LOCATED IN CENTRAL Africa, the Republic of Cameroon has a land area of 183,568 sq. mi. (475,442 sq. km.), a population of 17,795,000 (July 2005 est.), and a population density of 97 people per sq. mi. (37 people per sq. km.). With 80 percent of the population involved in agriculture, arable land accounts for 13 percent of the country. A further 4 percent is used for meadows and pasture. Fifty-four percent of the land is covered in forest. The forestry industry specializes in tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, ebony, and sapele.
With an underdeveloped economy, Cameroon has a low rate of carbon dioxide emissions, with 0.1 metric tons per capita in 1990, rising to 0.23 metric tons in 2003. About 87 percent of Cameroon's carbon dioxide emissions come from the use of liquid fuels, 4 percent from solid fuels, and 13 percent from the manufacture of cement. Most of these carbon dioxide emissions are generated by transportation (61 percent), with 21 percent from residential use. The public transport network in the country is not well-developed, although there is an efficient train service connecting the northern and southern parts of the country.
The Cameroon government of Paul Biya ratified the Vienna Convention in 1989, and took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992. The government accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on August 28, 2002. It took effect on February 16, 2005.
SEE ALSO: Deforestation; Forests; Transportation.
BIBLIOGRApHY. "Cameroon—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007); Germain Gros, Cameroon: Politics and Society in Critical Perspective (University Press of America, 2003); Paul Scholte, Saidou Kari, and Mark Moritz, The Involvement of Nomadic and Transhumant Pastoralists in the Rehabilitation and Management of the Logone Flood Plain, North Cameroon (International Institute for Environment and Development, 1996).
JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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