© Michel Gunther / WWF

Congo Basin: Heart of Iron

The Congo Basin countries are witnessing a surge in direct investment flow notably in the mining, oil, infrastructure and agro-industry sector.
The implementation of these projects will have major direct and indirect environmental and social impacts with large areas of pristine tropical rainforest permanently destroyed and large numbers of rural communities affected.

The notable direct impacts include direct loss of HCV forests and important wildlife habitat in WWF priority landscapes, increased poaching, forest degradation and pollution.
In Cameroon WWF believe that the mining sector like the agro-industries (palm oil) can contribute to sustainable development when carried out in a responsible manner. WWF to curb these negative trends of impact is developing efficient working relationship with government, private sector, civil society and local communities to ‘get things right’. 

Strategic objective

Government, companies, citizens and communities pursue green growth strategies that recognize the economic, ecological and social value of the country’s natural capital and invest in sustaining these values.

Key intervention areas

Promote integrated land use planning that take into account both conservation and developmental needs as a veritable tool to solve conflicts of overlap between, for example, mineral exploration permits, forestry, agro-industries and protected areas. 
Engaging in policy, planning and project level activities to ensure that environmental and conservation interests are effectively taken into account by government and private sector actors.
Promote and support mining sector leadership with the development and adoption of best practice operational performance standards and the use of environmental offsets based on sound principles and practices such that sector leaders measurably demonstrate the value of ‘net environmental benefit’ and set a higher bar that others will seek to follow.
Support government set policies that reduce the environmental impact of mining, agro-industries and infrastructural projects in Cameroon and that companies adequately compensate where there are residual impacts either through offsets (bonds or other financial provisions).
© jamesmorgan
Impact of mining activities in the forest
© jamesmorgan

Key strategic intervention approach

Building networks and partnerships to ensure effective environmental management in mining, infrastructure and agro-industries.
Facilitating dialogue between different stakeholders to promote coherent land use planning processes.
Developing and sharing knowledge on good environmental and social practice in mining.
Monitoring mining developments in Cameroon for their commitment to Sustainability goals.
Contributing to international initiatives aimed at improving the governance of natural resources and mineral wealth.
Developing Guidance for advocacy of greater commitment to sustainable development in the extractives sector.
© MichealGoldwater
Artisanal mining
© MichealGoldwater

Key achievements

Supported the establishment at the National Assembly of a Follow-up Committee (CTSF) to ensure government implement recommendations of the 2009 forum on the integrated management of natural resources in Cameroon.
Produced a map showing the different land conflicts in Cameroon with extractive, forestry, agro-industries and protected areas.
Supported one oil company in the development of its primate management monitoring plan (on-going).

© wwfccpo
Cameroon mining permits
© wwfccpo