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WWF Says Care Needed As Elephant Population Dwindles 

By Francis Tim Mbom

The Communication Officer of the WWF’s Sawa Programme, Janet Molisa, has said much needs to be done to protect the lives of elephants found in Cameroon’s coastal forests, else poaching might soon eradicate the few still left in the wild there.

Elephants in need of protection

Molisa was speaking to The Post after an acquaintance meeting in their Sawa Programme Head Office in Limbe with journalists drawn from several press organs in the Southwest Region on Wednesday, May 27. The Communication Officer said for the eight years that WWF has been out in the Southwest Region, they have found out that the elephant population really needs to be preserved. She said they were found in almost all the protected areas under the Sawa Programme outreach.

"Yes, especially the elephant. The elephant is a very important animal species in this area and it is found in almost all the protected areas within the Sawa Programme. I think it is a very important specie to preserve," Molisa said. She said WWF has already succeeded in tagging three of the animals here so that they can, through satellite links, be able to monitor their movements. Besides, Molisa said their work of conservation has been succeeding thanks to the cooperation they have been getting from the government and the local communities. 

She said they were able to set up the Bakossi National Park in 2007 and soon the Muanenguba and the Kupe Integral Ecological Reserves will be created. On another note, she added, "the Mt. Cameroon proposed national park is also near completion."Molisa noted that WWF focuses on conserving forests by developing and managing protected areas like the Bakossi Forest Reserve so that both today’s and tomorrow’s generations can benefit.

She further said WWF was also concerned with the conservation of other animal species which she termed flagship species like the drills and chimps whose lives are equally being threatened on several fronts: the hunters’ bullets, farmers’ quest for more farmland, logging companies and even the agro-industrial corporations that need to expand their plantations.

Molisa, who was joined in the briefing by several of her colleagues, said they were still working to come into an understanding with all the stakeholders on the ground so that the business of conservation, through, collaboration could better be achieved.