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Forest mapping tool to help Cameroon combat illegal logging

A powerful new forest-mapping tool released recently by World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch (GFW) will help the Cameroon government better assess and allocate forest resources throughout their country and support better law enforcement and governance.

In 2002, GFW and the government of Cameroon brokered a historic partnership to help the battle against illegal logging. This agreement marked the first remote-sensing and monitoring partnership between an African government and an independent group and has recently produced a report on the state of forest concessions and a mapping tool that will help officials from Cameroon’s Ministry of Forests and Fauna (MINFOF) to uncover illegal logging throughout the country.

GFW creates maps of logging roads by interpreting satellite images and combines these maps with information on the legal boundaries of forest titles and protected areas. Due to this work, Cameroon’s MINFOF will now be able to identify problem areas and prioritize them for field audits. The maps produced under this agreement also provide information on the status of the implementation of Sustainable Forest Management Plans for the forest concessions of Cameroon.

Pierre Methot, GFW Central Africa program manager said that latest technologies like satellite imagery and GIS and the cooperation of the government, local partners, as well as the private sector in Cameroon would help acquire data for the production of this very important tool.