Cameroon lost over 1.5 million hectares of forest in 17 years

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A view of semi-forested hillsides, showing land that's been cleared for agriculture, in Western Cameroon's largerly rural Bamboutos Department. (Creative Commons / Kondah)
A view of semi-forested hillsides, showing land that’s been cleared for agriculture, in Western Cameroon’s largely rural Bamboutos Department. (Creative Commons / Kondah)

Cameroon lost over 1.5 million hectares of forest from 2000 to 2017, the country’s National Observatory on Climate Change said in a report.

There are fears that destruction of the environment may have accelerated since then, environmental experts said during the presentation of the report to journalists on Wednesday in the capital, Yaounde.

According to the report, most of the deforestation took place in the Congo Basin, home to the world’s second-largest rainforest.

Cameroon’s Minister of the Environment and the Protection of Nature Pierre Hele, who presided over the ceremony, blamed the rising degradation on the effects of climate change.

He said Cameroon is upbeat to present a strong case in the battle against climate change during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) next month in Glasgow.

“We have to do our best to fight against deforestation. During COP26 next month we have to face the problem of climate change,” Hele told reporters after the presentation of the report.

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