Jullien Mbelley has been the Regional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Northwest since 2016. Less than a year into office, the 49 years Forestry and Wildlife Engineer, who came in with over 22 years of professional experience in environment and biodiversity conservation has already carved out a vision for the conservation of natural resources in the Region.
“We have too much to do in this Region. My first year was directed to promoting reforestation and intensifying the fight against poaching. My next target is intensifying the fight against climate change through the promotion of tree planting campaigns to compensate depleted forests as a result ofroad and house construction and fuel wood. Given that over 29% of Northwest ‘s forest cover is under permanent protection and the population is on the increase, I will also have to speedy the valorisation of these resources to benefit the population of the region,” the Delegate divulged.
The MINFOF boss added that the principal focus during his stay in the region is to safeguard wildlife and habitat as well as reduce illegal trans-boundary exploitation of wildlife and timber resources, promote selective deforestation and reforestation of degraded area, promote fundraising through ecotourism, marketing of NTFPs for the improvement of the welfare of the local population and the improvement of the socio-economic plight of the local communities.
Besides these, Mr. Mbelley said he will ensure the development of agroforestry and agriculture in forest adjacent communities, the protection of watersheds and water sources as well as encourage the establishment of a centre of learning and research on environmental issues, wildlife and climate change in Northwest Cameroon.
He noted that the State, through her sustainable management drive, has created numerous protected areas in the Northwest Region including but not limited to the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Kimbi Cattle Game Reserve, and the KilumIjumPlant Life Sanctuary and the Kimbi-Fungom National Park, which needs the collaboration of all stakeholders for effective management.
“The Government has created these areas but cannot ensure the effective management of natural resources within them without the collaboration of the local communities and conservation actors. There is thus, need for financial supports from NGOs and international organisation to fight against the illegal exploitation of wildlife and forest resources and the illegal encroachment into the protected area. If these are done, then great exploit will be done for this region in term of natural resources conservation” the Delegate added.
Northwest Region is situated in the Humid Savana zone with diversified ecosystems; Forest, Savana and wetland playing host to large mammals such like buffalos, gorilla, chimpanzees and duikers amongst others. This shows the rich biodiversity of the region.
By Shancho Ndimuh