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01 March 2018

ERuDeF Awarded Best Environmental Non-Profit in Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 219

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 200

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 172

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 180

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 142

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 154

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 131

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 134

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

28 February 2018

ERuDeF Directors Gain Skills in Budget Development and Management

Posted in News, Views 114

ERuDeF Directors Gain Skills in Budget Development and Management

Directors of all 10 departments of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have testified of having a better understanding of budgeting and financial planning process. They were speaking at the end of a three day workshop on Budget Planning and Development that took place recently at the Conference Hall of the ERuDeF Department of Training and Professional Development in Buea.

Organised by the Finance Department in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Executive Officer, this workshop was aimed at making directors in ERuDeF understand the dynamics of budget development and management.

In his key note address during the workshop, the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi urged directors to be visionaries. He implored them to always plan five years in advance to ensure the sustainability of their departments.

The ERuDeF boss also used the workshop session as an opportunity to call on directors to ensure that all programmes/projects within their departments are going on effectively. He implored the head of departments to harness individual and collective actions for the realisation of departmental goals.

After going through the three day workshop that saw the development of the organisation’s 2018 operational budget, most directors said the session came at an opportune moment.

“The development of the operational budget, is a very important process. Some of us have never known how to an operational budget like this. Think the knowledge acquired from here will help me better budgeting for my department and partners. I will also transmit the skills acquired to my colleagues within the department” said Allen Tabi, Senior Director of Programmes at ERuDeF.

Another very exciting aspect of this budget and reporting workshop, according to the Director of Strategic Initiative at ERuDeF, George Nkemka, was the structure of budgets at ERuDeF.

“I have particularly gained new lessons on the budgeting structure; that it starts with administrative cost, which constitutes 10% of the organisation’s budget; the programme cost, which constitutes 80%; overhead cost which should be up to 5% and contingency which represents 5% of the organisation’s entire budget,” Mr. Nkemka disclosed.

According to ERuDeF’s Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development, the workshop was an avenue for her to get enlightenment on budget forecasting. “It’s been such an educative exercise! I have always focussed on one project, one partner and a one year budget. Through this workshop, I have learnt to always budget for my department three years in advance,” she added.

Meanwhile the Chief Operations Officer, Ursula Nkeng underscored the fact that the budget of the organisation does not mean the amount of money is available to the bank. According to her, it is what is needed to make the organisation function and execute its activities.

 Shancho Ndimuh

30 January 2018

Gov’t Creates Community Forest in Upper Bayang

Posted in News, Views 302

Gov’t Creates Community Forest in Upper Bayang

Tofala-Mone East Corridor Creation;

The government of Cameroon has approved the creation of a new community forest in Manyu Division. The two-year Provisional Management Agreement of the community forest to be named BANCK (Bakumba, Ayukaba, Numba, Chinda, Kendem) community forest, was approved by the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Philip Ngolle Ngwesse, through a Ministerial Decision N o 003 of January, 3 2018.

According to the ministerial prescription, the community forest is situated in the South West Region, Manyu Division, Upper Bayang Sub-Division with villages involved being Bakumba, Ayukaba, Numba, Chinda and Kendem. It is bordered to the South of Bakumba and Ayukaba villages, to the East of the proposed BEET (Bokwa, Etoko, Egbemo and Tafu) community forest, to the North of Kendem village and to the West of Chinda and Numba villages. The BANCK community forest covers a surface area of 4874 hectares with well-defined boundaries.

The two-year convention equally allows these communities to exploit the forest under the strict supervision of MINFOF officials while a simple management plan is being developed. The signing of this document also permits the concerned communities to start executing the management operations outlined in the convention to raise funds, prepare and submit a simple management plan for the final convention.

This move, according to the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, is a great stride in the organisation’s drive towards ensuring the long term conservation of the biodiversity of this unique tropical rainforest through a community and municipal collaborative management approach.

He disclosed that the creation of the BANCK community forest is just the first step in his strive to genetically connect some close to 200 Cross River Gorillas sub population and a few thousands of Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzees, a hundred African Elephants, unkown population of Drills and Buffaloes amongst others within the landscape between the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and Takamanda National Park in the South West Region, to the wider Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary in the North West Region through community forestry.

The realisation of such a long term project according to the ERuDeF President/CEO, will be a milestone in ecotourism development in Cameroon. This to him, will go a long way to induce the socio-economic development of the area and new community forestry businesses will also be developed.

Steps Leading to BANCK CF Creation

Prior to the signing of the convention, an application for the creation of the Community Forest was deposited at the Divisional Delegation of MINFOF by the local community, requesting the allocation of 4874 hectares for a community forest. The documents were evaluated and transmitted to the Regional Delegation, who forwarded it to the Ministry. At this level, coordinates for the proposed community forest, endorsed by the National Institute of Cartography, were inserted into the official information system of the Ministry. This was to ensure that the portion of forest requested by the community does not overlap with other titles already issued by the Ministry.

Haven successfully gone through this stage, the Unit in Charge of Community Forestry at MINFOF prepared the Convention and transmitted to the local community, which was signed by a legal entity (President of the CIG) confirming that the coordinates were in line with what they asked for. After the signing, the convention was then dispatched to the Minister for final signature.

The initiation of the community forest creation process, according to ERuDeF’s Director of Forestry, Deh Nji, was a culmination of information and awareness meeting; participatory mapping; putting in place of a management committee in the form of Common Initiative Group (CIG); and the organisation of consultation meetings.

“It’s only after these activities with the communities that they proceeded to compiling and submitting the application files for a community forest to MINFOF,” he added.

The ERuDeF Forestry Director however noted that the organisation is equally facilitating the creation of 3 other community forests in line with the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project.

What Next?

After the signing of this two-year provisional management agreement, the Coordinator Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project, Floribert Assongacap Assongna, said the next step will be to conduct multi-resource inventory of the area. After such an inventory, according to him, a simple management plan will be prepared and submitted to MINFOF for the final management agreement (convention). He hinted that the implementation of the simple management plan will only come after validation and approval of the final agreement by MINFOF.

Meanwhile efforts are underway to create three other community forests and update of the management plan of the FMU11002. The realisation of this will result in the protection of over 45,000ha of pristine forest between the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mone Forest Reserve. This will contribute towards the long term protection of the over 630,000 ha in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex.

Impact Created so Far

Two years after the launching of the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project, communities are able to take independent action in the management of their community forest. This is thanks to sensitisation and training on resource mapping using various modern technologies by ERuDeF.

Also, 4874 hectares of forested land hitherto being sold for cash crop production have been rescued for conservation. Wildlife habitat has equally been secured and will lead to increase inbreeding and species population in the long run, especially when the corridor creation process will be completed.

Meanwhile there has been a great improvement in land use planning in the form of agricultural development, forest resources management and the prevention of landslides caused by deforestation. The project has also strengthened communities in their campaigns and lobbying against palm oil plantations. In addition, the project has positive effects in stimulating community cohesion because it gathers people to share information and concerns and come up with new solutions that benefit all members of the community.

The creation of the BANCK Community Forest has been successful thanks to support from international partners like the New England Biolabs Foundation, and the African Conservation Foundation, and general supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

B. Shancho Ndimuh

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