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29 November 2017

35 Farmers Rewarded for Best Agroforestry Practices

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35 Farmers Rewarded for Best Agroforestry Practices

Some 35 farmers from the Southwest and West Regions of Cameroon have been awarded prizes for enormous progress made in the practice of agroforestry. The prizes including spraying cans, cutlasses and others were donated during the just ended Agroforestry Open Day in Bakassa, West Region. Organised under the theme; changing the future of farmers through food security and economic resilience, the Open Day was aimed at sensitising farmers and communities on agroforestry techniques so as to ensure food security and nutritious diet for all. Joyce Mbong While congratulating beneficiaries on their success in the practice of the agroforestry system, the Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF, Prudence Payong, beseeched the farmers to plant more nitrogen fixing trees in their farms to boost production According to the Director, planting agroforestry trees like Acacia, Leucaena, and Calliandra, alongside crops, greatly improves the soil quality, guaranteeing high yields during harvest. She added that adopting agroforestry techniques is another way of contributing to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal of “zero hunger”. Miss Payong Prudence implored the farmers to practice sustainable agriculture given that statistics from the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s, states that 805 people out of 9billion worldwide live with chronic hunger with almost 5 million children under the age of five dying of malnutrition related causes every day. “If we get involved in sustainable agriculture, the world will be a better place for all. We need to think locally as well as globally so that we are not caught with famine. One of the biggest challenges to food security is climate change and its effect on agriculture. With this, we need to adapt to the increasing temperatures and weather related disasters.” The Director added. To ensure the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 2 of “Zero Hunger” Participants were schooled on different agroforestry techniques and their importance. Demonstration on the planting of agroforestry trees alongside crops in farmlands, were done in some selected farms. Other activities included creative work of arts, sketch and visitation of exhibition stands. Meanwhile farmers in the West and Southwest Regions of Cameroon, who have implementing the agroforestry system of farming over the years testified of increase in their farm yields. While recounting his success story during the event, a Bakassa based farmer, Joseph Kengne, testified of increase in his cocoa and coffee produce thanks to the agroforestry system. “Since I started planting agroforestry trees in my farm about four years ago, I have been ripping a lot of produce from my farm; my cocoa and coffee produce so well. I planted the agroforestry trees horizontally in my farm to prevent erosion and also planted other like Acacia, Moringa and Lucaena to fertilise the soil. This has greatly reduced the cost of production in my farms. With this technique, I no longer spend huge sums of money to buy fertiliser. Before the introduction of these Agroforestry techniques into my farms, I could only boast of 10bags of cocoa per season but now am able to harvest above 20bags per season,” Kengne Joseph said. Such testimonies fascinated many farmers at the Open Day to the system, some of whom requested seedlings to plant in their farms. “I have listened keenly to all the presentations here and I will like to thank you all for this good information you have given to us this day. I will like to know what it takes to join this project so as to also boost my yield,” Lasie Jane, a participant said. Reacting to this, the ERuDeF Agroforestry Team advised the farmers to link up with the field technicians so they can have access to the seeds and also be trained on the practice during the next farming season. ERuDeF and Trees for the Future-USA introduced the agroforestry system in Cameroon in 2007. Since then, over 100 communities have been reached with the lives of over 4000 farmers touched. It has also planted over 8 million trees in farms and water catchments in the North West, South West, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon. The overall goal of the agroforesty system is to improve on the food security and income of resource-poor farmers through the restoration of degraded agricultural landscape in Cameroon. Different species we promote are:Acacia, Leucaena, Calliandra, Prunus, Moringa and Neem, including some NTFPs and some timber species.

29 November 2017

Work Plan Established For Bakassi Post Conflict Ecosystem Management

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 Work Plan Established For Bakassi Post Conflict Ecosystem Management

A work-plan for the development of a Participative Integrated Ecosystem Services Management Plan for Bakassi Post Conflict Ecosystem (PINESMAP-BPCE) has been established. Stakeholders drawn from the Cameroon Government, local collectivities and international partners, established the roadmap recently during a three day workshop that took place in Buea, Southwest Cameroon.

Joyce Mbong

The workshop was geared towards providing a working mechanism to be implemented within the Bakassi Peninsula as well as develop an annual plan for 2018.

According to representative of United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Adamou Buhari, the implementation takes into considerations all actors not leaving the local communities and all those who have a vital role in the implementation of the project.

“The project will include all the related activities such as environment, socioeconomic and other aspects which will be identified and the key actions to be prioritised, without leaving out the local communities and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project,” AdamouBuhari stated.

He added that this plan will also help the Cameroon government to assist in the conservation of the ecosystem while ensuring the sustainability of the services provided to the community

This four year project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) seeks to ensure the conservation, sustainable use and improved management of the Bakassi Peninsula through integrated ecosystem management plans including assessment of the ecosystems.

According to the Project Coordinator, NgendohZedeka, mangrove is said to occupy 30% of Cameroon’s coastline and just like any other in the world, mangrove in Cameroon is subject to threat such as economic pressure, agro industrial expansion, artisanal logging, unsustainable fish harvesting, urban expansion and a host of others.

He further indicated that the Bakassi peninsula has undergone severe degradation due to the aforementioned human activities which have damaged the mangrove ecosystem.

With this in mind, it is expected that this project will address the degradation of the ecosystem and habitat lost caused by these human activities.

Municipal authorities present during this occasion, greeted this project with lots of relief

“I think this exercise will uplift the abandoned or relegated Bakassi area. It encourages the people that the government and the world has not forgotten them. I also feel that this project is going to improve my area. Destruction of mangroves which reduces water and other aquatic resources will be stopped. We will rather conserve the mangroves so that we can also conserve and have more aquatic products,” said Cornelius Edude, Mayor of Kombo Itindi.

Meantime, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), will join forces with five other NGOs to effect the conservation of the Bakassi Mangrove ecosystem. Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Chief Operating Officer of ERuDeF, Nkeng Ursula said the project shall take embark on an inclusive and a holistic approach. That according to her, will have men, women, and youths, adjacent to the earmarked areas, be implicated at all levels of the project

“The local communities will not be left out, not even the women or children. To me, it is a major step towards conserving the Cameroon mangroves because the local communities depend solely on the mangroves and aquatic resources for their livelihoods, leaving them out will not be a brilliant idea,” Ursula indicated.

The project cuts across the Bakassi Peninsula: Isangele, Kombo Abedimo, Kombo Itindi, Idiabato and Bamuso. It will be implemented under the supervision of GEF in close collaboration with the Cameroon government and six other implementing partners.

Its budget is set be at close to $13 million (CFA6.5M) to cater for institutional and stakeholder capacity building, Participative and inclusive development and implementation of the integrated ecosystem management plan and knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation.

29 November 2017

Manengouba I & II Support Creation of Proposed Mt Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve

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Manengouba I & II Support Creation of Proposed Mt Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve

Two new communities have embraced the project to gazette Mount Muanenguba as an Integral Ecological Reserve. The communities, Manengouba I and II, situated in Ebone, Nlonako Sub Division, showed their interest, Wednesday the 11th of October 2017, during a Sub Divisional sensitisation meeting. The meeting took place at the conference hall of the Sub Divisional Office in Nlonako, Moungo Division, of Littoral Cameroon.

Stanley Acham

According to the chiefs, the people of Muanenguba I and II are very committed to seeing the project realised.

“Conservation is wealth which you can’t recreate, I have personally understood the importance of keeping what you have, and one must therefore do everything possible to keep it in tact. My people and I are very committed and are available at any time if our services are needed,” HRH Eboua Ngolo …, chief of Manengouba I village said.

The chiefs acknowledged the fact that creating an integral ecological reserve at Mt. Muanenguba will bring in a lot of bounties to the people of Muanengouba I and II.

“Our youths and women, including our men will work in the Reserve. We shall have alternative sources of income that will boost the economy of our villagers. I stand here on behalf of my people to say, we give our full support to the project,” HRH Koffi Essoh…, chief of Manengouba II village said.

The Chiefs, elites, notables and some group representatives of the two communities, promised to uphold the projects objectives as a top priority and also educate their communities on the importance of the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve creation.

Speaking during the sensitisation meeting, the Divisional Officer for Nlonako-Ebone, Mr Bengande Jean Faustin called on all participants to be conscious, participative and give support towards the creation of this Integral Ecological Reserve. He underscored the importance of having such area protected.

“This area with its unique biodiversity will be developed for ecotourism, scientific research and will create employment for some of your inhabitants. With particular attention made on the conservation of amphibians which is important for medical research. I want to call on the chiefs of these communities who are custodians of the shrines found in this area, that their tradition will not be affected. So I plead with you to collaborate for the success of this project,” the DO beckoned.

On his part, the Chief of Wildlife for Moungo emphasized on the significance of the project to the government of Cameroon and the local communities. He urged the two new communities to engage their various communities towards the creation and management of the proposed Integral Ecological Reserve.

The sensitisation meeting was also an opportunity for the facilitating NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation’s Wildlife Biologist to enlighten stakeholders about the project and what is expected of each of them.

Mount Muanenguba, which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral Regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 100 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species amongst which 60% of them are endemic. The Mountain with height of 2411 meters above sea level, suffers chronic threats from communities living adjacent to the mountain. Habitat degradation, which involves conversion of natural land for agricultural land through shifting cultivation, destruction of trees for commercial purposes, overgrazing and trespassing of cattle in streams and water ponds, collection of amphibian and reptile species, amongst others, are the main threats rocking the mountain.

Faced with all of these challenges, Cameroon’s leading conservation NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) with support from Rain Forest trust to conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.

29 November 2017

Mak-Betchou Forest Protection Fund Gets Pioneer Executive

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Mak-Betchou Forest Protection Fund Gets Pioneer Executive

The pioneer executive to drive the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF) of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in Mak-Betchou has been established. The executive was constituted during a maiden assembly that took place in the Essoh-Attah, November 4, 2017.

The executive consist of four members from four different institutions legally implicated in the fund. These institutions were: Biodiversity Community Trust, Mak-Betchou Women Association, Traditional Council and Village Forest Management Committee.

The elected positions included, the President, Vice President, Secretary and a Treasurer.

Speaking shortly after his election, the pioneer president, Mr. Morfaw Maculey Fonkeng, said he will use his tenure to build a solid foundation for FoProF in the respective areas.

“I am very happy to be part of the executive board of Forest Protection Fund for Mak-Betchou. The creation of FoProF Mak-Betchou will go a long way to support Village Conservation Committees who sometimes have insufficient funds to carry out their activities. I shall use my tenure to carry out a lot of ground level sensitisation, and also to bring as many people as possible on board,” Fonkeng Morfaw said

Prior to the elections, the Conservation Finance Officer of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Njang Quddus, drilled participants on the modus operandi of FoProF.

“The Forest Protection Fund (FoProF) is a community-based conservation trust fund established by ERuDeF to support village level conservation initiatives of Village Conservation Committees such as law enforcement, forest surveillance and eco-development projects (such as potable water, education, etc.),” Quddus indicated.

After the election of the Management Committee, the Articles of Association was read by the Director of Conservation at ERuDeF, Mr Allen Tabi. In the course of reading the Articles sufficient responses were given to queries raised. All present, adopted the articles of association.

The participants were drawn from the Traditional Council, Village Forest Management Committees, Women Associations and Biodiversity Community Trust of Essoh-Attah, Lebang, Njoagwi and other communities in Nkongho-Mbo.

The Forest Protection Fund is an initiative of ERuDeF for the sustainability of conservation activities. The meeting was organised by ERuDeF with the support of Rainforest Trust-USA.

By TAbi Allen $ Njang Quddus

29 November 2017

Mt Muanenguba Rangers Trained On Biodiversity Conservation

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Mt Muanenguba Rangers Trained On Biodiversity Conservation

Some ten local rangers selected from Moungo and Kupe Muanenguba Divisions, adjacent to the proposed Mt Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve, have been schooled on biodiversity and resource management.

Facilitating NGOs, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the Cameroon Herpetological Biological Conservation Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF), trained the rangers in a workshop that took place recently in Nkongsamba, Moungo Division, Littoral Cameroon.

Stanley Khen

Speaking during the training, wildlife biologist, Stanley Acham explained the role of community rangers in monitoring, evaluation, surveillance and control in the project area. He outlined the general overview of the project, schooling the rangers on how they are committed on each phase.

Another biologist, Ngoe Fai, schooled the rangers on biodiversity, explaining the role of community rangers in biodiversity conservation. He also made the participants to understand their role in sustainable management of the project site.

The Chief of Wildlife and Protected Areas for Kupe Muanenguba Division, Mekole Gustav Sorele, briefed the participants on forestry laws, classes of species found in the project site stipulating offences and penalties.

On their part, the rangers who followed with great attention the various lectures, said trainings were impactful.

“This training has made me to understand mammals and amphibians. I have understood those species of class A, B and C. I now know that hunting certain species or in commercial quantities one needs a permit. I now know what the functions of a community ranger are. I want to thank ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF for giving me this opportunity and making me to understand what biodiversity is all about and the development it brings,” said Ndunge Simon from Muelong.

The rangers indicated, they will welcome more trainings that will enlighten them on conservation around the proposed protected site.

“I am glad to be present here today because I have learnt a lot. I pray God should guide us. I have worked in this area for seven years with Dr. Nono on Frogs, Chameleons and lizards. It pleases me because I enjoy doing it. I am okay with the small compensation I have always gotten,” indicated AbdouKarimou, participant from Mbororo Camp.

Mount Muanenguba which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral Regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 100 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species amongst which 60% of them are endemic. The mountain with height of 2411 meters above sea level, suffers chronic threats from communities living adjacent to the mountain. Habitat degradation, which involves conversion of natural land for agricultural land through shifting cultivation, destruction of trees for commercial purposes, overgrazing and trespassing of cattle in streams and water ponds, collection of amphibian and reptile species, amongst others, are the main threats rocking the mountain.

Faced with all of these challenges, Cameroon’s leading conservation NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) to conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.

29 November 2017

VFMCs In Moungo Division TrainedOn Collaborative Forest Management

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 VFMCs In Moungo Division TrainedOn Collaborative Forest Management

A total of 42 Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) members adjacent to the proposed Mt Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve have been drilled on collaborative forest management.

Facilitating NGOs, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the Cameroon Herpetological Biological Conservation Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF),trained the VFMCs in a workshop that took place recently in the Mbororo Camp, Mbourokou, Muanenguba I & II, Ekangte and Nsong, Moungo Division, Littoral Cameroon.

Facilitating the training, Wildlife Biologist from CAMHERP-CBF, Ngoe Fai, drilled the participants on biodiversity conservation, explaining how VFMCs are implicated. He also made the participants to understand their role in sustainable forest management.

Another Wildlife Biologist, from ERuDeF, Stanley Acham, briefed the participants on the background of the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve project. According to him, VFMCs have an irreplaceable position in the conservation of biodiversity.

“The roles of Village Forest Management Committees are enormous. VFMCs play lead role in animation and sensitisation, and information gathering and dissemination. They actively participate in the elaboration of the forest management plan as well as in the execution of works in the forest. They are simply our vigilante in the project. They also carryout surveillance and control of the project area,” Stanley said.

The Chief of Wildlife and Protected Areas for Kupe Muanenguba Division, Mekole Gustav Sorele, briefed the participants on forestry laws, classes of species found in the project site stipulating offences and penalties.

On their part, the VFMC members who followed with great attention the various lectures, said the trainings were impactful.

“This training has made me to understand animals and amphibians. I have understood those species of class A, B and C. I now know that hunting certain species or in commercial quantities one needs a permit. I also know now what the functions of this committee. I want to thank ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF for giving me this opportunity and making me to understand what forest management is all about and the development it brings,” said,BebeyEyaman a representative of the youths in Mbourokou

The VFMC members indicated, they will welcome more trainings that will enlighten them on conservation around the proposed protected site.

“I can say the training will help the committee membersto act as agents to sensitise the communities to protect the forest and the threatened and endemic species found in this area,” saidNpoudiNgole Evelyne barea,an external elite of Manegouba II.

The VFMCs promised to respect the wildlife laws and also work with competent authorities so as to conserve the proposed protected area.

“I am glad to be present here today because I have learnt a lot. I pray God should guide us. I have worked in this area for seven years with Dr. Nono on Frogs, Chameleons and lizards. It pleases me because I enjoy doing it. I have learnt we need to work with the chief of post of forestry and not to take the laws in our hand,” indicated Amadou Caromou, a member of the Mbororo Camp VFMC.

Mount Muanenguba, which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral Regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 100 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species amongst which 60% of them are endemic. The Mountain with height of 2411 meters above sea level, suffers chronic threats from communities living adjacent to the mountain. Habitat degradation, which involves conversion of natural land for agricultural land through shifting cultivation, destruction of trees for commercial purposes, overgrazing and trespassing of cattle in streams and water ponds, collection of amphibian and reptile species, amongst others, are the main threats rocking the mountain.

Faced with all of these challenges, Cameroon’s leading conservation NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) with support from Rain Forest trust to conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.

BY STANLEY KHEN

29 November 2017

ERuDeF Staff Drilled On Microsoft Excel

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ERuDeF Staff Drilled On Microsoft Excel

Some ten staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have been schooled on data analysis and processing using Microsoft Excel (Ms-Excel). The training dished out recently at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies, Mile 18 Buea, was organized by Man and Nature, one of ERuDeF’s collaborators.

Joyce Mbong

This training came on the heels of some setbacks or errors realised in the different annual reports submitted to Man and Nature.

According to the facilitator, Emmanuelle Rogue, the training is necessary in equipping the staff on the different aspects of Excel, especially data Analysis and other tools

“Am working with Man and Nature which is a partner of ERuDeF we are currently working on two projects that is the ABS and Palm Oil projects. During our annual meeting some of the staff told us that they have some need in excel and we need to improve their skills and levels in Ms-Excel. I also realized their weaknesses in data analysis on excel, how to manipulate tools and formatting. Iit was not perfect,”.Emmanuelle Rogue said.

It is from this experience that the focal person Emmanuelle Rogue was able to create exercises to rectify the various mistakes previously made by the various staff.

“The training was really practical, I made a power point presentation based on previous annual reports so that they could better understand. I hope they have all learnt something and that they will be able to extrapolate it in their current job,” she added.

Participants during this workshop commended the initiative of Man and Nature

“The two days workshop given by Emmanuelle was purposely to get familiar with Excel, the normal operations on functions, formatting and also how to do data analysis etc. As an Economist and working in the department of Livelihoods and Economic Development in ERuDeF, one can’t do without excel you will need it because most of the time you will need to do data analysis be it cost analysis, financial or revenue. So this training will be of great help to me, not only in ERuDeF because even out of ERuDeF I will still make use of this training. How to impute formulas in excel is not known by everyone, how to work on several excel sheets at a time and a host of other activities on excel is not easy. However, thanks to this workshop everything has been made easier for us by Man and Nature,” said AyangkengAtem Lauren

The manager of threaten trees of Cameroon Mountains, Adeline Tengem indicated that this training comes up in times where she encountered some difficulties in data analysis and interpretation.

“This training comes just when I need it. I can impute date quite alright but analyzing data and knowing the appropriate charts to use during data representation has always been a problem to me. Thanks to this workshop I can now analyses data with the appropriate charts. And I think these skills I acquired during this workshop will help me to properly impute, analyze and represent data using the appropriate charts,” Adeline T said.

Emmanuelle Rogue hope that with this training all staff will be able to manage excel hitch free.

10 November 2017

Restoration and Protection of Biodiversity of Mount Bamboutos Ecosystem in Western Cameroon

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 Restoration and Protection of Biodiversity of Mount Bamboutos Ecosystem in Western Cameroon

The Mount Bamboutos ecosystem has greatly been degraded due to massive deforestation. Intensive and uncontrolled farming in low and high altitude areas have caused the natural vegetation of the mountain to decline, the springs on the mountain top to dry up, hence, increasing soil erosion. Further compounding these, are unregulated land uses, land use conflicts, severe poverty, unregulated use of natural resources, water crises and food insecurity.

The Mount Bamboutos ecosystem by 1960 was one of the most biodiversity rich mountains in continental Africa with the presence of gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, antelopes, elephants, birds, amphibians and butterflies.

The 2740 m high mountain conferred to this ecosystem a high degree of endemism and restricted ranges to many of the globally threatened species found there. Fifty seven years down the lane, this mountain once prided among the richest biodiversity hotspots in Africa, has almost completely been degraded with many of the species going to local extinction. Exaggerated anthropogenic pressure has been largely attributed as one of the root causes of the problem.

The Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) is a project for the restoration and conservation of the Mount Bamboutos Ecosystem in Western Cameroon. It is a joint initiative of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Cameroon and the International Tree Foundation (ITF), UK in collaboration with the government of Cameroon to support the urgent restoration of the highly degraded ecosystem and biodiversity of Mt Bamboutos.

This Initiative seeks to restore the degraded Mt Bamboutos ecosystem and its biodiversity while improving on the quality of lives of the local and indigenous communities. The project shall run for 15 years in 3 phases of five years. The implementation shall concurrently be mountain-wide and regionally, based on key pilot sites.

Using the regional based pilot approach, one pilot village will be selected from each division within which activities will be launched. All the other villages will progressively be involved throughout the three phases of the project. Five locally based NGOs will be involved with one coming from each of the five administrative districts.

The key beneficiaries of the project are the declining biodiversity and the poor local community members who are farmers, breeders and hunters. Other beneficiaries are government ministries who lack cross regional coordination.

The Initiative runs in three phases. It is hope that at the end of the first phase, populations of some biodiversity species including gorillas, chimpanzees, butterflies and birds are increased to functional levels. This phase will equally induce food security and economic resilience. Meanwhile, about 20,000 ha of the degraded landscape of Mt. Bamboutos will be restored with over 8 million trees planted in riparian forests, community /sacred forests, water catchments, farmers’ fields and biodiversity reserve to support wide ranging ecosystem services.

At the end of the second phase, food security and economic resilient systems integrating women & gender considerations is attained for 15,000 persons up stream. Also, about 15,000 ha of the degraded landscape of Mt. Bamboutos will be restored with over 7 million trees planted in riparian forests, community/sacred forests, water catchments, farmers’ fields and biodiversity reserve to support wide ranging ecosystem services. Meanwhile, the Mt. Bamboutos biodiversity reserve is created covering at least 19000 ha.

The third phase will see through the putting in place of an integrated conservation and development plan for the sustainable management of the Mount Bamboutos biodiversity reserve, its elaboration and approval. A long term and sustainable funding mechanism implemented and the larger Mt Bamboutos conservation trust fund be established to ensure that the benefits of the Initiative can be sustained in the longer term.

The long term sustainability of the project shall be ensured by establishing a funding mechanism at both the community and larger landscape level in the form of a conservation trust fund.

The project which is expected to begin in January 2018, shall cost the sum of 4.5 million USD. The potential funders for the Initiative are: Tree Sisters, International Union for Nature Conservation, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Agropolis Foundation, Ardax and Owryx Foundation and Darwin Initiative.

The importance and relevance of this initiative cannot be over emphasized. Urgent interventions are required to address the adverse conditions weighing on the Mt. Bamboutos ecosystem that are seriously affecting the local, regional and national economy of Cameroon. If these conditions are not addressed, then over 5-7 million Cameroonians will be seriously affected and not excluding the energy and water sector that are essential for the industrial development of Cameroon. We believe that if urgent measures are taken to reverse the prevailing situation of the mountain ecosystem, it will not only benefit the local communities upstream, but the entire population of Cameroon and part of Nigeria, directly or indirectly.

The project will restore and protect the biodiversity and ecosystem functions of the mountain, while improving on the standards of living of the local and indigenous communities. The impacts of the project will be felt at the local, urban and industrial levels by agro-pastoral, electricity and water supply industries in Cameroon.

It is based on the significant contributions of the results of the project that ERuDeF and ITF have engaged to develop a 15-year project that will profoundly improve on the human development index of Cameroon and her economy. It will constitute one of the signature projects within the framework of the AFR100 Initiative that Cameroon signed in Bonn Germany in February 2017; to restore over 12 million hectares of degraded lands. The long term track records of ITF and ERuDeF in relation to land restoration, conservation and sustainable human development, place the team as the lead non-profit organisations in this domain in the Central Africa sub-region.

10 November 2017

Promoting Great Apes Conservation In Cameroon Through Provision Of Long Term Economic, Financial Resilience To Community Institutions.

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ERuDeF Great Apes Conservation Initiative:

Promoting Great Apes Conservation In Cameroon Through Provision Of Long Term Economic, Financial Resilience To Community Institutions.

The Great Apes populations has witnessed a drastic decline over the years. Poaching, habitat loss, deforestation and disease infestations are the main causes outlined by scientists.

Such alarming decline has prompted international organisations to begin advocating for the conservation of these large mammals in Cameroon. From 1990, organisations like World Conservation Society (WCS), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), International Union for the Conservation for Nature (IUCN), amongst others, recorded little successes in their advocacy drive.

Consequently, national Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) entered the advocacy drive with special focus on protected areas management creation, and research. However, the validation of the Regional Action Plan for both Cross River gorillas and chimpanzees in 2007 and 2010respectively, have witnessed little or negligible support in executing the action plans.

The ERuDeF Great Apes Initiatives (EGAI) is therefore coming to fill this gap. EGAI is a Cameroonian initiative that seeks to provide long term economic and financial resilience to community institutions promoting great apes conservation in Cameroon.

While WCS provides a strong conservation science focus, WWF and IUCN provide a strong policy focus. ERuDeF, on its part, is leading the development and application of community based instruments inspired from citizen science to promote the conservation of great apes and other biodiversity as well as habitats management and restoration of landscapes. This cuts across the Northwest, Southwest, East and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon.

Cameroon harbours four of the great apes species in Africa. These include; the Cross River gorillas, Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees, Central Chimpanzees and the Western lowland gorillas.

This Initiative therefore aims at conserving the declining population of Great Apes in Cameroon. It seeks to develop the management and implementation plans for Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, Kimbi-Fungom National Park, Tofala-Mone East corridor, the proposed Esimbi-Beba-Bafang Wildlife Sanctuary;

The Initiative is also out to create the proposed Mak-Betchou ,Esimbi-Beba-Bafang Wildlife Sanctuaries and the proposed TchabalMbambo National Park.

It equally seeks to conduct great apes research and bio monitoring in the Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, Kimbi-Fungom National Park, Tofala-Mone East corridor, the proposed Esimbi-Beba-Bafang Wildlife Sanctaury, Deng Deng National park and Deng Deng-Dja corridor.

The Initiative will also establish and implement ecotouristic facilities in the various project sites, as well as ensure effective community development through the introduction of the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) model.

At the end of this project, 4 new sites will be demarcated as a protected area, the management plan of 7 protected areas will be developed, and ecotourism and community development livelihoods will be developed in all the sites. All these will help increase the population of great apes in Cameroon.

The key beneficiaries of this Initiative include the local communities, the Government of Cameroon and the international communities

This project that will last for 5 years is estimated at $17 million. The potential funders for this project include ICFC, ACF, World land Trust and Rainforest Trust-USA.

The facilitating organisation, Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), is a Cameroonian leading conservation non-profit organization founded in 1999. It is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and the protection of fragile environments through research, education and community engagements. Flag ship great apes include; critically endangered, and endangered wildlife species like the Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilladiehli), Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees (Pan troglodytesellioti), central chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes), amphibians such as the goliath frog and other species.

The Organisation has been working in Lebialem Highland conservation complex and other protected areas in Cameroon for the past eighteen years using some of the most innovative solutions to conserve threatened and endangered wildlife species such as collaborative management approaches to support the creation and management of protected areas.

Key conservation achievements over the years include the creation of a conservation complex (Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex), and facilitating the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife sanctuary (which harbours the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla) in 2014, the first of its kind for a national NGO. The organisation is equally facilitating the creation of corridors in most protected area in Cameroon, to help allow genetic connective among species and for easy migrations. It works with the government of Cameroon through its concerned ministries such as the Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), Environment and Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), and Tourism and Leisure.

Internationally, ERuDeF is collaborating with conservation organisations such as WWF, WCS, ACF, BRLi, and others. Furthermore, ERuDeF is one of the key partners involved in the support and collaborative management of the Mount Cameroon National Park in the Southwest region of Cameroon.

01 November 2017

BCT Implementation Reinforced In Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted in News, Views 110

 BCT Implementation Reinforced In Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary

Members of cooperatives in communities adjacent to the proposed Mark-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, have been urged to speedup efforts in implanting the Biodiversity Community Trust (BCT) in their area. The Conservation Finance Officer at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Quddus Njang, made the call recently while on an inspection tour to the three main cooperatives adjacent to the proposed protected area. His visit came on the heels of the launch and implementation of BCT in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the proposed Mark-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Speaking to the cooperatives, the Conservation Finance Officer indicated that it is very imperative for the cooperatives to come together to ensure the smooth functioning of BCT. He outlined the benefits each cooperative stand to gain in the wake of the effective operation of BCT.

“The BCT is ERuDeF’s microfinance that will uplift your communities. We encourage you all to be members of BCT by saving your money. Through it, you shall be able to secure various kinds of loans. We shall also use surpluses from the BCT to develop your community,” Quddus Njang told the cooperatives.

His mission took him to some three cooperatives in the proposed Mark Betchou. They are; Mak-Betchou Cooperative Society, Nkongho-Mbo Farmers’ Cooperative Society and the Nkongho-Mbeng Farmers’ Cooperative Society.

During the follow up meeting with members of the above mentioned cooperatives, members were made to understand how the BCT is going to be implemented in each of the cooperatives. Also, they were enlightened on the role each of the cooperatives play in the effective functioning ofBCT.

After posing different queries and getting satisfactory responses, cooperative members promised to collaborate with ERuDeF to ensure the conservation of their natural resources for future generation.They expressed total satisfaction and willingness to be part of the BCT.

“I am very happy with all the efforts ERuDeF is making to better our living conditions while conserving natural resources. Through ERuDeF, we are proud to say that we now have our own microfinance institution in Mbetta. We have been able to enroll in professional trainings, especially on the management of microfinance and the enhancement of our livelihoods. I want to say on behalf of our cooperative members that we are willing and ready to see that this initiative becomes a success in our area,” Said Fonkeng Christian, President of Nkongho-Mbeng Farmers’ Cooperative based in Mbetta.

The Biodiversity Community Trust Fund is a brain child of ERuDeF. It seeks to create a financial platform where community members can save, loan and withdraw money. Its aim is to improve on the livelihood of communities adjacent to protected areas, so the human pressure on protected areas will be reduced to the barest minimum.

BY: Allen Tabi

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