KIGALI - The second sub-regional pilot committee for the Conference on Humid and Dense Forest Ecosystems of Central African Rainforests (CEFHDAC) opened yesterday in Kigali.
Opening the three-day meeting, the Minister of Mines and Forests, Christophe Bazivamo, said that they will evaluate the progress since the first meeting was held in Bangui, Central African Republic, in August 2009.
Bazivamo said that the meeting will internalize and back up other regional initiatives, and lay the ground for future prospects.
CEFDHAC is a subsidiary of the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC).
Both organizations are made up of 10 Member States; Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, CAR, Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad.
The two bodies aim to protect natural forest resources in all member countries.
Roger Louis Essola Etoa, a top official with CEFHDAC, told The New Times that the Kigali session would evaluate on country basis, what has been achieved in conserving the resources.
“In Bangui, we developed a roadmap, and in this meeting we will review what was done in as regards implementation of this roadmap,” said Etoa, who comes from Cameroon.
The vast central African forests are home to unique species of flora and fauna. They are a rich repository of natural resources that provide many people with their primary source of income. But they are being cut down.
Estimates of future deforestation in Central Africa indicate that by 2050, forest clearance in the DRC, alone, will release over 30 billion tonnes of Carbon dioxide.
To ensure that people living in the forests can earn sustainable livelihoods while slowing the rate of deforestation, the African Development Bank has granted $50 million to COMIFAC for five years, from 2009 to 2014, towards a programme to preserve the Congo Basin ecosystems.