The Northwest Province, which is one of the ten administrative units of Cameroon, has a population of almost two million people. It is located in the western highlands and characterized by high altitudes ranging from 1,000- 1,008 meters above sea level. Unsustainable agricultural land use practices, such as traditional slash and burn, are increasing the destruction of natural resources and resulting in heightened poverty, worsened gender equality and human suffering.
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This best practice showcases how Cameroon’s efforts to harmonize biodiversity-related Multilateral Environmental Agreement’s (MEAs) led to the creation of targets in the country’s revised National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plan (NBSAP) that recognize illegal commercial trade of wildlife and plant species as a pressure on biodiversity. The Cameroon NBSAP 2014-2020 calls for several actions that promote synergy and collaboration.
The money that countries spend to manage and maintain protected areas should not be considered an “expenditure” but an “investment.” This is not only a semantical issue, but also a conceptual and theoretical one. In general, countries, citizens, press, and ministers of finance praise the investment, but not the expenditure. For instance, in the case of the guards that work for these areas, should those salaries be considered as a general expenditure, or as an investment? If we do not pay for the guards, can we keep a protected area safe?