Cameroon Ministry of Forestry publishes data on illegal logging activities
The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife’s National Control Brigade for Control Operations of Cameroon has recently published data on illegal logging activities.
According to the report, in the first quarter of 2016, Cameroon suspended the licences of four logging companies, issued 35 other companies with warning notices and generated 54.2 million FCFA (£71.5 million) in fines related to illegal operations in the forest sector.
The publication of such information is related to Cameroon's Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, which aims to address illegal logging by improving forest governance and promoting trade in legal timber products to EU markets.
The quarterly register presents information on cases of illegality in the forest sector and on sanctions imposed against companies.
The four companies whose licences were temporarily suspended are: SITAF, SCDC, South & FILS and SOFIE. The Head of the National Control Brigade for Control Operations, Ella Ondoua Ambroise Rodrigue, said the suspensions would be lifted if the logging companies paid fines levied on them.
According to Chatham House, "in Cameroon the area of production forest independently verified as legally compliant or of legal origin doubled between 2006 and 2009. However, illegal logging remains widespread in the country."
Cameroon tops the list of tropical hardwood suppliers to the UK market: in 2016 to date, 12,529 m3 of Cameroonian timber have been imported to the United Kingdom.