ECCAS provides grants for anti poaching within ECOFAC V
05 January 2014 | Article
IUCN Cameroon represented by Leonard USONGO attended signing ceremony of contracts in Libreville Gabon on 13th December 2013 awarded by CEEAC (Central Africa Economic Commission) to support anti-poaching operations in trans boundary savannah ecosystems of north Cameroon, south of Chad and north east of CAR.
The ceremony was presided by Secretary General of CEEAC His Excellency Ahmed Allam-Mi in presence of Gabonese forests minister HE Tchako, CEEAC goodwill ambassador former Cameroonian ace footballer Patrice Mboma, EU representative, members of diplomatic corps based in Gabon, NGOs, local and international media. During the ceremony about € 3 million in grants was handed to major beneficiary partners operating in the Congo basin namely GIZ (German Development Agency), IUCN, WWF, ANPN (Gabon National Parks Authority) and Conservation Justice and Aspinall Foundation. The s EU which allocated funds for this initiative was duly acknowledged during the ceremony by CEEAC for their financial assistance to combat wildlife hunting and illegal trade in Central Africa.
The grants signing ceremony marked a significant step towards implementation of Emergency Action Plan endorsed by Central African states following Yaounde conference in March 2013. The Libreville meeting was held ahead of two major events involving African leaders to mobilize international opinion in the fight against elephant poaching and ivory trade. The events were Paris conference convened by French government to support Central African states combat elephant poaching and ivory trade virtually on the increase and which has significantly contributed to insecurity in the region. The Gaborone summit hosted by government of Botswana in collaboration with IUCN with similar objectives to mobilise international community to support ongoing efforts by African countries to tackle increased hunting of African elephants for ivory trade.
The IUCN grant is destined to reinforce existing work on the ground particularly within Sena Oura-Bouba Njida trans boundary area. Field activities financed by this project will kick off in 2014.. The funds will finance sensitization and awareness raising activities targeting local communities and other local stakeholders , reinforce judiciary systems particularly in monitoring, reporting and judgment of apprehended poachers. Other activities include capacity building of judiciary services notably in investigation, documentation and reporting on anti-poaching crimes; setting up multi stakeholders consultative platforms to build functional coalitions to collaborate in the fight against poaching, bush meat and ivory trade. Cameroon and Chad signed a trans boundary collaborative agreement in 2011 to coordinate conservation initiatives within national parks of Sena Oura (Chad) and Bouba Njida in Cameroon. Last November a trinational agreement was signed in Ndjamena Chad between Cameroon, Chad and CAR governments to reinforce trans boundary collaboration within protected areas of savannah ecosystems which still harbour significant populations of mega fauna species such as elephants, giraffes but whose populations are seriously threatened as result of poaching.