By DOH JAMES SONKEY
The Minister of Arts and Culture, Pierre Ismail Bidoung Mkpatt presented Cameroon’s cultural and natural diversity to decision makers in the world who converged on Paris, France last June 3 and 4, 2019 to participate at the UNESCO-Africa-China World Heritage Cooperation Forum. The Forum was opened by the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Audrey Azoulay.
Presenting an expose on the theme “safeguarding world heritage, legislation, job creation and empowerment of youths in Cameroon” at a high level discussion last June 3, 2019 in Paris, France, Minister Bidoung Mpkatt rejoiced that the forum was an ideal opportunity for the world to be briefed on Cameroon’s rich cultural and natural diversity as Africa in miniature.
He said the Republic of Cameroon situated between West and Central Africa with a surface area of 475 442 km2 and a population of 24 million inhabitants has earned the title of Africa in miniature because of its extraordinary natural and cultural diversity.
He explained that “in order to protect its rich natural and cultural diversity, Cameroon has 33 protected areas and 350 inventories of cultural goods out of which 19 goods are found on the indicative list (11 cultural goods, 2 mixed and 6 natural goods.) Presently the country has 2 classified natural goods on the list of world heritage (the wildlife reserve of Dja and Tri National of Sangha.)”
The Arts and Culture Minister further explained that “according to political orientations from President Paul Biya, government option is to make our heritage, a vector of development and national integration so that the valorization and integration of our heritage reconciles our citizens with their history and project Cameroon on the world scene via the establishment of bridges with the Diaspora while pursuing its ambition of living together.”
The Minister concluded that Cameroon’s expectations are high on the outcome of the forum especially as it has in the past years engaged in a vast process of proposing national, transnational and trans-border goods for inclusion on the world heritage list of humanity.
The forum which took place on the theme “World heritage and sustainable development in Africa and China,” was aimed at strengthening collaboration between Africa and China in the preservation of World Heritage as well as take stock of sustainable development challenges facing both China and Africa and to foster the sharing of experience in this area.