Created by the colonial government way back in 1934, the Ako-Mbembe Forest Reserve in the North West Region of Cameroon was recognized in the 2011 Regional Action Plan for the Conservation of the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee as "Important Priority Site".
The then Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife like his counterpart, the Minister of Environment of Federal Republic of Nigeria, had not only prefaced the Regional Action Plan but made commitments to work with local (NGO) partners in implementing the recommended conservation actions laid down therein.
but we recently stumbled on a Public Notice by which the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife has proposed to the Prime Minister to create a a Forest Management Unit (FMU 11-010) for commercial timber exploitation.
While the conservation community expects the government to create or upgrade more protected area in the Region that has only one national park, we are scandalized with the move to tranform the conservation site for commercial exploitation.
We of the Centre For Indigenous Resources Management and Development (CIRMAD) appeal for a pronounced stop to process at the office of the Prime Minster of Cameroon, which will result to effacing that "Important Priority Site" for the conservation of the Endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti).