Cameroon will plant about 10 million trees on over 25,000 hectares within the next five years as part of a sustainable forestry initiative in the Central African timber exporter nation, a forestry official said on Thursday.
Cameroon shares part of the Congo Basin forests — the second largest tropical rainforest in the world after the Amazon Basin — but suffers illegal logging that experts warn is putting the future of its timber industry at risk.
The project will include the construction of three plants to process the wood from the plantations into timber for domestic and export markets, Bekolo Bekolo, director general of Cameroon’s national forestry development agency said.
“It (the project) is estimated to cost 5.4 billion CFA francs ($11.3 million) altogether, and create about 3,656 direct jobs,” Bekolo told Reuters.
Cameroon’s neighbour Congo Republic, said in August that it was planning to raise $2.6 billion to restock its part of the Congo basin as part of its fight against uncontrolled logging and global warming.
Congo said it planned to replant trees and set up regulated plantations in 1 million hectares of forest land over the next 10 years.