Cameroon launches an awareness campaign to promote the use of legal wood
Business in Cameroon) - Last June 14, in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian Ministry of Forest and Wildlife (MINFOF) and local NGO Center for International Forestry Research/World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF) launched an awareness-raising campaign to sensitize residents of the main urban areas on the use of legal wood.
With the slogan ”Le bois légal, c’est génial” (Legal wood is great - in French), the campaign is organized to encourage the purchase of sustainable and quality wood products and change consumers’ behavior. Various awareness-raising activities are planned for this purpose, ranging from radio broadcasts to advertising skits and banners, all about the timber market.
For Hortense Motalindja, deputy head of the Wood promotion department at the MINFOF, the low proportion f legal sawn timber in the overall volume used in Cameroon constitute an obstacle to the rational management of the country’s forest resources and national development. “Our ambition, through this campaign, is to boost the demand [for legal sawn timber]. This will likely encourage producers to comply with the law and supply the market with more legal wood,” she added.
For Liboum Mbonayem, a CIFOR researcher, most Cameroonians show interest in knowing the origin of the wood products they buy. However they should try to inquire about the legality of those products, he added. Notably, they should ask about “copies of the waybills that transported the wood or the delivery note. "
According to a study carried out by CIFOR in Douala and Yaoundé in 2016, only 16% and 18% of the overall wood sold respectively in those cities was of legal origin. So, the NGO believes that to promote the long-term sustainability and availability of forest resources in Cameroon, it is crucial to increase the availability and demand for legally sourced wood in the domestic market.