Nigeria, Cameroon Sign MoU To Fight Trans-border Wildlife Trade, Others


The Nigerian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with neighbouring Cameroon to both collaborate to fight against transborder wildlife trade, and promote ecosystem conservation and management of forestry and wildlife resources.

The agreement was signed in Abuja on Friday by the Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas and Cameroon’s Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Jules Doret Ndongo.

Speaking during the signing of the MoU (Cooperation Framework Agreement on Trans boundary Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forestry and Wildlife Resources), the Nigeria’s Minister said the agreement symbolizes a milestone and provides a platform for the establishment of a joint transboundary management framework.

He explained that the implementation of the agreement aims to supervise and coordinate identified areas of cooperation, ensure special protocols are consistent with identified areas of cooperation, collaborate in the implementation of common transboundary programmes, and develop the institutional and mobilisation of funds for the implementation of common transboundary programmes.

The Minister said: “Apart from the global phenomenon of climate change and environmental challenges, social factors including over-population, poverty, food insecurity have continued to immerse these resources to the brink of extinction. While this is going on, transboundary criminality such as illegal logging, poaching and wildlife trafficking have further aggravated the trend and seem to have vindicated the reverberating but appalling warning revealed in the landmark Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 2019 Global Assessment Report that about one million species are threatened with extinction, and many within decades.

“With our common border spanning over 1,500 km, halting and reversing the unsavoury trend cannot be achieved by the political will and commitment in a country alone but more promising is the adoption of bilateral and multilateral approaches particularly when considering the continuum and migratory nature of these resources against the backdrop of the complexities of their transboundary management and conservation.

“To that extent, the event of today is of great significance as it does not only underscore the commitment of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present Government to collaborate with Cameroon to manage and conserve our shared natural resources but also demonstrates the importance of bilateral cooperation in tackling global challenges. So, this agreement can be said to be galvanised by this long history and an apt response to international commitments undertaken by the parties.

“It symbolises a milestone and provides a platform for the establishment of a joint transboundary management framework, which will facilitate cooperation and coordination between our countries on matters relating to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources. This framework will be instrumental in ensuring the effective conservation and sustainable management of our forests and wildlife resources, which are critical to our ecosystem services, livelihoods, and sustainable development.

“This agreement will further facilitate the development and implementation of joint programmes and projects for the conservation and sustainable management of transboundary ecosystems, and also foster the sharing of experiences, knowledge, and best practices between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon.”

On his part, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Cameroon, Jules Doret Ndongo assured that Cameroon would do everything possible to implement the agreement.

He said, “The over-exploitation of forestry resources and poaching, especially cross-border poaching, are serious threats to the sustainable management of our natural resources and constitute thus one of the causes of climate change.

“Given its importance, I hereby urge all parties involved in this process to be more committed in the implementation of this instrument.Rest assured that the government of Cameroon will endeavor to do everything possible at a level to implement this agreement” He said.

In his remarks, Head of Environment and Climate Change Division, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Bernard Koffi, represented by ECOWAS advisor, Adewale Adeleke said, “This is one agreement ECOWAS has been looking forward to, we need to cooperate with each other, we need to share experiences and work together both legally and with communities to safe guard the resources of both counties.”

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