Cameroon loses close to XAF33 bln yearly to illegal logging and wildlife exploitation (ANIF)


Business in Cameroon

Date Published
Cameroon loses close to XAF33 billion every year to illegal logging and wildlife exploitation, according to a recent report published by the National Agency of Financial Investigation (Anif).

“It is obvious that the financial losses are enormous and difficult to accurately quantify. In a correspondence dated March 2019, the Minister of Territorial Administration directed the administrative authorities to initiate disciplinary and/or criminal proceedings against those involved in illegal logging and wildlife exploitation, which causes the state of Cameroon to lose nearly XAF33 billion every year,” the report reveals.

The same source indicates that poaching statistics are equally alarming (nearly 3,000 kg of pangolin scales and 77 ivory points seized in 2018). It adds that it is also difficult to accurately estimate the financial flows generated by this crime. In Cameroon, the most dramatic poaching incident is that which occurred at the Bouba Ndjida National Park (the Far North) in 2012. That year, nearly 300 elephants were killed by poachers for the ivory points they wanted to export.  

Wildlife and forest products are sold to clients in Yaoundé. Those clients then export the products to Nigeria, Europe, and Asia.  

“The continually rising financial flows sufficiently prove that trafficking, in all of its forms, is on the rise and presents a high risk for money laundering,” ANIF concludes.

It, therefore, suggests the government should up repressive actions against the traffickers thus making them back down and save the public treasury the financial resources it is losing since trafficking is slowly destroying the wildlife tourism industry.