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11 January 2018

2017 In Retrospect; Thanking Partners for Achievements

Posted in News, Views 243

2017 In Retrospect; Thanking Partners for Achievements

The Management of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) are excited to express their appreciation to all local, national and international constituents, who provided supports towards the growth of the organisation in 2017. Though a challenging year, full of tribulations, we continue to make major strides in supporting the Cameroon Government’s policies and her international commitments.

The Cameroon Anglophone crises played a major role in slowing down our activities. We are however delighted to have launched a major international agreement with the International Trees Foundation to launch the Mount Bamboutos Initiative for the restoration of the second major water tower (watershed) in Cameroon, after Adamawa plateau. This is a major contribution towards meeting the Bonn challenge and the AFRIOO Initiative of the African Union.

In the course of 2017, we continued to focus on the development of protected areas and corridors in Cameroon. Our attention was focused on Mount Muanenguba, Mak-Betchou, Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary as well as the Tofala Mone corridor and the Deng Deng National Park-Dja Reserve corridor. New potential sites were identified and a research programme under development. These are Mount Nlonako, Kimbi Fungom National Park and the Proposed Essimbi-Beba-Befang Wildlife Sanctuary. We are immensely grateful to Rainforest Trust, TUSK-USA/UK, Man and Nature, African Conservation Foundation and IUCN. UNEP/SUFACHAC and UNEP/Bakossi projects generous supports moved towards creation and more viable and functional ecosystems and protected areas of particular significance is the UNEP/Bakossi project that seeks to conserve our marine environments and will be contributing towards the creation of the first marine protected area in Cameroon.

Your collaborative efforts were immense in helping us at ERuDeF accomplish our work towards saving Cross River Gorillas, Western Lowland Gorillas, Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzees, Elephants, birds, and amphibians.

Our conservation efforts wouldn’t have been more successful without the support of our Livelihoods and Economic Development Programme, especially in our key signature project in the Lebialem Highlands and the Cameroon Mountains landscape in general. Providing conservation incentive is a key cornerstone to the survival of all conservation programmes across the globe. We appreciate the support received from V. Mane Fils, Mane Foundation, Man and Nature, UNDP/GEF, COMIFAC, GIZ, AFD and Tusk Trust towards the development of the Livelihoods and Economic Development Programmes. The generous support of Trees for the Future is helping us reach out to several thousand peasant farmers each year. Over 2million trees were planted in peasant fields, watersheds and schools throughout Cameroon Mountains.

ERuDeF continued to position its self as one of the leading national biodiversity research institution in Cameroon. Through our conservation programme, ERuDeF and her Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies, we continued to make significant strides in the areas of applied conservation, training and research. In early 2018, we will be launching the Cameroon Mountains Universities Network (CaMUN) as part of the national research initiatives involving a number of universities in Cameroon. Located on the Cameroon Volcanic Line, our work at ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies have been supported by the African Conservation Foundation, ERuDeF Endowment Fund and the Saint Monica University. We also acknowledge support from anonymous individuals.

At ERuDeF, we continue to provide support to other numerous initiatives across Cameroon and Africa, notably the Southwest Civil Society Organisations Network (SWECSON), the Anglophone Cameroon Civil Society Movement, the National Association of Traditional Rulers for the Restoration of Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes (RecTRAD) and the Alliance for the Conservation of Great Apes in Central Africa (A-GSAC).

Finally, we continue to receive generous support from the Government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, Agriculture and Rural Development, Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Tourism and Leisure, and Planning and Regional Development.

At ERuDeF, we continue to advance environmental communication in Cameroon and Africa to promote environmental conservation, tourism, sustainable development and biodiversity. ERuDeF is proud to be leading in this area as we have launched three key publications in the last four years. These are The Green Vision Newspaper (leading environmental newspaper in Cameroon), The ERuDeF Impact Magazine (to become the African Conservation Impact Magazine in 2018) and the Cameroon Biodiversity Business Newsletter (the lead ABS news provider in Cameroon)

On behalf of our team at ERuDeF, we wish you a wonderful new year 2018.

11 January 2018

Draft Technical Note Proposed Mt Muanenguba IER Produced

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Draft Technical Note Proposed Mt Muanenguba IER Produced

The draft Technical Note for the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve (IER), has been developed. This document, which officially seeks the government authorisation for the transformation of the site into a protected area, was produced during a workshop at the Southwest Regional Delegation of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), and the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF).

Joyce Mbong

The workshop which saw the development of the Technical Note, was a culmination of a workshop that took place a few months ago in the Moungo Division of Littoral Cameroon inducing the production of the draft Technical Note.

Meanwhile, the draft Technical Note captures information relating to the physical, biological, socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the area.

Speaking in one of the workshops for the development of this document, the Southwest Regional Chief of Services for Transformation and Control, George Bidima Antione, representing the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINFOF underscored the importance the significance of transforming Mount Muenenguba into an Integral Ecological Reserve.

“This area was earmarked based on its rich biodiversity and also because of the empirical role it plays in the regulation of water in Littoral and South West regions. Mt Muanenguba is a water shed for the river Moungo and Wouri. Converting this area into a protected area is a way of meeting up with the governments objectives that of protecting about 30% of forest land. If this project is appreciated and validated by hierarchy, the living standards of the local communities will improve via alternative livelihood activities,” he expounded.

Corroborating George Bidima, ERuDeF’s President/CEO, Louis Nkembi, noted that if this site is not protected, in the nearest future, we will have taps in town but they will not be running. He disclosed that the mountain is a site for cultural rite by the Mbo and Bakossi that if not conserved, will also disappear.

The ERuDeF boss hinted that if the process goes through successfully, then Mount Muanenguba will be the first protected area focused on the conservation of amphibians.

With the draft Technical Note now available, the next step will be to validate and submit the Document through the Regional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Littoral & Southwest to the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife. If no objections, the minister will sign in into decision and publish a Public Notice, which will constitute the first level of Government’s recognition that a certain portion of her land has been set aside for a creation of a protected area.

11 January 2018

Green Cooperative Society Gets Pioneer Executive

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Green Cooperative Society Gets Pioneer Executive

A pioneer executive to manage the affairs of one of Cameroon’s newest microfinance, the Green Cooperative Society (GreCoSo) has been elected and installed. The team made up of nine robust technocrats, were installed Friday December 8, 2017 at the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, for the Southwest. It was during the maiden Annual General Meeting of the cooperative society.

BY: Boh Muma

According to the facts and figures from the election, Quddus Njang, was elected President of the cooperative society and Charles Tangie, as Vice President. Yanick Fonki was voted as the Secretary General, Vivian Tejem as the Treasurer, and Payong Prudence and Mm Akeh Nug as General Auditors. Meanwhile, Mr Louis Nkembi and Mr Njingo Thomas were nominated by general acclamation at the Advisory Position.

They shall all run their respective positions for the next five years.

Installing them into office, an ace credit unionist and statistician, Mr Nkemka George, called on the newly elected to carry out their functions judiciously. He indicated that as a pioneer executive, it is imperative for the position holders to lay down a solid foundation so the cooperative society can sprout on.

He reminded the team of their respective duties and responsibilities before requesting regular meetings among the executives for their activities to be carried out coherently. Mr Nkemka also called on the members of the cooperative society to lend maximum support and cooperation to the executive. He noted that if everyone carries out everyone’s respective functions, the Green Cooperative Society will be an enviable pinnacle in the microfinance world.

On his part, the pioneer President of the Green Cooperative Society, Quddus Njang, expressed gratitude on his election. He promised to erect a new and befitting structure to host the cooperative society in five years’ time.

Preceding the election and installation exercise, all members unanimously adopted the article of association of the cooperative society. The adopted document saw members approving FCFA 5000 being the amount for registration, as well as a minimum of three shares be acquired by a member. A share cost FCFA 10,000 and no member can buy more than 20% of the general number of shares.

The Green Cooperative Society is refreshed by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). Members unanimously accepted that 30% of the profits from the cooperative society will be ploughed back to support ERuDeF’s conservation efforts.

11 January 2018

Mak-Betchou, Gov’t Estate Not ERuDeF’s Reserve - Louis Nkembi

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 Mak-Betchou, Gov’t Estate Not ERuDeF’s Reserve - Louis Nkembi

“No private individual or organisation has the right to own any reserve in Cameroon except planted forests. Mak-Betchou, like all other protected areas in Cameroon, once created will be owned by the state. Its creation is totally led and managed by MINFOF with technical and logistical support from the ERuDeF. So, Mak-Betchou is Government’s estate and not ERuDeF’s private reserve,” said the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Louis Nkembi, in a Press Conference organised recently at the Organisation’s Head Office in Buea.

B. Shancho Ndimuh

He was reacting to what he termed “several malicious misrepresentations regarding the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary”

The ERuDeF boss divulged that ERuDeF’s role in supporting the Government to create and manage some protected areas in Cameroon is not in any way aimed at “taking away the forest” from the forest adjacent communities or depriving them of their God-given source of living.

“ERuDeF’s role is to assist communities to ensure the sustainable management of biodiversity over the next generations. We are out to support the conservation of endangered biodiversity species and the vital ecological functions that this area embodies. Given that the proposed protected area is found at the mountain slope, its conservation will preserve the mountain slope, which is paramount given continuous landslides in the area,” Mr. Nkembi explained.

He underscored the fact that the creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary does not mean forbidding surrounding villages from harvesting resources from this site for local consumption, except endangered biodiversity species and ecosystem destruction.

“It means resources will be harvested sustainably. It is for this reason that the area is being proposed as a wildlife sanctuary, and not a national park where the harvesting of forest resources is not allowed,” he added.

Apart from opening doors to international and government investments, Mr. Nkembi opined that the gazetting of this site will be a bold step towards transforming Mak-Betchou into a veritable touristic destination in Cameroon. Besides conserving biodiversity species, he said the future Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearby Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary are currently being ear-marked as the future economic hubs of the Lebialem Division. This according to him, will be of great interest to the entire communities and Cameroon as whole and “not a few self-seeking individuals who want to grab the remaining land in the Mak-Betchou forest area for selfish ends”.

The ERuDeF President/CEO acknowledge receipt of petitions against the creation of this site particularly coming from the elite, the chiefs and some farmers in the Lebang Fondom. He attributed these petitions to “wrong rumours propagated by a few misguided individuals” stating that a meeting has however be scheduled to address the petitions.

The Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is an over 6000 hectares forest area located in Fontem Subdivision, Lebialem Division Southwest Cameroon, between the longitudes 586000m and 596000 m and 598000m and 606000m cutting across three Fondoms; Lebang, Essoh-Attah and Njoagwi and adjacent to about 15 communities. It is host to over 300 Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzees (one of the biggest chimpanzees’ density in Western Cameroon), over 100 forest elephants (the most northern range of African forest elephants within the Southwest Region of Cameroon), Drills, Cross River gorillas, bush baby, Blue duiker, Red River hog, red eared monkey and Mona monkey amongst others. The area is also home to some unknown plant species as well as globally threatened bird’s species.

A to Z of Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary Creation

In a bid to conserve and ensure the sustainable management of natural resources in this area, ERuDeF in 2007 launched research and conservation work in this forest area known then as the Mone Forest Reserve & Mbin Mak forest. This received a staunch resistance from the locals and elites who saw it as a move to “take their forest away from them” and depriving them of their God-given source of living.

Through continuous survey, sensitization/education, livelihood support and economic development projects in the forest area, ERuDeF gradually changed the minds of most of the local communities’ in favour of conservation. With available data and the urgent need to save this biodiversity hotspot from total destruction, this conservation non-profit organisation in collaboration with divisional and regional officials of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) held the regional classification meeting which culminated in the submission of a technical note in 2014 to the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife citing the necessity for creating a sanctuary in Mak-Betchou.

Even at this level, elites and traditional rulers still had descending feelings over the gazetting of PMBWS complicating the gazetting process. In August 20, 2015, the former Southwest Regional Delegate MINFOF, Mr. Samuel Ebai Eben, at behest of ERuDeF, convened a meeting, bringing together traditional rulers from communities adjacent to the proposed wildlife sanctuary, ERuDeF technical staff and MINFOF officials, to elicit a concrete consensus that will justify and facilitate the process of creating the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

This meeting harvested the endorsement of all traditional rulers including those who had hitherto been resistant to the gazetting strive.

With all stake holders now singing in one voice, one of the remaining factors that was to impede the gazetting of Mak-Betchou was the unavailability of funding. In 2016, ERuDeF secured a 3-year funding from Rainforest Trust-USA. In January 2017, Cameroon Government through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), officially declared her intention to move the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary in the Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon, into a protected area via the issuing of a Public Notice

The Public notice informed adjacent communities to the proposed protected area, as well as other stakeholders of the Government’s plans to transform this biodiversity hotspot hitherto used customary by the local people into a permanent forest estate. This according to the Notice, is to ensure the conservation and appropriate management of the richness and critical biodiversity of this area by the state and other partners.

Following the issuing of the Public Notice, ERuDeF last April 2017, embarked on a village-to-village sensitisation to adjacent villages to this proposed protected area including Njoagwi, Essoh-Attah, and Lebang Fondoms. The excitement, steam, and message were the same as inhabitants of the Fondoms adjacent to the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary massively mobilised themselves behind government for the classification of their forest into a protected area. This effervescence culminated in total support of the project by the inhabitants of each of the Fondoms, manifested through the various resolutions. The chiefs indicated their acceptance for the classification of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary into a fully protected area to proceed, with the exception of the fon of Fontem.

The process leading to the creation of the protected area, is already at an advanced stage of completion. The Divisional Coordination Meeting will be proceeded with a letter to the Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon, where the classification processes will be finalised.

The classification process of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is being facilitated by a Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)with support from Rainforest Trust with supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

11 January 2018

Government Lauds ERuDeF Media Group For Promoting Tourism

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Government Lauds ERuDeF Media Group For Promoting Tourism

Cameroon’s Minister of State, Minister of Tourism and Leisure, Bello Bouba Maigari has congratulated the ERuDeF Media Group on her efforts in valorising the Country’s eco-touristic potentials.

B. Shancho Ndimuh

In a letter acknowledging receipt of some three publications (ERuDeF Impact Magazine, The Green Vision Newspaper and The Cameroon Biodiversity Newsletter) of the Media Group dated December 13, 2017, the Minister praised the Group for giving exposure to Cameroon’s biodiversity hotspots.

“We want to use this medium to encourage and congratulate you and your collaborators on the immense role and contribution you are making to zoom on biodiversity hotspots around the country, thereby affording readers the opportunity to live the realities of the country’s rich ecological landscape,” the letter read in parts.

The Minister urged the ERuDeF Media group to valorise tourism through tourism and leisure.

“We further encourage you to introduce in ERuDeF, a component that shall undertake the non-consumptive valorisation of protected areas through tourism and leisure,” he implored.

ERuDeF Media Group is a subsidiary of Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) launched in 2013 in Buea, Southwest Cameroon to support the growth of the independent media in Cameroon. It establishment was induced by ERuDeF’s strive for an independent media landscape for better coverage of socio-political, environmental and corporate issues void of bias, sensationalism and shallowness, the Organisation decided to establish a non-political, non-sectarian and non-profit oriented media group known as the ERuDeF Media Group.

It’s an apolitical structure registered under the voluntary social welfare agencies ordinance of 1961. Under the leadership of Louis Nkembi (the Publisher), the ERuDeF Media Group is building the most robust landscape for environmental and civil society journalism in Cameroon, independent of the government. Some signature projects include; The Green Vision Newspaper reporting on environmental conservation and governance in Cameroon since 2013; the ERuDeF Impact Magazine now the African Conservation Impact Magazine reporting on impacts of conservation African civil societies since 2016, and the Cameroon Biodiversity Business Newsletter established since 2016. The group also runs the ERuDeF Centre of Environmental Film Making and a Non-profit Journal to support communication and capacity development of Civil Society Organisations in Africa.

11 January 2018

Rangers Trained On Wildlife Data Collection In Mt Muanenguba

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 Rangers Trained On Wildlife Data Collection In Mt Muanenguba

Some 12 Community Rangers from the Kupe Muanenguba and Moungo divisions of Southwest and Littoral Regions of Cameroon have been trained on wildlife data collection and the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

BY: Grace Manka’a

The training took place during a workshop organised by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF). The meeting took place in the conference hall of CAMHERP-CBF in Nkongsamba, Lttoral. Bringing together different communities surrounding the proposed Mt Muanenguba Herpetofauna Sanctuary like Manenguba I and II, Poela Mbat, Nsong, Epenenbe and Mboroko villages, the rangers were trained on how to put on and off the GPS; mark and record waypoints and how to use the GPS to track in the rainforest. They were also enlightened on how to use the GPS compass and a manual compass to trace directions and location points in the rainforest. After receiving practical lessons on the use of GPS, these Local Rangers were the schooled on how to fill in data on the Amphibian survey data sheet.

After the 1 day workshop participants expressed satisfaction with the training and recommended that another training session be organised in the rainforest so as to better their understanding.

It is worth noting that these community rangers will act as field guides and bio-monitors, collecting monthly data on herpetofauna species (amphibians and reptiles) and other wildlife species in their respective sections of the forest when the proposed Mt Muanenguba Herpetofauna Sanctuary is created. The data collected will help researchers to understand the ecology and population structures of herpetofauna species on Mt Muanenguba for better management and protection.

Besides the 12 community rangers, the workshop equally brought together The Chiefs of Wildlife and Protected Areas for Mungo and Kupe Muanenguba Divisions.

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

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