Dja Side Event at the 17th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP)

 

 

Please consult the following PDF Document:

 

During the 17th Meeting of the Parties (MOP) of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) that took place from 24 th to 27 th October 2017 at Sawa Hotel in Douala, Cameroon, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), UNESCO, IUCN, African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the Congo Basin Institute (CBI), in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), organised a successful side event on the Dja landscape.

 

 

The side event, that took place in the Bridge Room of the hotel on the 24th October from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM was titled ENSURING EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE DJA LANDSCAPE. The event was moderated by Mr Joseph Lekealem, Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas MINFOF and comprised of two short presentations on the Dja followed by discussions as well as questions and answers.

 

 

The first presentation was made by Yousouf Diedhiou of IUCN and Leila Maziz of UNESCO. They presented UNESCO’s view of the Dja Biosphere Reserve with emphasis on findings and recommendations made to the state party following the Joint UNESCO and IUCN evaluation missions (2009, 2012 and 2015) to secure DBR’s Outstanding Universal Values. They acknowledged that there was progress in implementing the recommendations but there were still much to be done before the next session of the world Heritage committee in 2018 to avoid being listed as World Heritage Site in danger.

 

This was immediately followed by a presentation by Oliver Fankem of ZSL, representing ZSL, AWF and CBI, on the significance of the biodiversity of the Dja, challenges to its effective management and conservation, and our collective activities underway to address them. These activities include surveying the mammalian fauna present in the Reserve through the use of transects and camera traps, supporting MINFOF in their management and patrolling efforts and developing scientific research and eco-tourism facilities in the Reserve. After these two presentations, the moderator gave the floor for questions and answers/discussions on the topics of the presentations.

 

The ensuing discussions were very rich and covered topics ranging from the ongoing threats to the integrity and future survival of the Reserve to the importance of engaging local communities to ensure a future for both biodiversity and human health and wellbeing.

 

Participants at the event were drawn from across Government Ministries, NGOs and other orgnzsations as well as donors such as the USFWS and the German Development Bank (KFW).

Conclusion Discussions among the partners as well as comments and questions from participants were rich and indicative of the very important work that has been done so far towards effective management and conservation of the DBR and surrounding landscape. There was a sense that everyone was agreed that everything should be done to secure the Outstanding Universal Values of the Dja and avoid the Dja Faunal Reserve being classified as a World Heritage Site in Danger.  We thank the various institutions financially supporting this important work, especially the European Union through their ECOFAC program. Lastly, we thank and commend the men and women of MINFOF and supporting organisations who work in difficult and dangerous conditions in the field.

 

 

The ZSL stall

 

During the CBFP meeting, ZSL organized a stall to showcase our decade of work in Cameroon, principally in the Dja/TRIDOM and Douala-Edea landscapes. The stall provided a great opportunity for ZSL staff to meet and engage with other NGOs, government staff and members of the public. A slideshow of camera-trap images from the Dja Biosphere Reserve provided good evidence of the continuing value of this UNESCO World Heritage Site and the importance of continuing to support MINFOF in their management of the Reserve. A selection of leaflets, calendars and photographs were available both to encourage discussion of conservation issues and for participants to take away to share with others. The stall was busy and visited by a steady stream of people throughout the three days of the CBFP meeting. Conversations were lively and interesting and ZSL has no doubt as to the importance of this event for highlighting the valuable work being done by the respective Governments, private enterprises and NGOs in all countries within the CBFP to sustainably manage the biodiversity and natural resources of this important area.

 

For more Information contact: Mr Christian Asanga <Christian.Asanga@zsl.org>

 

 

For more Information, please consult the following PDF Document:

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