Cameroon’s train operator, CAMRAIL, launched a new partnership with conservation group WildAid and advertising company JCDecaux to show short films celebrating the “Unsung Heroes of Conservation” on its trains linking Yaoundé and Douala.
CAMRAIL has already banned the transportation of protected species on its trains, and the latest effort underlines its commitment to conservation.
"CAMRAIL's participation in this campaign confirms our determination to contribute to the protection of the fauna and flora of Cameroon, by supporting all the initiatives that go in this direction”, said Pascal Miny, General Manager of CAMRAIL.
“I also welcome the continuous collaboration with the administrations in charge on the one hand, and on the other hand, with the NGOs that accompany us in the framework of our environmental and social program whose transformation process into a real policy is underway,” he added.
Africa’s iconic wildlife species are facing intense pressures due to illegal hunting for meat or wildlife products, as well as climate change and habitat loss, and many are threatened with extinction.
WildAid's “Unsung Heroes of Conservation” series honors the courageous men and women who play a vital role in wildlife conservation across the African continent. These are the often-overlooked, rarely seen people who not only help to protect endangered species, but also support the communities that live alongside them.
The short films are designed to raise awareness about the importance of protecting wildlife species and inspire a new generation of wildlife guardians.
Recognising that its trains were being used by bushmeat traders supplying Yaoundé, CAMRAIL signed an agreement with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in 2001 banning the transportation of protected species on its services. JCDecaux also underlined its support for the conservation in Cameroon.
“With nearly 850 million people exposed to our campaigns every day, we have a role to play in the preservation of our planet through the promotion of responsible campaigns,” said Léonard Khattari, regional director for West & Central Africa for JCDecaux.
“Given the challenges of wildlife protection in Cameroon, it was natural for us to highlight WildAid's ‘Unsung Heroes for Conservation’ to a captive audience on a strategic route between the country's two metropolises,” he added.
Cameroon is often known as “Africa in miniature” because of it’s home to a wide range of different ecosystems, with tropical rainforests, mountains, savannah, deserts and a rich coastline. With forest cover equivalent to around 45% of its territory, it forms a vital part of the Congo Basin forest ecosystem, one of the world’s “green lungs.”
Cameroon’s government has set aside 22% of the country as protected areas, but significant challenges remain, including deforestation, poaching and illegal bushmeat hunting. The country was once home to cheetahs, wild dogs and the last population of western black rhinos on the planet, but all those species have disappeared in the last 20 years.
It is still home to important populations of iconic but endangered species, such as forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, pangolins, lions and leopards, but numbers of all major species are declining.
Notes to editors:
- There are thought to be only around 200 to 300 cross river gorillas left, scattered across the remote mountains between Cameroon and Nigeria, while there are only a few thousand of the rare Nigeria-Chimpanzee, the only chimp species that both cracks nuts and uses sticks to fish for termites. There are just 270 lions left in Cameroon, and only about 400 forest elephants after a rapid decline in the past decade.
- Cameroon is also home to three of the four species of pangolin present in Africa, the ground pangolin and the tree-dwelling white-bellied and black-bellied pangolin. All three species are suffering intense pressure due to poaching for their scales and to supply the bushmeat trade, and all are protected under Cameroonian law.
For media inquiries please contact:
Simon Denyer, Africa Program Manager
Phone +44 7368 974 339
Jennifer Biffot, Francophone Africa Representative
Phone (+237) 693 885 423
WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $200 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: “When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too”.
WildAid in Africa
Since 2015, WildAid has been working in Cameroon, Gabon, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe to highlight the urgency of protecting wildlife. Using celebrity ambassadors, from singers and athletes to ministers and religious leaders, we aim to reach the hearts and minds of the public at all levels of society.
More information on WildAid’s work in Africa can be found at https://wildaidafrica.org/
Follow us on social media @wildaidafrica (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube).