Cameroon’s parliament voted a bill recently authorising the Head of State to promulgate into law the Paris COP21 agreement on Climate Change.
By Yanick Fonki
According to the agreement adopted at the end of the Climate Change Conference in Paris, Developed and Developing countries committed themselves to limiting global temperature increase below 20C while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.50c.
Among the commitments made, developed countries pledged to provide finance for mitigation and adaptation of climate change activities in developing countries. To that effect, $100bllion was pledged by Developed countries to cater for the activities of poor countries, who have committed themselves in fighting climate change. This amount was to be shared among Developing countries up to 2025 when a new target will be set.
Cameroon and its neighbouring countries are expected to fully engage themselves in protecting the Congo Basin highly needed in fighting Climate Change.
This is particularly important as the basin has over the years been depleted by anthropogenic activities.
Statistics indicate that between 1990 and 2000, approximately 91,000 km2 of forests were lost in Central Africa. Today, unregulated and often illegal extractive activities are pushing further into the Congo Basin.
The promulgation of the Paris agreement into Cameroon’s law will be a great prove to international communities that the country is fully committed in respecting all its engagement with relation to fighting climate change.
With the adoption of this bill and its subsequent promulgation into law by the Head of State, every Cameroonian will have to play a great role in ensuring that the country’s objectives of limiting her greenhouse emissions to 32% by 2035 is achieved.
Responding to questions from MPs, recently, on the adoption of the Paris Climate change agreement, the Minister of the Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Haile Pierre, indicated that Cameroon’s ratification of the Paris Agreement bill will ripple itself to the various towns and cities where each and every citizen will be obliged to change their habits in other to fight climate change.
Corroborating the Minister’s point, Southwest Regional Delegate of MINEPDED, Set Ekwadi Songue, said “Fighting Climate Change is a collective issue. Every citizen is expected to make huge sacrifices. Our climate is fast changing and we are already seeing its effects in various areas including floods, droughts, and irregularity of the season.”
Mr Ekwadi said by signing into law the Paris agreement, the government will be engaged in a number of sustainable activities to reduce the green house emission to its barest minimum by 2035.
In an interview with Member of the National Assembly, Hon. Awudu Mbaya Cyprian, who doubles as President of Pan African Parliamentarians’ Network on Climate Change, he indicated that a clear cut plan of action must be provided by the government of Cameroon if the country must succeed in fighting climate change.
“People destroy the forest, because their livelihood depends on it. The government must create alternative sources of livelihood to support those who destroy the forest” Hon. Mbaya said, adding that each industry in the country must provide their plan on fighting climate change
Just like Hon. Mbaya, the CEO of the Environmental Protection and Development Organisation (EPDA Cameroon), Mr. Tanda Godwill said government’s policy on the environment will only be taken serious when it truly puts on an engaging fight.
“There’re many other declarations, and agreements that the government of Cameroon has signed. Yet the problem always lies at the level of implementation.” Mr Tanda said.
According to him, corruption and administrative bottlenecks may hinder the implementation of the Paris agreement on Climate change. He asserted that if the government practice what it preaches, its blueprints on climate change will be the best.
According to the CEO of the People’s Earth Wise, Shey Benjamin, Cameroon can attain its objectives by strengthening its efforts in reducing the green house emission, deforestation, forest degradation, ensuring the conservation of carbon forest stocks, Sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
For this to be achieved, he said a well craft out policy must be set by the government, putting the interest of the population first.
“The creation of community forest in many localities will greatly curb forest degradation as the forest shall be fully managed by the community.” Mr Shey Benjamin added.
It should be recalled that in signing into law the Paris agreement on climate change, Cameroon stands the chance of benefitting 100million US dollars as supporting fund made by developed countries to poorer countries for climate change fight.