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Cameroon: Forestry and Health Experts in Synergy
The following article was published in the Cameroon Tribune and is available on AllAfrica.com.
An international research centre in Yaounde says the welfare of forest communities in the world's tropical countries can be significantly enhanced by bringing together forestry and health professionals. This is why forestry and health experts on 12 October at the conference hall in Yaounde ended a two-day brainstorming workshop. Organised by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the workshop aimed at bridging the gap between forest managers and health professionals.
Although scientists say the relationship between forests and health is highly complex, research indicates that rapid land use for agricultural expansion, leading to deforestation, can contribute to the emergence of infectious diseases. As such, participants at the seminar who were forestry, environment and health researchers, reflected on emerging international interest in a range of forest and health issues such as global warming's impact on forest-derived medicines, and the links between forest damage and diseases such as malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDS.
The coordinator of the Center for International Forestry and Research, Cyrie Sendashonga, said CIFOR is mandated to look at the socio-economic and environmental aspects of the forest, thus the theme of the seminar "Forests and Health".
She said there are a number of severe diseases such as malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDS that originated from the forest and it is important for governments in these regions to be aware of such dangers and in designing their policy for sustainable forestry policies, the health dimension should not be left out.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 9:19am on October 17, 2007
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