Infrastructure Development: Environmental Concerns As Key Factors

By Hilton NDUKONG, Cameroon Tribune, 25-06-2014
WWF on June 24, 2014 in Yaounde organised a two-day workshop on Chinese projects in the country.
In order to ensure that Cameroon becomes an emergent nation by 2035 by carrying out major infrastructure development projects that take environmental norms into consideration, the charity, World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, in Yaounde, organised two days of discussions for stakeholders.

Speaking at the opening at Djeuga Palace Hotel, WWF Cameroon’s Country Director, Hanson Njiforti, said China has in the last 10 years emerged as a major development partner not only to Cameroon, but also Africa. He said the intention was not to put to question the environmental practices of Chinese companies in Cameroon, but to encourage them to improve on what is already being done.
Dr Njiforti disclosed that WWF Cameroon and WWF China have been working together with the Chinese government to ensure that the country’s companies in Cameroon increase their respect of national environmental norms. A representative of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, Essissima Pascal, described the workshop as a welcome opportunity to revisit decisions taken by government on respecting environmental norms; a much-needed factor in economic development.
Major infrastructure development, he pointed out, cannot be carried out without affecting the environment. It is for this reason that the ministry oversees the carrying out and implementation of environmental impact assessment studies in major Chinese infrastructure projects in the country, which now stand at over FCFA 700 billion. He invited the public to bring forth suggestions on improving sustainable environmental management in project sites.
The objective of the workshop was to assess Cameroon-China cooperation in the last 10 years, with focus on efforts by the two sides to align current and future Chinese development assistance with the Cameroon’s environmental and sustainable development policies. It was also to review Cameroon’s preparedness for the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, Ministers’ Summit in South Africa.
The event was attended by representatives of the Chinese Embassy, as well as development and environmental stakeholders.

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