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11 October 2017

Executive Board of Biodiversity Community Trust Put In Place

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 Executive Board of Biodiversity Community Trust Put In Place

The executive board of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Biodiversity Community Trust (BCT), has been put in place. This board is made up of nine persons elected during a Constituent General Assembly, which took place in Menji September 8, 2017.

According to ERuDeF’s Micro-Finance Manager, Quddus Njang, the putting in place of this board is necessary to ensure the smooth functioning of the Trust in all cooperatives found within the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. It will equally enable community members to have access to financial resources in other to reduce their over dependence on the forest for a livelihood.

Quddus schooled the board member on the importance of microfinance. He underscored the need for communities to have access to cash and to facilitate the establishment of micro businesses in the adjacent communities. This enlightenment was greatly welcome by participants.

“I thank ERuDeF for all that they have been doing to ensure the growth of our communities as well as our livelihoods. I will like you people to create the Biodiversity Community Trust in our communities. I believe this will help us to have access to financial resources that will enable us to set up alternative income generating activities thus, diverting our attention from the forest” Mr Tanduwn Landnus said

In the course of the meeting each of the cooperatives bought shares worth $ 30,000. A total of $480 shares were bought with a cash contribution of $320.

The meeting was attended by representatives of some eight cooperatives found within the Tofala and the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. These cooperatives include: Lower Mundani Farmers Cooperative, Tofala Women Cooperative, Mount Bamboutos Echinops Cooperative, Lewoh Women Cooperative, Alou-Tofala Farmers Cooperative, Nkongho-Mbo Farmers Cooperative, Nkongho-Mbo Farmers Cooperative and Mak-Betchou Cooperative.

This was made possible by ERuDeF with financial support from Rainforest Trust.

11 October 2017

Lebialem, Menoua Farmers Schooled On Farm Management Techniques

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Lebialem, Menoua Farmers Schooled On Farm Management Techniques

The Agro-forestry Coordinator for Lebialem at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Ntungwa Elong, has trained farmers in the Menoua and Lebialem Divisions of the West and Southwest Regions of Cameroon respectively on best farm management techniques.

During the training that took place recently, participants were thought on how to prune the leaves of these trees and use for the mulching of the farm for it to decompose as organic fertilizer.

The Agroforestry Coordinator enlightened farmers that agro-forestry trees species like Acacia, Leucaena and Calliandra are not only for soil restoration and the protection of the environment but they could also serve as pecks for bean, yam and tomatoes during pruning of the alley cropping.

“Besides using leaves of the pruned branches from the alleys for mulching of the soil, you can also use these pruned branches to peck crops like tomatoes, beans, sweet yams and even more,” Ntungwa told the farmers.

Meantime, the farmers showed thanked ERuDeF for the training promising to put into practice what they have learned.

“I have been using this method for some time. Unfortunately, I have not been using it well. With this training, I shall apply the method in all of my 5 hectares of farmlands,” indicated Demsoung Maurice, a farmer in Meka, West Region.

In-line with ERuDeF’s objective to restore degraded landscape and improve on the income of resourced-poor farmers in Cameroon, the organisation in collaboration with Trees for the Future-USA, established agroforestry nurseries with farming groups in Lebialem Division. Seeds of Tree species like Acacia, Leucaena and prunusafricana were handed to interested farmers in the month of March 2017 alongside sensitization on the importance of these species and training on nursery management.

By Ntungwa Elong

11 October 2017

Footprints of Social Business Activities In Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex

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Footprints of Social Business Activities In Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex

Over 1000 families have benefited directly or indirectly from the livelihood supported projects of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) within the last couple of years.

These benefits, according to the Manager of ERuDeF’s Social Business Division, Ignatius Njom, include petty business training, Training & support on apicultural farming, training & support on livestock production (pig farming), microfinance initiation in rural areas enclave from microfinance and banking activities (The Biodiversity Community Trust-BCT & The Forest Protection Fund - FoProF), Producers Cooperatives, sustainable extraction of None Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), and installation of 04 giant semi industrial palm oil mills.

He said the organisation has equally focussed on poverty alleviation through training and support in the production of local soap, omo and medicated soap, Support to women groups with cassava grinding mills (Bechati&Folepi).

Mr. Njom said over 10 NTFPs community nursery have been created & donated for transplanting, marketing channels established for agricultural products and natural resources like palm oil, Mondia wheiti and Echinops plants discovered in Lebialem.

“Over 100 persons can be seen in petty businesses around ERuDeF project sites as a result of the skills acquired. Over 300 beehives (top cover Kenyan type) have been installed in the Lebialem highlands with a colonisation rate of over 80% an indication of over 2000 kg of honey will be produced early 2016 along site other bee bi-products. Over 200 piglets have been donated to support forest adjacent communities and the reproduction (pregnancy rate) stands at 70% meaning that early in 2017 an average of well over 500 piglets were produced given that each pig produce on average 5 piglets” he expounded.

The Social Business boss disclosed that through the activities of his Division, employment opportunities have been created either directly or indirectly in all project sites like the 4 oil mills, bi-products milling, detergent production and commercialization etc.

This to him, has increased the per capita income of the local communities

“There have been an increase in the per capita income of local community members from less than 0.05 USD per day to above 2 USD per day” he said.

Community members have confessed of increament in household income, education of their children, more hospital attention that had led to good health and increase in their standards of living amonst others thanks to ERuDeF’s intervention.

All these, according to Njom, has aided in reducing over dependence on the forest, increase in wildlife population and the protection of fragile ecosystems.

11 October 2017

Two Viable Business Models Developed For MBAAH Community Forest

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 Two Viable Business Models Developed For MBAAH Community Forest

Some two business proposals have been developed on forest and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) for the MBAAH Community Forest (CF). These business proposals were developed recently by community members with under the mentorship of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation. Meanwhile,charcoal and bush mango productions werealso earmarked for business.

This choice was made based on results from a resource mapping exercise which says, there are over 7000 stands of bush Mango in the MBAAH CF. It was also based on the fact that there are lots of off cuts from Timber which is being exploited from the forest. With these, the community has chosen to produce charcoal as a means to raise additional funds for identified developmental projects in this area.Some of these projects include the construction of community halls in all 4 villages, scholarships to students, support to schools within the locality distribution of inputs to farmers and maintenance of farm to market roads.

According to the Forest Management Officer of the MBAAH CF, Mr. Mbongaya Patrick, this business development process is an eye opener to the community. “The process makes you understand clearly the different steps involved in the different models, the investments and potential profit smart persons can use this process with their individual businesses,” Mr.Mbongaya said.

In addition, other community members expressed their readiness to engage in the various businesses.

“The community is very ready to lend their support and useful contributions towards the success of this enterprise,”MrOsoh Scott added.

The MBAAHCF is found in the Nguti sub division and made up of 4 villages which are; Ekenke, Mboka, Afrikpabiand Ediengoh.

11 October 2017

Four Landmark Biodiversity Conservation MSc. Theses Defended At ERuDeF Institute

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 Four Landmark Biodiversity Conservation MSc. Theses Defended At ERuDeF Institute

Some four landmark Masters of Science (MSc) theses have been defended in the area of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies.

The defence took place last September 8, 2018 at the Institute’s campus, Mile 18, Muea Road-Buea. The first thesis, defended by Angwa Gwendoline , was based on “Gastrointestinal parasites of Drills in the Korup National Park.

Motivated by hands on training acquired during her course work, this young researcher made some startling revelations from her investigation

“It was discovered that the drills of the Korup National Park have high protozoan nematodes and trimatodes infections. These diseases are said to have caused the death of Drills in other parts of the world” She disclosed.

Ms Angwa recommended that Parasites surveillance be incorporated in the biomonitoring of great apes to monitor parasite rates of species in the wild. Though already recruited as a biologist with the Environment and Rural Development Foundation, the ERuDeF Institute Conservation ambassador hopes to continue researching on the parasites affecting apes in the Korup National Park on a seasonal basis

Grace Niba, is another candidate, who also defended on this day. Overwhelmed by limited information about amphibians in Cameroon, this young researcher conducted a Survey on Amphibians of Mount Nlonako, Littoral Region of Cameroon: with focus on Goliath Frog. Her research induced some interesting discoveries.

“It was discovered that the distribution of Goliath frogs on Mt Nlonako is not uniform. They are located in most large streams at elevations of 200m and 1000m above sea level. Key threats to this frog species remains habitat loss and over harvesting. For example It was discovered that an estimated 19,440 frogs are harvested every peak season” she hinted.

The amphibians researcher recommended amongst others that awareness campaigns be carried out to sensitize communities around Mt Nlonako on the ecological importance of amphibians and the need for amphibian conservation.

Cont. from pge 1. On her part, Ntui Ebob Ojong Michelin, observing the increasing urbanization in Buea and a constant water crisis decided to focus her Masters thesis on the Assessment of Water Quality of Some Catchments in Buea, South-West Region, Cameroon. At the end of this research work, she is very happy contributing to science and development.

“I feel happy because this is a daunting issue plaguing everyone in the world today. Doing research on this topic and bringing science to life, makes me happy. I discovered that farming around water catchments, houses, animal dung and agricultural activities have effected the water making it microbially unfit for drinking. Houses located around this area have their safety tank around the catchment, which contaminates it” Ms Ntui explained.

The ERuDeF Institute graduate called on the Buea Council to carry out water quality assessment and develop policies that protect water catchments within the municipality.

. In the area of Environmental Education, Mr. Njume William Moto, explains that acquiring so much knowledge on the concepts governing the environment and the need for protection using education as a principal tool, he had to get into the minds of community members around protected areas to find out how much they appreciate biodiversity conservation. Thus, his research work is focussed on the Assessment of Community Awareness on Biodiversity Conservation in Tofala Hill and proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuaries in Lebialem Highlands.

At the end of the defence, one of the Examiners Dr. Fokam Eric could not hide his feelings about the quality of the thesis defended. “I am extremely pleased by the quality of research which the students have come up with. What we have been telling them and are sure they will implement is that they should be able to translate the results of their research into wealth, and to influence policy for the betterment of their communities” he said.

The Chair Man of the Defence Council, Professsor Chuyong George, on his part congratulated the candidates on their success. He appreciated them for daring in areas, which many young researchers in the country shy away from. The Chair Man also urged students to use their research results to influence government policy towards biodiversity conservation.

Created by Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2012, the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) is dedicated to the holistic study of biodiversity and philanthropy in Africa.

It trains both national and international students and researchers in the area of Biodiversity, Agroforestry, Environmental Journalism, Non-profit and Fundraising Management and Environmental Education. The school has graduated over 33 young leaders in conservation

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

11 October 2017

Over 2Million Agroforestry Trees Planted Littoral, West Northwest, Southwest Cameroon

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Over 2Million Agroforestry Trees Planted Littoral, West Northwest, Southwest Cameroon

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Trees for the Future-USA, has transplanted 2,188,000 Acacia, Leucaena, and Prunus tree species in over 80 communities in the 15 Divisions in the Southwest, Northwest, West and Littoral Regions.

This inventory was recorded after visit paid to project sites by ERuDeF Agroforestry Coordinators last September 2017. This statistics according to ERuDeF’s Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development Director, Prudence Payong, constitute 73% of the organisation’s tree planting target for 2017. This target was to plant all together 3million trees in farms, water catchments and schools across the regions before the end of the year.

The Director said these trees (Acacia and Leucaena) are planted for the improvement of soil fertility, to serve as life fences, fodder for animals, pegs for beans and yams, nectar for bees, fuel wood and to secure water catchments while Prunus is to be used for medicinal purposes.

The planting of these over 2million trees, is a culmination of a number of activities

“We started by organising seventy one transplanting workshops across the regions. During these workshops, demonstration sites were put in place, with farmers and water catchment committees trained on the different technologies of agroforestry. Nurseries were also set up in all the communities and continuous monitoring trips paid to the sites. Few months after, the seedlings were ready for transplanting and that’s what we are doing now,” Ms Payong explained.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Trees for the Future (TFTF), have been making great strides in the restoration of degraded agricultural landscape in four Regions of Cameroon. Since 2007, the agroforestry development programme has improved the soil quality of several hectares on land in the Southwest, Northwest, West, and Littoral Regions.

 

11 October 2017

ERuDeF Institute’s IVP Programme, Contributing To Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

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ERuDeF Institute’s IVP Programme, Contributing To Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

Created in 2008 to improve and build the capacity of Cameroonian graduate students known as the International Volunteering Programme {IVP}, it has within a period of nine years grown from a small national initiative to an international program. The number of participants in the program has greatly increased from a few per year in 2008 to over 50 students and enthusiasts in 2017.

The internationalisation of the program has brought huge benefits to Cameroon and Lebialem Highlands specifically. Previous volunteers have been able to take by new roles of liaison to build new fences and partnerships.

B. Shancho Ndimuh

These partnerships have been able to mobilize substantial resources that have enabled ERuDeF to support the creation and management of key biodiversity sites like Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Such contributions urged the ERuDeF Board in a meeting recently, to confer on these volunteers the title “Conservation Ambassadors.” Dr. John Daniels has been instrumental in the creation of the ERuDeF UK while Chris Jerkinson supported the cost of one staff etc.

Within the last nine years, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has received hundreds of volunteers from Canada, United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Netherlands, France, South Africa and Asia. They come to support research, raise awareness and contribute towards the protection of Cross River Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Cameroon

The volunteers during this period, also plant trees to regenerate and protect degraded landscapes. This part of the volunteering is usually very consoling especially when one looks at the indispensable role of trees in global warming mitigation today.

“Being a banker for many years, this expedition gave me the opportunity to express my love for nature and to do something that will impact lives. So I felt I will leave a better legacy by helping people to preserve an environment which is under attack from pollution, global warming, poaching, logging and many others” Irish volunteer, Tony Malone remarked after planting trees in the Lebialem and Fako Divisions, Southwest Cameroon.

These volunteers, who are ERuDeF’s ambassadors of this initiative in their respective countries, have gone beyond contributing physical and voluntary donations to becoming global ambassadors of the program by raising the international profile of the program and major international funding. Their international drive has led to the funding of more-on-the- ground projects like the construction of two semi-giant palm oil hydrant mills, amphibians research at Mount Nlonako which culminated in the establishment of a distribution map of the Goliath frog in this area, the creation of UK branch of Cross River Gorilla Project, school children support in Tofala and international board of Trustees amongst others.

The International Volunteering Programme receives volunteers between the ages of 18 and 70 from all over the globe. They spend several weeks and months supporting the conservation of wildlife and other forms of biodiversity in Cameroon.

For more on this, visit: https://volunteeringwitherudef.wordpress.com/. Also contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There are increasing number of returns and volunteers joining the ambassadors’ program.

As we celebrate the 10th year of this program in 2018, the international volunteering program has been renamed as “The International Biodiversity Expedition” and will henceforth be managed by the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and non-profit studies. The core support for this programme is coming from the African Conservation Foundation (ACF).

11 October 2017

ERuDeF Menji Staff Renew Commitments

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ERuDeF Menji Staff Renew Commitments

Staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF’s) Western Regional Office, based in Menji, have echoed their renewed commitment to push forward the Organisation’s Conservation vision by carrying out their work diligently and on time. They made the commitment during an enlarged staff meeting that took place recently in the conference room of the Menji office.

Emmanuel Nkeng

According to the staff, given the growth in strengthat the Menji office compounded by increase of activities around the Lebialem highlands, there was a need for a come together so staff commitments could be boosted.

“We are now counting up to 12 ERuDeF staff at the Menji. Our workloads have been increased as well. Therefore, we needed this kind of meeting so we understand how to execute our various tasks at the shortest possible time. We also needed a forum like this to discuss how to collaborate effectively with one another,” said Nkeng Emmanuel, Administrative, and Logistics Officer.The staff used the occasion to boost staff relationship and seek possible ways of implementing collaborative management techniques.

“The meeting was timely, especially in ironing out any challenges we faced in carrying out our activities. Some staff used the platform to err and mend broken relationships for the betterment of the Organisation. I strongly believe that our activities will greatly be improved after the meeting,” said Njom Ignatius, Manager of Silver Back Company.

Meantime, the Manager of ERuDeF Menji Field Office, Allen Tabi, called on every staff to put in their efforts so that earmarked timelines can be attained. He beckoned on managers and coordinators of various projects to translate all the recommendations taken in the meeting to concrete actions.

“We all concur to the proverbial phrase that says coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. It is going to be on that basis that we shall all achieve our various tasks,” Allen Tabi added.

Some of the pending activities on course for execution include bio monitoring/surveys in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS), and the proposed Mark-Bectchou Wildlife Sanctuary (MBWS), sensitisation on environmental protection through the preparation and proper coordination of live radio coverage in the Lebialem community radio. In addition, there will be carrying out of trainings for cooperative members around Lebialem by ERuDeF staff on cassava cultivation, bee and pigs farming techniques among others.

11 October 2017

ERuDeF, CAMHERP-CBF Conduct Biodiversity Inventory At Mt Muanenguba

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ERuDeF, CAMHERP-CBF Conduct Biodiversity Inventory At Mt Muanenguba

Wildlife Biologists from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) andthe Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) have reappraised the biodiversity abundance in Mt. Muanenguba. This was after a two week inventory conducted on the mountain to keep abreast with the various fauna and flora present in the mountain.

Stanely Acham

From August 20 to 31,2017ateam, made of ERuDeF’s Amphibians coordinator, Grace Neba, alongside ornithologists (bird specialists) and chiropterologists (bat specialists) from the University of Maroua, Congo Basin Institute and Dja Reserve respectively, were engaged in identifying birds and bat species at this emblematic mountain. Two mist nets for birds were set up every morning. This according to Jean Michel Takuo from Congo

Basin Institute was because most birds are active early in the morning. For bats, mist nets were setup every evening. The birds were also identified via point count.

Some bird species captured during the survey, included but not limited to the Bannerman weaver (Ploceusbannermani) and Cameroon Blue-headed sunbird (Cyanomitraoritis).

The inventory also served as an opportunity for ERuDeF’s Amphibians Coordinator to gain new knowledge in bird and bat survey

“After this survey I now know how to set up mist net for birds, conduct point counts for birds and also how to collect and record data for birds and bats in the field. As a wildlife biologist in ERuDeF having broad knowledge on several wildlife species survey method is paramount. From now on if ERuDeF is planning any bird survey then I think I can successfully conduct the survey. Also I will be glad to teach my other colleague what I learnt in the field” She testified

Jointly organized by ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF, the expedition was conducted as part of activities for the Mt Manenguba project aimed at establishing a data base of all wildlife species within the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve.

11 October 2017

SBC, Contributing To Collaborative Protected Area Management In Cameroon

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SBC, Contributing To Collaborative Protected Area Management In Cameroon

The Silver Back Company Ltd (SBC) is a social business company created by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2013. It aimed at assisting the communities in which ERuDeF is working, commercialise the products produced by the cooperatives.

Ignatius Njom

The SBC Ltd constitutes the principal source of funding to two endowments namely the ERuDeF Endowment Fund (EEF) the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF). It is currently involved in the commercialisation of palm oil, honey, Mondia and Echinops roots from the Lebialem Highlands.

Proceeds generated from the sales of the Silver Back Company go towards the capitalization of the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF), a community-based conservation trust fund and the ERuDeF Endowment Fund, designed to support the charitable activities of ERuDeF.

SBC Ltd buys her products from the community enterprises, processes the products and markets them. The cooperatives in return, invest proceeds from the sales into its activities.

The Company also re-invests 40% of the profits into SBC Ltd operations. Then 30% of the profits generated by SBC Ltd goes into the ERuDeF Endowment Fund another 30% into the Forest Protection Fund. This fund will carry out operations without depending entirely on the external funding.

The Forest Protection Fund seeks to support activities of protected area management like law enforcement, forest surveillance, biological monitoring and wildlife education in schools and communities. FoProF is a community-based conservation trust fund established by ERuDeF to support village level conservation initiatives of Village Forest Management Committees (VFMCs) and traditional councils.

In the next five years, with an estimated investment of $1.000, 000(FCFA 550,000,000) , the SBC Ltd will stand out as the main funder for these two endowments whose mission is to fund the charitable programmes of ERuDeF with focus on biodiversity and protected area management as well as other components of sustainable development.

SBC Ltd’s key investment will be in the domain of biodiversity business. SBC will continue to focus its trade on palm oil, non timber forest products, ABS products and maybe other products entering into the biodiversity realm.

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