In accordance with Decision 11/17 of the Conference of Parties (COP) a national report on the implementation of the Convention on Biological Biodiversity (CBD) is expected to be written and made available to the Secretariat of the Convention and other parties desirous to benefit from the information from the reporting party. The report is expected to serve as a follow-up mechanism on how a party is implementing the CBD noting especially that the time has come “For Action” which implies that parties to the Convention, should begin implementing the CBD. This first National Report is expected to focus in so far as possible on the measures taken to implement article 6 of the Convention Decision (11/17) and it is also in fulfilment of Cameroon’s obligation as a party to the Convention.
This report is completed following the model provided by the COP as contained in the Annex to decision 11/17 as well as the “National Biodiversity Planning Guidelines Based on Early Experiences from Around the World” produced by the WRI/IUCN/UNEP. Additional guidance is from information contained on “Further Guidelines on preparation of National Report” contained in documents UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3 inf 15116.
In terms of content, a number of issues have been discussed in the main fourteen sections of the report. The issues highlight those aspects and activities with regards to the implementation of the CBD particularly focusing on those principal objectives of the Convention with regard to: the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its component and the equitable sharing of the benefits arising out the utilization of genetic resources. The report relates how these main areas of focus apply at national level considering the country’s institutional set-up, the existing policy and legal framework; their further application in biodiversity evaluation, biosafety and biotechnology the Clearing House Mechanism as well as indigenous knowledge. Discussions on the major causes of biodiversity loss and capacity to achieve the objectives of the CBD using illustrations contained in document UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/3 inf 15.
It is to be mentioned that Cameroon is in the process of preparing the Draft National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and its outcome will be reflected on the final National Report.
In order to better explain the text and emphasis on important issues, illustrations, in the form of tables and maps, have been included. A number of annexes are found at the end of the report. A chart on the level of implication and the state of implementation of the Convention in Cameroon is included as Appendix I.
The report has been compiled by a selected panel from the task-force of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan who represent key ministries and the main NGOs that interfere with biodiversity processes and activities in the country. The draft report has been subjected for commentary and corrections by the main key-players within the institutions and various sectors involved in biodiversity before being considered for approval by government. The draft copy was sent to the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi for examination and criticism and will later be sent to the Secretariat of the CBD to be tabled to the Fourth Conference of Parties (COP 4).
Mention is made on the short-coming and difficulties encountered in the whole process of documenting and other activities related to the implementation of the CBD whether in the course of elaborating the NBSAP or while assembling information for the national report. In this regard it should be noted that time schedules and the envisaged level of performance might have fallen short of expectation of possible indicators for the future.