Interesting facts about Cameroon timber

A recent publication of rainforest research institution has revealing interesting facts about timber production and industry in Cameroon. I note that in some developing countries endowed by rich natural resources, extraction industry such timber production is playing important roles for the local economy.

Such countries are experiencing several situation hard to solve poverty and natural resource degradation. Deforestation and degradation then linked with the poverty incidents. The interesting fact is that industrilized countries are pushing tropical countries to participate in global warming solution mechanism by reducing or stop the deforestation. Is the mechanism will work for Cameroon?

I’m not sure. I put some comment in Pye-smith publication about hidden Cameroon timber key facts

  • Cameroon extracting timber in very high level. During 14 years, the amount of timber harvested in Cameroon to supply domestic and regional markets has increased by a factor of 10.
  • Timber industry becomes one of the job creation source. The domestic timber market employs some 45,000 people, three times more than the number employed by export-oriented industrial companies.
  • The domination of illegal operation of timber extraction. Approximately 75% of the timber harvested for domestic use is produced by chainsaw millers operating without title – in other words, illegally.
  • Corruption and bribes in extraction industry. Those involved in the illegal trade in domestic timber must routinely pay bribes to government officials to continue doing business. These bribes represent 9% of harvesting costs. Two-thirds of the chainsaw millers interviewed by CIFOR cited harassment by government officials as their biggest problem.
  • The Cameroon gov’t has no streng to combat the corruption in timber extraction activity.  The state derives no benefits from the domestic timber harvest. Attempts to legalise the trade have been thwarted by the government officials who are supposed to apply the law.
  • Cameroon is trying to improve the situation. They are working with European Union to legalize the timber produced.

Download the publication that written by Pye-Smith here.

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