In October, as part of one of our projects in Cameroon and neighbouring countries, supported by the German developmental organisation GIZ, we welcomed a delegation from Cameroon to the Netherlands. Participants were Michel Babale, director of Garoua Wildlife College and two teachers of the school, Emmanuel Iyah and Bouba Hotta. Garoua Wildlife College is our local partner. At the College, students from all over West- and Central Africa are taught in wildlife management.
The two teachers followed an ArcGIS course at the Institute for Environmental Sciences (CML, Leiden University). ArcGIS is an information system with which spatial data, such as habitat and population densities, can be stored, managed and analysed. Michel Babale has spoken with Burgers’ Zoo, WWF Netherlands and IUCN Netherlands amongst others, to explore possible future collaborations. On the last day a visit to the Oostvaardersplassen was planned. The visitors got an explanation on the management of the Oostvaardersplassen by Mr. Perry Cornelissen, ecologist of Staatsbosbeheer.
We hope that the programme ArcGIS in the future can be incorporated in the curriculum of Garoua Wildlife College, and that this visit has inspired a new joint project. This way our ongoing project in Cameroon can get a follow-up and we can help keep making a difference in the region.