After evolving from Fungom Native Authority Forest Reserve in 1932 and Kimbi River Game Reserve in 1964, this biodiversity hotspot, which was last February 2015 christened the Kimbi-Fungom National Park is en route to becoming a Category 1 protected area.
By B. Shancho Ndimuh
Created as category 2 protected area with a surface of 95,380, the Pioneer Conservator of the Kimbi-Fungom National Park, Mr. Fominyam Njoh Christopher, speaking to The Green Vision recently, said the Park has all it takes to be a category one protected area and will soon become one.
“To be a category one PA, you must have a surface area equal or above 100,000 hectares. And we are 95400 only short of 3600ha and the land is there. Everything has been done and we are just waiting for a team from Yaoundé to confirm the boundaries of the areas that are to be added to the park such that they do not infringe into other land use plan. If the identified areas are added, the Park’s surface area will increase to 150,000 hectares and will thus ,be upgraded into a Category 1 protected area by the end of 2017,” the Conservator disclosed.
Mr. Fominyam said the upgrading of the Park into a Category 1 protected area has a lot of implications especially with the management of natural resources in the area.
“The intensity of activities within a category 1 protected area is higher also attracting higher assistance/attention from the state. You can realise bigger dreams; you can also use such a status to attract funding in line with government investment and you get more work done. It will also mean more resources, more staff that will enable us better ensure the conservation of the park,” he expounded
The Kimbi-Fungom National Park boss noted that the upgrading of the park will equally go a long way to create a large wildlife habitats and safe haven and some wildlife species that migrated before the Lake Nyos disaster may come back given that the Park is surrounded by some biodiversity hotspots and animals are no respecters of boundaries.
The upgrading of the Kimbi-Fungom National Park into a Category 1 protected area will only add to a host of other protected areas within this rank included but not limited to the Korup, Bakossi, Campo-Ma’an, Mbam Djerem, and Bouba Njida National Parks.