Cameroon: The World Resources Institute in partnership with the government of Cameroon has developed an interactive map of forests of Cameroon. The atlas, coded with a kaleidoscope of colors, reveals a mix of protected land, commercial logging operations, mining concessions, community-owned forests and agricultural terrain. It is a striking visual reminder of the complexity of the environmental picture in Cameroon, where threats like logging continue to challenge the rain forest’s integrity despite restrictions that have been legislated to protect the forest in recent years.
The interface, called the Interactive Forest Atlas 3.0 and assembled with GIS, is the third in a series of digital and paper maps issued since 2002 to help chart Cameroon’s forests by collating disparate data on land use.
This latest installment includes new land-use layers, among them one for mining and another for agriculture that shows where the palm oil and rubber plantations area. The hope is that with the forest facing so many distinct pressures, the map will help improve the management of this massive green resource.
The mapping tool will “bring all these pieces together into one place, so that everyone has the same access,” said Matt Steil, the World Resource Institute’s manager for the Cameroon Forest Initiative.