Cameroon is investing efforts to protect the environment through the creation of protected areas (PAs) while at the same time longing to attain its development objectives of becoming an emergent country in 2035 through the exploitation of its natural potentials. Attaining both objectives is usually accompanied with conflicts between different ministerial departments. This paper consequently seeks to identify those PAs that overlap with other projects (mining, agro-industries, and forest exploitation) and calculate the surface area of the former that has been taken up by the later. Data were obtained from the Interactive Forestry Atlas of Cameroon Version 3.0 produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and its partners. Internet sites and existing reports on environmental and development issues in Cameroon among others served as important sources of information. Results demonstrate that an approximate area of more than 1 million hectares (ha) of PA land have been taken-up by the three economic development-oriented projects mentioned above. That is an estimated 1,173,479 ha, 3575 ha and 1814.44 ha of PA land that have been taken-up by mining sites, agro-industries, and forest exploitation, respectively. For both objectives to be attained, concerted efforts from all ministerial departments concerned is mandatory.
Part of the book: Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences