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05 September 2013

Tofala-Mone Forest Corridor in Peril

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Tofala Forest Corridor in danger

A Timber exploitation Company, the Cameroon Agricultural and Forestry Exploitation Company (CAFECO) would in the days ahead begin timber exploitation in the Tofala-Mone forest corridor. The coming of this company would put the lives of some globally protected species living in the adjacent Tofala forest in total danger from loss of habitat.

The Tofala-Mone forest corridor is one of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)'s conservation sites in the Lebialm-Mone forest complex.

This forest block connects the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mone Wildlife reserve. It harbours the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti), Mandrills (Mandrillus leucophaese), African forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) and other threatened birds, plants and animal species. The coming of the Cameroon Agricultural and Forestry Exploitation Company (CAFECO) means that this forest block is at risk. CAFECO is a timber exploitation company whose headquarter is in Ossing, Manyu Division, Southwest Cameroon.

The logging activity would distort some ecological processes such as, migration and interbreeding of the sub population of Cross River Gorilla in the Tofala and Mone forest area, thus reducing the population viability of these animal species with just about 300 of them left in the wild.

Also, the logging activity coupled with easy accessibility into the Tofala-Mone forest area due to the constructed Bamenda-Mamfe Highway will further increase the rate of poaching of wildlife and unsustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products. Thus, if action is not taken now, then the world might just be bidding farewell to the great ape population and other threatened plants and animal species in this forest area.

It is for this reason that ERuDeF is calling on its international partners, the Cameroon government and the entire conservation family to take action in order to save the last great apes and other plants and animal species in this forest block.


By Enokenwa Allen Tabi