YAOUNDE: Experts from central Africa met in Cameroon’s commercial capital Douala on Monday to work out a regional plan to combat poaching.
“Illegal wildlife crime continues to pose serious threats to wildlife populations. The forest elephant is especially in danger in Central Africa,” Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Jules Doret Ndongo told reporters.
“We want to fight against the growing trend of poaching, especially trans-boundary poaching and insecurity in protected areas.”
Ndongo said the meeting will review progress made in anti-poaching in the 10 member countries of the Central African Forest Commission. The regional bloc is intensifying measures to enforce field wildlife crime units and set policies at the national and regional levels.
Central Africa owns the Congo Basin, the world’s second largest rainforest with almost 2 million square kilometers of humid forest.
According to World Wide Fund for Nature, Central Africa has experienced a 62-percent decline in the number of forest elephants between 2002 and 2011 due to commercial poaching, and it has been deteriorating over the years with cumulative losses of up to 90 percent in some landscapes in the region between 2011 and 2015.