Cameroon Designates Two New Ramsar Sites
6 August 2012: The Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention) has reported that the Government of Cameroon has designated two new Wetlands of International Importance, bringing its total number of Ramsar sites to seven.
One site is called Partie Camerounaise du fleuve Ntem, which is a permanent freshwater river surrounded by marshes, trees and shrubs. It supports over 80 species of large- and medium-sized mammals with 18 species of primates. In addition, 28 species of bats have been identified, and the site supports 1,500 plant species and 249 fish species. Activities carried out on the site include subsistence fishing, agriculture and the harvesting of non-timber forest products.
The other new site, Zone Humide d'Ebogo, is a seasonally flooded freshwater swamp forest. It is a biodiversity-rich rain forest which supports several plant species on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as well as nationally important animal species and over 100 waterbird species. The site supports a rich diversity of non-timber forest products which are very important to the local population both as a source of food and as cultural heritage. According to Ramsar, the site is also an important ecotourism site in the area, and a management plan is in preparation.
Cameroon's designations contribute to one of the goals contained in the Ramsar Convention's Strategic Plan for 2009-2015, which is to reach a protected area of 250 million hectares by 2015. [Ramsar Press Release]