The Cameroonian government has annulled its recent decision authorizing the exploitation of a virgin forest, announced Tuesday the Prime Minister, a reversal desired by NGOs which had notably underlined the presence of primates threatened with extinction in this zone. In mid-July, the Cameroonian government had decided to allocate "to the production of timber" more than 68,000 hectares of the Ebo forest, located north of Douala (south), the economic capital.
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Local communities and Greenpeace denounced this decision, residents promising to do everything possible to obtain the cancellation of this measure. Joseph Dion Ngute said he proceeded on August 6 to the "withdrawal" of the decree by which he had authorized the project of exploitation of this forest. The Prime Minister explains that he went back on his decision "on very high instructions from the President of the Republic" , Paul Biya. The Ebo forest is home to primates threatened with extinction. The Cameroonian government had in the past decided to make this forest a national park.
"The Ebo forest is home to critically endangered primates whose death sentence was signed by the Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, with the approval of the Presidency of the Republic of Cameroon," Sylvie Djacbou lamented , forestry officer at Greenpeace Africa. While Brazil has been singled out for having reached a record level of Amazon deforestation in the first half of the year, deforestation is also accelerating in Africa, the United Nations food and agriculture organization warned. (FAO) in May.
The Congo Basin rainforest covers 200 million hectares, and is the second largest rainforest in the world after the Amazon.