Established in 2000, Campo Ma’an National Park is a protected area in southern Cameroon created as environmental compensation for the controversial Chad-Cameroon Pipeline. The 2,460km sq. park neighbors five logging concessions, and agro-industries for palm oil and rubber—all within the Campo Ma’an Operational Technical Unit.
Poaching and the unsustainable hunting of wildlife threaten biodiversity and the long-term viability of Africa’s ecosystems. Many species are also hunted for bush meat, affecting the continued survival of those key populations. It is estimated that the national value of the bush meat trade, widely practiced in sub-Saharan Africa, ranges from US $42 million to US $205 million across countries in West and Central Africa.
Cameroon has often been called “Africa in miniature” for how much it mirrors the continent’s diversity. That’s especially true from an ecological standpoint. Like its mother continent, Cameroon boasts a coastline, mountains, savanna, desert and tropical rainforests. Though just larger than Sweden in terms of geographic size, this Central African nation hosts roughly 90% of all the ecosystem types found in Africa.
In charge of ecological monitoring and biodiversity conservation at the Dja Biosphere Reserve in Cameroon, Roger Bruno Tabue Mbobda became an ecoguard because, quite simply, “I wanted to become a renowned environmentalist.” It is not an easy job, however. Tabue provides some insight into what it means to work and live on the front lines of the poaching conflict.
On Wednesday, the World Parks Congress (WPC) in Sydney wrapped up with a moving shout-out to a number of rangers from Africa who every day defend the continent’s natural heritage.