By Deng Eric
DOUALA-Cameroon- Friday May 31, 2019 -9 : 05 PM Local Time( Cameroon News Agency) In Garoua, North Region of Cameroon worst hit by deforestation and an advancing desert, the country’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Jules Doret Ndongo is launching the 2019 tree planting campaign which he says is government’s commitment to drive reforestation and combat biodiversity loss.
He announced during the launch last month that some 220 thousand trees will be planted nationwide over some 12 million hectares of land at the cost of FCFA 220million. The Minister further pointed out that between 2012 and 2017, government spent FCFA 4billion in the tree planting exercise.
In Cameroon, the serious accelerating rate of deforestation is not only threatening biodiversity and ecosystem balance but also contributing to global climate change. In Douala and many parts of the South West, the run-off water from the surrounding hills results in flooding and loss of property each year.
In the Extreme North of Cameroon, it is almost a similar scenario especially with the advancing of the desert. “By restoring vegetation and the forest, we are helping to combat global warming. We are also helping to reduce runoff water from the hills. The trees will help to reduce landslides and rock slides that have resulted in the loss of life. Reforestation is essential for the overall health and quality of life of the community. Reforestation will benefit the local ecosystem by providing vegetation and restoring biodiversity” Ndongo said.
Given that land expanses are continuously being stripped of vital tree cover as a result of uncontrolled tree felling, bush fires, invasion of forest reserves by farmers and cattle of livestock breeders which inadvertently precipitates climate change, Doret Ndongo exhorted the population to appropriate the habit of planting trees to protect and conserve the environment.
In the three Northern regions, eight million hectares of land have been carved out for the exercise for which funding agreements were signed with the Regional Delegates of Forestry and Wildlife, selected municipal authorities, Common, Initiative Groups and Associations.
Apha Abdelaziz, a youth in Garoua whose association will benefit funding to plant tree says “We are prioritizing reafforestation around city settlements and schools. We also encourage school goers to take care of the planted trees. Thanks to the tree covers, temperatures are cooler.
The tree planting campaign launch comes at a time when there is a strong global appeal for projects to help restore vegetation by planting trees in the surroundings. Efforts are focused on reversing deforestation as recommended by the Environment Protection Agency. Degradation and deforestation of the world’s tropical forests are cumulatively responsible for about 10% of net global carbon emissions.