Gabon – Woleu-Ntem: Illegal logging in Bitam – VivAfrik

Gabon – Woleu-Ntem: Illegal logging in Bitam – VivAfrik

Bitam, capital of the department of Ntem, a city located in the north of Gabon in the province of Woleu-Ntem, about thirty kilometers from the Cameroonian border and not far from Equatorial Guinea is paying the costs of forest offenders. Indeed, during forest surveys during the period from November to December 2022 in the Bitam area, the joint team of agents from the cantonment of Water and Forests and members of Conservation Justice were able to pool their efforts, immediately informed a press release sent to VivAfrik.

And the official source adds that “the mixed team was able to confirm the existence of four (4) illegal logging sites in several villages in the Ntem department. Equipped with various sawing tools, the authors and their accomplices had no prior authorization from the administration, which led to the seizure of the machines and the cut wood. The parties concerned were heard in Bitam by the decentralized Water and Forests administration to establish their responsibilities with regard to the various violations of the forest code observed”.

It is on the Melen-Effack-Bibeigne axis that the mixed team will make a first field trip to a site illegally exploited by Mr. “BEKONO” of Cameroonian nationality and in an irregular situation in Gabon. During his hearing at the cantonment of Waters and Forests, the latter declared that he was the author of the cuts on two (2) of the four (4) sites identified and would work on behalf of a police captain assigned to the police station. Bitam police station. On the site, were also discovered 4 trees cut but not yet worked as well as a pile of 203 slats and rafters. When questioned, the subject arrested will let the agents know that the exploitation dates from a month ago on this site. At his home in the village of Effack-Bibeigne, the chainsaw will be seized as evidence. The police captain would be known for the same facts at the level of Bitam. He will therefore be summoned by the cantonment of Waters and Forests to be heard on Minutes, accompanied by his sawyer, further detailed the press release broadcast by Presse Radio.

The captain will recognize the facts of which he is accused, and clear the sawyer. He will claim that the respondent was acting on his instructions.

It is noted that after the first seizure of the cantonment, the inhabitants confirmed having seen a lorry transporting the litigious wood overnight from the site, which constitutes a serious aggravating circumstance.

According to a police source who requested anonymity, the text says, these facts constitute a major breach of the ethical rules of the police, which specifies that each police officer must act in full compliance with the laws, be irreproachable by showing example to the people.

With regard to the last two sites, it would be an illegal cut from the village of Essatop where a national beneficiary of a pit sawing authorization exploits an unauthorized site. In Okoralene village, two other people were again heard in accordance with the procedure and sanctions provided for by the provisions of the forest code were given by the cantonment of Waters and Forests of Bitam.

The species found on the different sites are essentially Padauk, Belinga and Dabema. Like all species of wood, their exploitation requires compliance with the law, in accordance with the sustainable management of forests, which is the subject of a national strategic policy for the Gabonese economy in line with Gabon’s leadership as green model at the international level. Remember that sustainable forest management integrates the economic, social and ecological aspects of forests. Failure to comply with the laws in this context would be likely to compromise this stated ambition of the State and threaten an essential natural resource for future generations, the official document concluded.

Moctar FICOU / VivAfrik