC, recently identified reduction of emission of greenhouse gases as one of the ways to fight climate change. “Forest degradation will be reduced and this will create opportunities for carbon trade, promote conservation and sustainable management of natural resources for the wellbeing of the population,” Hele said.

Cameroon has come a long way to get its Readiness Preparation Proposal validated. With the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, the country successfully developed a Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN), which was validated by the World Bank in 2008, thereby providing access to a 200,000 US dollar fund (FCFA 100,000,000) for the second phase that resulted in the RPP.

“We are working hand in glove with the government to carry out REDD+ feasibility studies in the Ngoyla-Mintom Forest Massif and building capacities of stakeholders on REDD+,” says Hanson Njiforti, WWF Cameroon’s National Director. According to the UN, REDD is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.

In 2012, Wildlife Works Carbon, a carbon market leading REDD+ project development and management company, requested the Government of Cameroon to grant up to 700,000 hectares of pristine forest in the Ngoyla-Mintom block located in the South and East regions, for a REDD+ project. The Ngoyla-Mintom project once granted by the Government of Cameroon would become the World’s largest REDD project, once validated.

“A project at this scale in Cameroon would be worth up to US$ 500 million (FCFA 250 billion) in revenue to Cameroon, in addition to numerous other benefits such as infrastructure (roads and bridges…), jobs and local community development initiatives form an integral part of WWC’s proposal,” says David Hoyle of Wildlife Works Carbon, Cameroon.

*Volunteer Communications Officer WWF Cameroon

First published in The Post print edition no 01411

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