The Born Free-supported Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon has launched a ground-breaking new regional campaign, which encourages local people to be aware of, be proud of, and be responsible for protecting the country’s wildlife.
The initiative – the first of its kind in Limbe – launched on Endangered Species Day 2019, with the unveiling of a series of eye-catching billboards at prominent roadside locations, which highlight key wildlife issues such as habitat destruction, poaching and the exotic pet trade.
This is the first stage of the campaign which calls on Cameroonians to join together under the slogan ‘Together, we must Protect Wildlife’ and is supported by Limbe’s most senior government official, Mr Emmanuel Engamba Ledoux, the Senior Divisional Officer for Fako.
Other prominent partners include local group the Da Nzimbistic Cultural Centre, the Divisional Delegation of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, the African Marine Mammal Conservation Organisation, Limbe City Council, UNESCO, and the Programme for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, which provided most of the financial support for the project.
Limbe and its surrounding area is one of the last remaining retreats for endangered species including the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee and drill monkey, forest elephant, pangolin, plus several species of marine turtle and the magnificent humpback whale. However, wildlife in the area is under constant threat from the illegal bushmeat trade, hunting and the trade in wild animals, deforestation and industrial agriculture.
Maggie Balaskas, Born Free’s Animal Rescue and Care Manager, said: “Working with local communities to engage and inspire people to protect the unique wildlife on their doorsteps is a key part of what we do at Born Free. We welcome this initiative by the Limbe Wildlife Centre and the divisional and regional authorities, and see it as a positive step towards a practical solution for wildlife protection in Cameroon.”
Guillaume Le Flohic, Manager of the Born Free-supported Limbe Wildlife Centre, added: “This milestone campaign is the first of its kind in Limbe, and signals a step in the right direction for wildlife protection in Cameroon. We are delighted that various partners and authorities have been able to work together to engage citizens in the urgent need to protect wildlife.”