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05 March 2018

Why Mount Nlonako Needs Urgent to Gazettement

Posted in News, Views 97

Why Mount Nlonako Needs Urgent to Gazettement

Mount Nlonako is a key melting pot for  Cameroon’s exceptional herptofauna species. Located in the Littoral Region of Cameroon, this Mountain harbours over 93 amphibians species, 10 of which are endemic to the area.  There are also 89 reptile species with three endemic to the Mountain and 267 bird species, four of which are also endemic.

The over 30 adjacent communities to this hotspot have for time immemorial depended on this mountain’s biodiversity for their livelihood. Over 90% of these adjacent communities involved agricultural activities clear vast hectares of the Mount Nlonak each day for agriculture and human settlement. Overexploitation of wild species such as the Goliath frog and other mammal species like the Pangolin to meet consumers’ demand is threatening the biodiversity on Mt Nlonako to local extinction. Meanwhile parts of the lowland forest of Mt Nlonako have been selectively logged in the past and new concessions are nibbling the reserve along the Nkébé River.

Survey & Key Discoveries 

After reading several literature and field reports about the increasing depletion of amphibians and other biodiversity species on Mount Nlonako, the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies took interest in Mount Nlonako. With the support of Helsinki Zoo, the Institute conducted a baseline survey on the distribution of Goliath frog and other amphibians species on Mt Nlonako between January and March, 2016 to establish priority sites for conservation of these species

After the survey, it was discovered that about 19,440 frogs are harvested from this mountain area every peak season with habitat loss and fragmentation on a high gear due to deforestation. This discovery underscored the urgent gazetting of this biodiversity hot spot and the provision of alternative livelihood sources to adjacent communities to Mount Nlonako  as the only remedy to the depletion of the Mountain and its rich biodiversity species.

As an institution focused on setting the pace in biodiversity management in Cameroon, the ERuDeF Institute is developing a technical report for the creation of the “proposed mt. Nlonako Herpetological Sanctuary”

The Difference Gazetting Mt Nlonako Will Make

The successful gazetting of the proposed site will  aid in the conservation of the world largest frog species (Conraua goliath) and some 93 amphibians including endemic species like Werneria mertensiana, Petropedetes perreti, Conraua robusta,Cardioglossa melanogaster, Cardioglossa venusta, Astylosternus fallax,Leptodactylodon mertensi, Leptodactylodon ornatus, Leptodactylodon ovatus orientalis. It will equally provide a safe haven to  89 reptile and 267 bird species.

Transforming Mt Nlonako into a protected area will equally aid in the conservation of key medicinal plants species like Azadirachta indica, Baillonella toxisperma, Dosternia mannii, Enantia chlorantha, Garcinia cola, Garcinia lucida, Newbouldia laevis, Pausinystalia johimbe and Prunus Africana,Carapa procera and many others.

Mt Nlonako equally prides itself as the source of River Mungo, River Wouri, River Dibombari, and many other tributaries which the population of the area and its environs depends on for household, industrial and agricultural activities. So gazetting this area will be very instrumental in the conservation of this water source.

The biodiversity hotspot will equally serve as a laboratory for scientific research in the domain of Forestry and Wildlife, Water, Landscape, etc that will generate income for the population. The Protected Area will also help in the development of this area through the construction of research centres around the Protected Area.

Protecting Mt Nlonako will help prevent or reduce damage from many natural hazards such as landslide, erosion and land fragmentation which is destroying the habitat of Cameroon wildlife species.

Besides being the lone protected area that will be dedicated to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles species in Cameroon, the protection of this side will be very instrumental in the realisation of Cameroon Government’s policy of placing at least 30% of the national territory under permanent protection.

The transformation of Mt Nlonako into a protected area will be a bold step towards ecotourism development in Cameroon, which will go a long way to generate jobs for the locals like tourist guide and bio-monitors and in others. It will equally contribute to the sustainable management of Non-Timber Forest Product as well as supported Agro-forestry systems. Pig rearing, beekeeping and aquaculture will contribute to local economic development.

It is therefore incumbent on the Cameroon Government and the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies collaborate in raising funds and putting together everything necessary for the speedy gazettment of this emblematic site, if its biodiversity must be conserved.

By B. Shancho Ndimuh with Contribution from Grace Niba

01 March 2018

First Draft Management Plan for Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Adopted

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First Draft Management Plan for Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary Adopted

The Technical Committee charged with following up the elaboration of the Management Plan of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, has adopted the first draft of the Management Plan dubbed ‘Draft Zero’.

This draft was adopted last February 19, 2018 during the second technical committee meeting in Mbalmayo. Chaired by the Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas (DFAP) in the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Mr. Joseph Lekealem, this second meeting sought to review the implementation of the recommendations of the first Technical Committee meeting, which took place las August 2017, in Buea. It was also organised to  review the proposed Draft Management Plan, prepare the consultations and validations processes as well as  update the roadmap for the elaboration of the management plan of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

In his introductory note, the President/Chief Executive Officer of the organisation facilitating the management plan elaboration process, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Louis Nkembi, thanked all stakeholders for their sacrifice and input in the elaboration process so far.  Mr. Nkembi said he is anticipating that the entire elaboration process will be over by the close of June, 2018.   The ERuDeF boss implored the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) to collaborate and put in all it takes for the realisation of this goal in a timely fashion. 

On his part, MINFOF’s Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas, Mr. Joseph Lekealem, in his key note address, underscored the importance of the management plan elaboration in the conservation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. “The work we are carry out here today is very important for the conservation and the sustainable management of this protected area, which is one of the newest protected area, small in size but very important and big in term of species composition. It is a Sanctuary with gorilla as its flagship species, a species, which moves even across to Nigerian as studies have indicated. So the elaboration of this plan is a very important initiative for us to conserve this gorilla and also look for a way to create a corridor linking this protected area and other parts of Cameroon right up to Nigeria,” he explained.

The Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas affirmed the commitment of his Ministry to ensure that the final management plan is validated by June, 2018. He accentuated the need for resources to be mobilised so the time line can be realised with ease.

The key note address paved the way for technical presentations and deliberations by the Technical Committee, which culminated in the adoption of the first draft management plan for Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.  It was however recommended that the scientific names of ethno-botanic species and vernacular names of animals identified be included; that the migratory corridors be portrayed on the landscape map showing the connectivity of different land uses in the area; and that the zoning map be improved on to show the different zones and the distribution of biological resources. Meanwhile the facilitating organisation was implored to produce report of updated socio-economic studies, wildlife surveys carried out during the preliminary phase.

The Technical Committee members also use the meeting to update a roadmap to guide the elaboration process of the management plan of Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and its peripheral zone was also updated.

The Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is one of Cameroon’s newest protected areas created in 2014 by a Prime Ministerial Decree for the conservation of some close to 40 Cross River Gorillas, over 150 Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzees, unknown population Drills and other biodiversity species.  Last August 2017, the Cameroon Government through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), constituted a Technical Committee, which has been engaged in the development of a management plan for this protected area.

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

01 March 2018

ERuDeF Awarded Best Environmental Non-Profit in Cameroon

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ERuDeF Awarded Best Environmental Non-Profit in Cameroon

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has been awarded by the The Guardian Post for championing environmental protection campaign in Cameroon. The award was received by ERuDeF’s President/Chief Executive Officer, Louis Nkembi , alongside some staff, during The Guardian Post’s Annual Award at the Musango Beach Resort-Limbe last February 17, 2018.

According to The Guardian Post’s Publisher, Christian Ngah Mbipgo, the award is a token of encouragement to those, who have excelled in their respective fields of life thereby contributing to nation building and peace crusading. Corroborating Mr. Ngah, the Chairman of the Award Committee Peterkins Manyong, said the choice of the laureates was not by luck or favour. “They were voted by Cameroonians who identified the great work they have been doing. Such award is therefore an encouragement for others to work much harder. It is to inspire others by recognizing those who have done great work and have been recognised by their communities,” he clarified

Though unexpected, the award was received with lots of joy by the President/Chief Executive Officer of ERuDeF. “It was a great surprise to me when a journalist from The Guardian Post Newspaper came to my office and informed me that ERuDeF has been nominated for this award. It’s really exciting to know that someone somewhere is seeing the great work we are doing in conserving biodiversity and protecting fragile environments in Cameroon. I am indeed grateful to The Guardian Post and to God for this award,” he added.

Mr. Nkembi, expressed profound gratitude to his staff and partners, for the great work and support that has earn the organisation such an award. He said the award is also coming as an encouragement to the organisation to continue to improve quality of lives by putting smiles on peoples’ faces through the implementation of integrated conservation and development programmes focused on species conservation.

ERuDeF is Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organisation created ERuDeF in 1999, with the mission of conserving wildlife and protecting fragile environments through research, education and community engagement. Some 19 years down the lane, ERuDeF prides itself as the first ever national NGO to have facilitated the creation of a protected area in Cameroon, the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, with others underway. The organisation is also credited, among others, for facilitating the launching of Cameroon’s pilot Access and Benefit Sharing Initiative, which culminated in the signing of the first-ever Mutual Agreement Terms (MAT) in the Central African sub-region.

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

01 March 2018

15 Agroforestry Technicians Improve Capacity On Forest Garden

Posted in News, Views 106

15 Agroforestry Technicians Improve Capacity On Forest Garden

Some 15 agroforestry technicians have sharpened their skillson the practises of forest garden.They were trained in a workshop, Friday February 9, 2018,  in Buea. Using sketch diagrams and illustrations, the Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development (DAgFAD) at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Payong Marquise,demonstrated the 4 layers of forest gardening. These layers, according to Payong were; Food Crops/Agroforestry species for the first layer, Fruit trees for the second layer, NTFPs for the third layer and timber species for the fourth layer.

At this final level, the Director explained that animals could be brought in to feed on leaves of some of the species. The heights of the species, according to her training were to ascend from the first to the fourth layers.

According to the Director,the training was to ease understanding of both old and new Agroforestry field-based technicians,to embrace this concept so as to transmit to farmers in their respective networks. “We realised that even though this training has always been administered to technicians, only a few have really understood the concept. Others, especially the newly recruited technicians,are yet to grapple with the ideas. That is why we decided to create another training forum for the technicians to be able to digest the concept since they cannot transmit to their networks what they themselves don’t know,” Payong said. To her, the training is just one of the baselines which would contribute to the goal of the entire project to support the urgent food insecurity problems in Cameroon.

On his own part,the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi,indicated that trainings in agroforestry techniques such as forest garden, grafting, and budding, are very necessary. To him, the trainings serve as the entry point to a bigger idea of business orientation.

The CEO added that the Trees for the future project will from henceforth be more business oriented than before. According to him, all the agroforestry networks will be further transformed into self-operating cooperatives. He recalled that the project’s target is to increase income at the household levels.

The technicians promised to bring all that they have learned to their farmers. They promise to be good ambassadors of the Agroforestry programme, in their respective areas of operation. “We have never practised Forest Gardening in Menchum. After learning this wonderful technique, I think my farmers also deserve to be trained. So, I promise to bring this information to all my farmers in Menchum,” Kum Nicolas said.

Technicians also expressed lots of interest having heard of transforming networks into cooperative. “We don’t only want to support our livelihood needs but also want a system which will help us function independently of ERuDeF,” Said,Ayong Thomas of Momo network.

Agroforestry is a project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), and the US based Trees for The Future Foundation. It is aimed at supporting the urgent food insecurity problem in Cameroon. It works with farmers and field-based technicians all over 4 regions of Cameroon.

By Adeline Tengem

01 March 2018

Communication Delegate Commends GVN’s Effort in Env’tal Reporting

Posted in News, Views 85

Communication Delegate Commends GVN’s Effort in Env’tal Reporting

The Interim Fako Divisional Delegate of Communication Mrs Olive Ejang Ndumea extolled The Green Vision Newspaper (GVN), a publication of ERuDeF Media Division, for its role in informing and educating the people of Fako Divison and Cameroon at large on key environmental issues.

Speaking, February 8, 2018, during her maiden visit to GVN, Mrs Ndumea implored the Cameroon’s leading environmental newspaper not relent efforts in investigating and reporting on key environmental issues by companies, corporations and others in and around the Division

In her key note address the Fako Communication Delegate congratulated GVN journalists and Management on their priceless services to humanity reminding them on the need to uphold key journalism ethics and principles like truth and accuracy, independence, fairness and impartiality, humanity and accountability in the exercise of their function. She disclosed that her goal for 2018 is to equip journalists in Fako with skills on Crises Reporting and Peace Building and Election Reporting.

Officially welcoming the Divisional Delegate, GVN’s Editor-in-Chief  gave the background/historical evolution of the paper, the governance structure and staff strength, vision, goal and objectives, achievements and areas of coverage of the paper. He also presented key challenges facing the paper including epileptic readership & sales, lack of adverts & press releases from private and state corporations/institutions, difficulty in GVN distribution with the gradual departure of MESSA PRESSE and lack of access to information from private and state corporations/institutions. The Editot-in-Chief recommended that the Delegation mediate for easy access to information as well as enlist GVN in the coverage of key national events within the Division.  He equally presented other sister publications of GVN like the Impact Magazine, Cameroon Biodiversity Business Newsletter, A-GSAC Newsletter and centres like the ERuDeF Centre for Environmental Film Making and Photography & ERuDeF Centre for Environmental Information Management.   

The Delegate was also introduced to the operational mechanism of GVN from news gathering, editing, layout, printing, parceling & distribution and archiving. During this session, the 2016 GVN annual and latest GVN editions, were handed to the Delegate and her team.

The Fako Communication boss express the availability of her Delegation to help GVN realise her goals in the Media Landscape of Cameroon.

Mrs Ndumea Olive Ejang was appointed last December 5, 2017, as Interim Divisional Delegate of Communication, Fako. Her visit to GVN was part of her media tour within the Fako Division to know and be known by media houses within her area of jurisdiction. She was welcome to GV by GV Editor-in-Chief, Ndimuh B. Shancho; Editor, Fonki Yanick Assistant Editors Joyce Mbong & Melvis Takang, Reporte,  Ngome Emmanuel and  ERuDeF Director of Administration and Human Resources, Charles Tangie

By Bertrand Shancho N.

01 March 2018

15 Agroforestry Technicians Drilled On CoCoSeD Model

Posted in News, Views 93

15 Agroforestry Technicians Drilled On CoCoSeD Model

Some 15 Agroforestry field-basedtechniciansfrom four regions in Cameroon, have been schooled on the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative.

This was during a two-day Annual Review and Planning Meeting held in Buea from the February 16 to 17, 2018. The meeting was aimed at accessing the results and achievements in the implementation of the Trees for the Future programme in 2017.

While schooling the technicians, the Director of Livelihoods and Economic Development (LED), at the Enviornment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Junie Chamdjou, indicated that the CoCoSED model is a modern prototype for providing a sustainable alternative source of livelihoods to communities adjacent to protected areas. She indicated that the model integrates the community to the protected area in the management and conservation.

“With the CoCoSED Model your household is financially equipped, your community benefits heftily, and the protected area also survives. The concept provides a long-term financial and economic benefit to everyone across the board,” Junie explained

In that light, the technicians were advised to mobilise themselves into cooperatives. This, according to the facilitator, will enable the technicians (who more or less have one common production chain), to benefit extensively from the CoCoSED Model. The technicians planned to invest in the Avocado and Neem production.

This annual meeting was organised by the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development (DAgFAD) at ERuDeF with financial support from Trees for the future.

By Elong Ntungwa

01 March 2018

Kendem Palm Oil Cooperative Changed to Tofala-Mone Palm Oil Cooperative Society

Posted in News, Views 78

The Kendem Palm Oil Producers Cooperative Society, created in 2008, has been re-organised and renamed as Tofala-Mone Palm Oil Cooperative Society. The re-organisation and re-naming took place last February, 2018 during a meeting aimed at reorganising the cooperative based on OHADA Uniform Act.

The re-organisation and change of name follows the launching of the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project in 2016, by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), to support the development of economic opportunities and introduction of cottage industries. The renaming of the Cooperative has therefore been undertaken to meet up with the objective of the Project.

Since 2010, when the Kendem Palm Oil Producers Cooperative During won a grants and constructed a hall, the Cooperative has remained dormant.  The reorganisation and renaming is also a way of reviving the cooperative. “I am very happy with this Initiative that ERuDeF has brought to us. At last my dreams of making this cooperative great have come to fulfilment as we now have a permanent partner. I have been working so hard to ensure the sustainability of this cooperative. Now that the cooperative has a permanent partner, I will say without any doubt that the future is bright for the cooperative members. I will use my position as the president to make sure that all those who have registered without any share do so,” Mr Maurice Ashu, the cooperative president said,

It was agreed at the end of the meeting that each share will cost FCFA 25,000 ($50), with each member to have maximum of four shares. Out of  a total of 200 registered members, 54 members  paid for their shares. Those who had not paid, were encouraged to do so to ensure the effective functioning of the cooperative.

The meeting also saw the introduction of the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative to the Cooperative. Members promised to carry out their activities based on the Initiative. Meanwhile plans are underway for the installation of a soap making machine by ERuDeF with the support of Waterloo Foundation to support the development of economic opportunities and introduction of cottage industries.

 By Njang Quddus


01 March 2018

ERuDeF Menji Regional Office Gets New Manager

Posted in News, Views 77

ERuDeF Menji Regional Office Gets New Manager

Samuel Ngueping is now the new Manager of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Western Cameroon Regional Office based in Menji, Lebialem Division-South West Cameroon.

He was appointed last November, 2017 to replace Allen Enowkenwa Tabi, who has been transferred to Buea as the Senior Director of the Department of Programmes.

 Samuel Ngueping, who is also the Director of Biodiversity and Protected Areas at ERuDeF, holds an MSc. Degree in Protected areas Management from the University of Yaounde I, and  a  Bachelor Degree in Botany from the University of Buea.  

Mr. Ngueping  joined the Environment and Rural Development Foundation in 2013 as Program Development officer; was later promoted to the position of a Registrar and Deputy Acting Director at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies.  In September 2015, he was made the Manager of the ERuDeF Education for Sustainable Development Programme, where he served till 2017, when he was appointed

Few weeks in to his new positions, Mr. Ngueping has already carved out a work plan for himself. "My focus this 2018 will be to complete the development of the management plan of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary & initiate its implementation; complete the classification of Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary and initiate the development of the management plan; develop and support the management plan of FMU 11002 in Tofala Mone; complete the creation of Muanenguba wildlife Sanctuary and validate the technical note for the creation of Mount Nlonako Sanctuary. For research and biomonitoring program, the main target is to publish at least one paper on the Great Apes of the Tofala Hill Wildlife sanctuary and Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary in a peer reviewed journal. For the Education for Sustainable Development Program the main target for 2018 is to assess the public awareness on the ecological importance of Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Proposed Mack-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary” the new ERuDeF Biodiversity and Protected Areas boss stated.

Mr. Nguping, thanked the ERuDeF Management for the confident given him. He promised to put his all for the realisation of the mission of ERuDeF, which is to conserve biodiversity and protect fragile environments.

01 March 2018

Batcham Farmers Adopt New Strategies of Regenerating Agroforestry Tree Species

Posted in News, Views 60

Batcham Farmers Adopt New Strategies of Regenerating Agroforestry Tree Species

Famers in Batcham village, Bamboutos Bivision of West Region Cameroon, have adopted a new measure of regenerating agroforestry tree species like Acacia and Luceana in their farms other than nursing and transplanting.

This initiative involved cutting stems of some mature Luceana and acacia trees to about 5 to 10 centimeters and planting them in their farms.

The adoption of this species during this year’s planting season, according to most farming groups, was due to limited supply of the agroforestry seedlings relative to their farm sizes. The farmers have also come to understand the importance of these species for livestock and the soil fertilities improvement.

“When the Agroforestry technician told us about the benefits of these trees a few years ago, we saw it as a joke but today, the difference is clear. They have not only improved our soil fertility but have also served as natural pesticides in the soil, and food for our goats and pigs,” the farmers confessed.

Besides the distribution of the agroforestry tree species, the farmers also engaged in the establishment of forest gardens using grafted fruit trees and medicinal plants.

By Chamdjou Junie

01 March 2018

Tricycle Donated to Besali Community in Lebialem-SW Cameroon to Boost Palm Oil Production

Posted in News, Views 70

Tricycle Donated to Besali Community in Lebialem-SW Cameroon to Boost Palm Oil Production

A tricycle motorcycle has been donated to the people of Besali community in the Lebialem Highlands, South West Cameroon, to boost palm oil production within this forest adjacent community. The tricycle was donated in response to complaints from the population that the 4WD Hilux car donated a few years ago was not enough to pull out to the mills 90% of the nuts produced in the area.

The tricycle was received with lots of excitements with community members promising  to make effective use of this means of transport to boost up palm oil production in the area. According to them it will reduce the head load system practiced in the past years. With this donation, it is expected that the income and living standard of the inhabitants of this community will be improved. Meanwhile the Silver Back Company Ltd, the executing enterprise is targeting over 1,440 drums of palm nuts in 2018.

The donation of this tricycle, is part of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Palm Oil Support Project for the Sustainable Management of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary located within  the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon. The project operates four semi industrial mills using the hydraulic press system which are located in Essoh-Attah, Besali, Bechati and Nkong.

The project has as main objective to raise incomes of peasant community members and   to support conservation initiatives through  reinvestement of its proceeds into the business to enhance sustainablity. It also seeks to raise the socio-economic status of the local people by creating employment opportunities and raising family income, train and build capacity of the local communities on modern techniques of creating nurseries of high yielding nuts, on the management of semi hydraulic mills and on the processing of palm oil to other products amongst others.

By Ignatius Nji Njom

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