Coming full circle: Cameroon follows in footsteps of CAR and Chad, signs Specific Protocols!
It all began in December 2016 in Douala, Cameroon with the 1st Meeting of Country Experts in Cameroon, the CAR and Chad on the Development of Specific Protocols (SP) relating to the BSB Bi-national and Tripartite agreements on the fight against transboundary poaching, notably the Specific Anti-poaching Protocol relating to the N’Djamena Tripartite Agreement between Cameroon, the CAR and Chad and the Specific Eco-development Protocol relating to the Bi-national Cooperation Agreement between Cameroon and Chad
On the initiative of the GIZ Project to support the Sena Oura -Bouba Ndjidda Bi-national Complex and the Programme for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Central Africa, PCBAC-SEAC, country experts of sector administrations in charge of Water and Forests, Wildlife, Fisheries, the Environment, Territorial Administration, Foreign Affairs, Cooperation, Defense and Justice developed Specific Protocols (SP) and validated them. The country experts, under the supervision of COMIFAC and with the support of ECCAS, GIZ, IUCN and WWF, reviewed and discussed the compliance of the SPs with the national laws of countries covered by the Tripartite agreement, with national validations for each country.
Hence, during the signing ceremony of the Specific Protocols, hosted by the COMIFAC Executive Secretariat on 15 March 2018 in Brazzaville, on the sidelines of the Conference of Ministers of Forestry, the SPs were signed by the Chadian Minister of Environment and Fisheries and the Central African Republic’s Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, Water resources, Hunting and Fisheries, who were representing their respective governments. In order to finalize the signing of the specific protocols by the Republic of Cameroon, COMIFAC forwarded the SPs to the Cameroon Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife which then proceeded to sign them.
The signing came one month before the follow-up meeting on the Declaration of Ministers of the International Conference of Ministers of Defense, Security and Protected Areas on LAB (Anti-poaching agreement) and other transboundary criminal activities, held in N’djamena-Chad, from 23 to 25 January 2019. One of the main recommendations from the Conference was that Cameroon should sign the Specific Protocols and their extensions to emerging geographic blocs deemed relevant to the eco-security of the northern interconnected savannah areas of Lake Chad and equatorial zones of the Congo Basin forests.
Given the need to ease cross-border collaboration in the North-West geographic bloc delineated by the N’Djamena Conference, step up local development within the local communities surrounding PAs, develop and implement a joint strategy along with a cross-border anti-poaching action plan, the SPs represent a key link in the chain of priority measures to be implemented, which the CBFP Facilitation has agreed to place at the top of its agenda.
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