CAMEROON — From Feb. 26 through March 1, 2018, White Mountain National Forest Supervisor Clare Mendelsohn represented the USDA Forest Service at the Water and Environmental symposium in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Over 40 participants including representatives from government agencies, civil society organizations, international NGOs, youth networks, technical and financial partners, the media, and educational and research institutions were in attendance.
The primary objective of the symposium was to facilitate sharing of experiences among water and environment organizations. The team sponsored by AFRICOM, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, and Florida International University, addressed various issues related to water and environmental issues in Cameroon.
Mendelsohn presented information on the Forest Service’s International Programs, emphasizing the goals and importance of international cooperation in sustainable forestry practices and the IP’s specific efforts in Cameroon and the Central Africa region. She communicated the many benefits national forests provide to society and cautioned against the adverse effects of deforestation, concluding her presentation with an organized list of “no regret” actions as the country further progresses in economic growth. In Africa, and especially West Africa and the Congo Basin, deforestation is particularly staggering and presents on-going risks to environmental security due to natural disasters and climate change effects.
Mendelsohn’s attendance was in partnership with the US Department of Defense African Command and Florida International University and supported by the Forest Service IP. This is an example of how the Forest Service provides technical assistance to international resource managers.