Cameroon lists its part of Lake Chad
The Secretariat is very pleased to report that Cameroon has designated its portion of Lake Chad as a Ramsar site, effective on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, thus completing the Ramsar coverage of this important lake: Partie Camerounaise du Lac Tchad (12,500 hectares, 12°46’N 014°19’E). Lake Chad is known to frequently support over 200,000 birds and various other fauna and flora of the region such as the endangered species like the African Clawless Otter, Red Fronted Gazelle and the African Bush Elephant amongst others. Of note is the use of the site as a refuge by hippopotamuses and the Nile crocodile during the dry season.
Ramsar’s Cynthia Kibata notes that the site also is recognised for its numerous important hydrological values, including sediment retention, flood control and ground water replensishment. The local communities depend on the income-generating activities supported by the resources from the wetland such as traditional fishing, hunting, subsistence farming, livestock rearing, etc. The site is recognised, however, as one of the most affected areas as a result of the challenges posed by climate change and localised threats of over-grazing, water pollution, invasive species, excessive use of pesticides, etc.
WWF’s International Freshwater Programme and the WWF Central Africa Regional Programme Office (CARPO) have been extremely helpful in facilitating the preparations for this important addition to the Ramsar List.