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01 June 2017

ERuDeF Wraps Up Survey on NTFPs Valorisation in Lebialem Highlands

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 308

 ERuDeF Wraps Up Survey on NTFPs Valorisation in Lebialem Highlands

Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Rainforest Trust, has rounded off surveys of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in some communities within the Lebelialem Highlands Conservation Complex. These communities include Njungo, Mbetta, Essoh-etta, Lewoh, Bangang, Besali, Bechati and Kendem.

The survey which seeks to identify and valorise NTFPs in this complex, is in line with ERuDeF’s strive to conserve biodiversity by promoting economic exploitation of NTFPs by rural women.

According to the survey, NTFPs like njangsang, bush mango, bush pepper, bush onions, bitter kola, red kola, eru, cashew, monkey Kola and others, are abundant in the Lebialem Highlands.

With survey results now established, ERuDeF will heighten sensitization and awareness campaigns in adjacent communities to biodiversity hotspots in this area as well as intensify the training of women in the harvesting and on domestication of NTFPs.

These communities will also be schooled on NTFPs value chain development and marketing among others.

The valorisation of NTFPs in this area is very important as many women and a few men are increasingly diverting their attention to the exploitation of these products, alongside other cash crops like cassava and plantains.

Involving women in the domestication and production of NTFPs as income generating activity will not only increase their revenue; but will improve on their livelihoods and the sustainable forest management and appropriate use of forest products.

By  Ayankeng Atem

28 April 2017

Mulching, Panacea For Low Farm Yield & Soil Infertility

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 312

 Mulching, Panacea For Low Farm Yield & Soil Infertility

Mulching is a practice in agriculture where farmers cover the soil with plant materials to protect the soil. Farmers cover the soil with organic material and this protects their soils from extreme winds or drought. The mulch serves as home for insects that improve soil texture and fertility. Mulching also protects the soil from erosion, extreme temperatures, and sunrays gradually releasing nutrients to plants.

Mulching is mostly done in alley cropping demonstration farms. Alley cropping is a technique of agroforestry where trees are planted in double rows in the farm where other food crops are planted. Here, the distance from one tree to the other is 30cm while the distance from one row to the other is 5m. When these trees reach the height of 1m or 1.5m, they are pruned at 50cm and the leaves are used to mulch the soil.

Acacia, Calliandra and Leucaena are species best used in alley cropping because they are nitrogen fixing. They are therefore referred to as the soil health improvement trees. When these leaves are mulched into the soil, the nitrogen contents in the leaves are slowly release to the soil, thus improving the fertility of the soil. This form of mulching also protects the soil from erosion, sunrays, and wind. It provides a habitat for species of insects and microorganisms that will eventually improve on some physical properties of the soil such as texture and structure.

For the past 8 years, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) through the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development, has been able to reach and sensitiseBare root nursery establishment in Mile 15 over 4,080 farmers in the Northwest, Southwest, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon with our Agroforestry activities. Of the 4,080 reached, over 3000 farmers have successfully implemented the project given a 74% success. Today, these farmers have been expressing their gratitude through different testimonies.

Mr. Douanla Pierre is a renowned farmer in Balafotio, West Region. For four years, the farmer has embraced agroforestry system in his farms. According to him, ever since he has been mulching the soils with agroforestry nitrogenous trees, production in his beans farmhas moved from 2 buckets to 12 buckets.

Mrs. Ayoung Jannet is another agroforestry farmer in Kugwe, Northwest Region. She testified that “mulching my plantain and grafted pears has made them healthier and doubled in production.”

Mr. Ambang of Maumu, Southwest Cameroon, for the past 7 years has multiplied the production of beans and maize, all thanks to mulching,

“I have moved from 4 bags of maize to 10 bags and from 3 baskets of tomatoes to 9 baskets as I have been using agroforestry nitrogenous trees to mulch my soil” Ambang of Maumu testified.

The importance of Mulching in the improvement of agricultural yield, cannot be over emphasised. Mulching is arguably the hidden panacea in witnessing a significant growth in agricultural production, but most especially, growth in household income. Farmers are therby ecouraged to mulch their soils with nitrogen fixing agroforestry trees for a significant growth in their agricultural production.

14 December 2016

Improve Household Food Security And Alleviate Poverty Through Sustainable Management Of Agro-biodiversity In Tibati, Ngaoundal, And Bango, Adamawa, Cameroon

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 668

 Improve Household Food Security And Alleviate Poverty Through Sustainable Management Of Agro-biodiversity In Tibati, Ngaoundal, And Bango, Adamawa, Cameroon

Food insecurity is a major concern in Northern Cameroon. The level of production increases at an inferior rhythm than population (MINADER 2008). At least 40% of Cameroonians live under poverty; they are unable to provide the basic necessities of life (nutrition, health, education and accommodation). According to Borlaug, 2007, agro forestry is an alternative method of traditional agriculture on how the future might unfold in traditional farming. Agro forestry can be used as an alternative system in the field of agriculture as it helps to improve soil fertility and food security, protection of water catchment and other key ecosystem thereby influencing biodiversity conservation.

In collaboration with Trees for the Future, the agroforestry department of ERuDeF carried out a feasibility study to know the root causes of food insecurity and poverty in that region of Cameroon. The findings indicated that the farmers use archaic tools; destroy soil substrate by abusively using chemical products, wrong soil tillage and faster stubble burning. They have little knowledge on soil degradation, conservation, and biodiversity and culture rotation process. Thus, there is the need for the introduction of agroforestry and forest gardening technologies.

This project seeks to improve on food security and income of local farmers in Northern Cameroon through agroforestry techniques and reforestation.

Among many others, the project seeks:

· To increase household and community food security techniques with increased farm yields through alley cropping,

· To improve economic sustainability of household through farm optimisation,

  • To secure the protection of 10 water catchments,

· To protect at least one protected area by promoting improved agricultural techniques.

With the implementation of this project,

· Household food security of 400 famers will increase by 70% through increase in access to diverse food crops,

· Household resilience to economic sustainability of 400 farmers will increased by 60%

· Quantity and quality of water will increase by 50% in volume by 2021,

· Biological diversity will increase by 70%.

To realize this project, USD$225000 is needed for 5 years. Of this amount, $80,000 would be used for sensitization, $35,000 to support communities’ network through the donation of agricultural equipment and agroforestry tree seedlings, $65,000 to be used for training and capacity building and $45,000 for monitoring and evaluation.

This project will be implemented by a team of experts in agroforestry for Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). Since the implementation of that in the Western part of Cameroon in 2007, our organisation in collaboration with their international funders has change the life of more than 1000 farmers by integrating six million agroforestry species and grafted fruit trees in small piece of land of farmers to improve their soil fertility, productivity and diversify their income.

For more information, kindly visit our website: www.erudef.org

Food insecurity and poverty is an inseparable link, to fight against them, sustainable agriculture by practicing new agricultural techniques is indubitable. Your prompt intervention will improve on the livelihood of resourced poor farmers through equipping and empowering them with the necessary tools so as to upscale their agricultural production, hence, combating global food insecurity.

26 September 2016

The Assessment of Status and Conservation of the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) in the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon.

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 686

 The Assessment of Status and Conservation of the African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) in the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon.

The Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary in the Lebialem Highland of SW Cameroon is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea (lower Guinea Forest). The highland is home to the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) which is presently under serious threats both from the local communities and business world. In addition to this species, the critically endangered Cross River gorilla, the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee, the African forest elephants, the Drills, and other endangered avian species, are found in this proposed Wildlife Sanctuary. This area has historically been under customary land-use and is currently being supported by the Environment Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) for transformation into a protected area.

The last bird (avian) inventory in this area was conducted in 2004-2005 by ERuDeF with support from the Rufford Small Grant. During this survey, it was realised that the Proposed Mak-Betchou area is very rich in avian species with the African grey parrot significantly present.

The socio-economic survey also observed that the African grey parrot was under serious threats from the local communities as it is being hunted in commercial quantities and sold as pets and food in the City markets. Other threats include habitat loss, fragmentation, deforestation and habitat degradation.

It is against this backdrop that ERuDeF is seeking financial support in order to create and manage proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. This will ensure the protection and conservation of the African grey parrots and other avian species in the area. The rich biodiversity of this area will also be greatly protected as a result of the creation of this site. Also, the project will ensure that the standard of living of the communities around the protected area be improved, so as to make the inhabitants not to be dependent on natural resources solely for survival.

                                    The project has as objectives the following;

Ø Creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary,

Ø Development of the management and business plans,

Ø Assessing the status(distribution, condition, etc) of the African grey parrots and other Avian species,

Ø Conduct Socio economic survey in the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary,

Ø Create and support collaborative management structures.

To implement this project, over US$ 1,000.000 will be required for the next 3 years. US$ 100,000 will support the development of the management and business plans for the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. US$ 50,000 will be use in assessing the status (distribution, condition, etc) of the African grey parrots and other avian species. US$ 50,000 will be use to conduct Socio economic survey in the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. US$ 160,000 will be used to Create and support collaborative management structures around the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary environs. Finally US$ 90,000 will be used for the payments of resource persons and the salaries of all staffs directly engaged into the project.

It is important to note that ERuDeF has received some US$ 550,000 from the Rainforest Trust to support the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou area.

ERuDeF runs several programs which includes but not limited to Great Apes conservation, Agro-forestry, forestry just to mention a few. The Great Apes component is focused on saving the last species of gorillas and chimpanzees across the Lebialem Highlands, in Upper Banyang and Nkingkwa Hills. The work on great apes also extends into the NW, East and South regions of Cameroon to focus on the remaining populations of gorillas and chimpanzees in those regions. Our work on great apes, in the country has led to the creation of the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex and the Lebialem-Mone Forest Landscape. Currently, ERuDeF has assisted the government of Cameroon to create the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. Besides, ERuDeF is also assisting the government to protect the apes in the proposed Mak-Betchou forest, Nkingkwa Hills and Tofala-Mone Forest Corridor. ERuDeF also assisted the government of Cameroon in the development and validation of the management plan for the Deng Deng National Park in the East Region of Cameroon.

The project that will span for about three years will be carried out by a team of experts from ERuDeF with long years of experience in Ornithology, Protected area creation, management and conservation.

For more information, please go to www.erudef.org

24 August 2016

Mainstreaming Capacity Building for Livelihood into Agro-biodiversity Management in the South West, North West, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 714

Mainstreaming Capacity Building for Livelihood into Agro-biodiversity Management in the South West, North West, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon

The agricultural sector in Cameroon occupies an important place in her economy. It employs 70% of active population and contributes to 30% of gross domestic product (Momo 2011).Today, at least 55% of peasant farmers live in the rural community by practicing subsistence agriculture (MINADER, 2008). They use archaic tools; destroy soil substrate by abusively using chemical products, wrong soil tillage, and faster stubble burning (Önder, Ceyhan, & Kahraman, 2011) . According to Sikod 1985, farmers have little knowledge on soil degradation, conservation, biodiversity and crop rotation process. The major causes of biodiversity loss are fragmentation, degradation and habitat loss, the over exploitation of natural resources, air and water pollution, traditional slash and burn agriculture, introduction of non-native species and climate change (Slingenberg et al., 2009). Sustainable use of biodiversity is an important tool for facilitating conservation by reconciling it with the needs and expectation of poor farmers (Williamson cited by IUCN, 2002).

In the West, Littoral, Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, the problem of food insecurity is a major course for concern. According to MINADER 2008, the rate of food production does not match with the population growth rate. At least 40% of Cameroonians live below the poverty margin, hence, they are unable to afford the basic necessities (nutrition, health, education and accommodation).

To solve these problems, this project seeks to improve on  food security and income of resource poor farmers while ensuring sustainable environmental protection. This will be done by creating protective and healthy farm through agro-forestry and agriculture development in Cameroon.

5000 Farmers in 75 communities will increase their yield on crop production by 200%.

The Farmers’ productivity will increase from 0.5 to 2 tons per hectare.

Increase productivity of rural landscape.

 

 

For this to be realised, the following earmarked activities will be carried out:

Build capacity for Farmers on Agroforestry technique: Farmers yield will increase on crop production by 200%, thus, solving the problem of food insecurity and improving on the nutrition.

Support farmers to alleviate poverty through value added chain and farm optimization techniques: Farmers will be able to increase on their agricultural productivity from 0.5 tons of crops per hectare to 2 tons per hectare. More job opportunities will be created for especially youths and women. Non-timber forests products (NTFP) are characterised by their non-perishable nature. Therefore, farmers can sell the surpluses to manage the lean season. During the lean season, the unit cost of NTFPs can vary from US$20/kg up to US$24/kg.

 

Ensure the sustainable management of farmland: farmers will increase productivity of rural landscape by establishing a responsible agricultural system.

In conclusion, the project  "Mainstreaming capacity building for livelihood into agro-biodiversity management"  will go a long way to change the lives of poor farmers by improving on their economic well-being through the value added chain development and farm optimization model. This project can also be of benefit to our ecosystem through tree planting into farms and water catchment.

In other to realise this project, some US$79 will be needed to sponsor one poor resource farmer to plant 200 trees in his/her farm per year. Five thousand farmers in Seventy Five Communities are engaged in this project. Therefore, a total of US$391,928 will be needed to carryout this activities in the next 5 years

To achieve these, a team of agroforestry technicians from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) who have been working in this location for the past 10 years will implement the project. For more information, visit www.erudef.org

01 July 2016

The ERuDeF Institute’ Masters and PhD Research Students Placement Policy

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, Views 506

1. Introduction

Cameroon, otherwise known as the Africa in miniature cuts across several biomes and is the 5th richest country in Africa in terms of biodiversity. The ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) and/or referred to also as EIBiNS was founded in 2012 with the mission to support the long term biodiversity management in Cameroon and elsewhere through the training, capacity building and professional development of the next generation of conservation scientists and leaders and to provide the younger generation with the much needed professional experience. The ERuDeF Institute’s is the pioneer institute in Cameroon dedicated to the holistic study of the environment. Its overall goal is to increase the quantity and quality of conservation scientists and leaders that will help to sustain biodiversity management in Cameroon and elsewhere. The ERuDeF Institute is a registered non-profit educational institute in Cameroon with head quarters in Buea, SW Cameroon and with an international Board of Trustees comprising members from the Cameroon, USA and Europe.

The ERuDeF Institute is committed to education, sharing of knowledge and learning through all that it does. It seeks to encourage and support people who are interested in conservation work and developing their careers either with the Institute, its partners and/or other organizations by hosting internships, volunteers and young people interested in practical experience with ERuDeF and its partners, working with a professional and passionate team, and at the same time, contributing to the mission of the institute and/or its partners.

The ERuDeF Institute offers a unique opportunity to interns, volunteers and others to acquire work experience through its various partners’ programs. Interns will be able to develop their own skills and contribute to the mission of ERuDeF and its partners by being involved in essential activities with the appropriate levels of support from the ERuDeF Institute and partners’ staff.

This policy relates to the M.Sc. and PhD students planning to conduct their masters and/or PhD research at and/or through the ERuDeF Institute.

The ERuDeF Institute believes that M.Sc. and PhD students constitute an important resource, making a vital contribution to achieving the aims and objectives of the institution by complementing and adding value to the work of the ERuDeF Institute. The intention of this policy is to encourage, develop and support M.Sc. and PhD research students’ involvement in research work in Cameroon, one of the biodiversity hotspots and exciting region for conservation research in Africa.

The implementation of this policy will depend on good relationship, mutual responsibility and commitment between the ERuDeF Institute and universities, research students and government authorities responsible for environmental management.

Purpose of the Policy

This policy is intended for management guidance The ERuDeF Institute reserves the exclusive right to change any of this policy at any time and to expect adherence to the changed policy. Specifically, the policy intends to:

· Highlight and acknowledge the value of the contribution made by research students and/or interns

· Reflect the purpose, values, standards and strategies of the ERuDeF Institute in relation to its involvement with research students and their academic institutions;

· Recognize the respective roles, rights and responsibilities of research students and of the ERuDeF Institute

· Confirm the ERuDeF Institute’ commitment to involving research students and/or interns in its work;

· Establish clear principle for the involvement of research students

· Clarify the relation between research students, universities and the ERuDeF Institute .

· Help to ensure maximum mutual gain both to research students and the ERuDeF Institute ;

· Establish a framework for recruiting and supporting research students.

2. Admission Requirements and Selection of Research Students.

· When submitting their application, students must be registered full time in a masters and/or PhD program in their respective universities;

· Students seeking to conduct thesis research through the ERuDeF Institute must first engage in discussions with the ERuDeF Institute at least 12 months before the intended start date of the research;

· Undergraduate students may only be accepted on a need case basis;

· Students must submit their applications together with two letters: one from their M.Sc. or PhD program supervisor approving the theme and a second from their head of Department sending the student to conduct the research internship;

· Students must submit an acceptable research proposal

· Students must have ability to write and communicate in English;

· Research students’ recruitment procedures will be subject to regular review based on the changing policies at the ERuDeF Institute;

· Applicants for research student placement at the ERuDeF Institute will receive a response within a reasonable period not later than ten (10) working days after the deposit of the relevant application documents.

· The student must apply in writing expressing the need to conduct a thesis research to the Director of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies, P.O Box 189 Buea, SW Cameroon. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

· The research theme must contribute to the advancement of the vision of the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs

· The student’s proposal must already have been validated by the academic supervisor and the Head of Department of the student’s university

· The proposal should contain a detailed budget and the funding source (s)

· The student will defend the university validated research proposal before a panel at the ERuDeF Institute and all corrections made before the start of the research internship

· The research proposal and final thesis must bear the name of the co-supervisor from the ERuDeF Institute and/or partners’ programs as well as its logo;

· All articles originating from the research entirely funded by the ERuDeF Institute and/or partners’ funds will have the co-supervisor from the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs as the first author.

· The student must defend the final draft of the research before final return to his/her university in order for the ERuDeF Institute and/or partners validate the veracity of the results originating from the research period.

· Internship duration must not be less than 6 months

3. Proposed Research Topics

Based on its conservation policy, the ERuDeF Institute works with government, partners, communities, different organizations and the private sector to address the main issues affecting environmental and biodiversity conservation in Cameroon namely; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Climate change and Governance and threats.

4. Support to Research Students

· The ERuDeF Institute and the collaborating university will invest financial and personal resources for the management of research students.

· An induction meeting and review sessions will be provided to research students to assess their progress and to resolve problems that may arise;

· All research students will have access to appropriate support and supervision with a named staff of the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs and the wider Network of the ERuDeF Institute Associates;

· All research students will be offered appropriate internal training and mentoring to enable them to develop their capabilities and personal competence;

Additional support from the ERuDeF Institute to students on research internships will include:

  • Office space
  • A relevant professional supervisor
  • Internet facility
  • Technical team to assist in field work

· Peer review of the final draft research work

· Assistance in publishing the final research work in collaboration with the ERuDeF Institute

· Training in research management leading to a certificate in research management

  • Preparation of draft peer review paper (s)

5. Funding the Research Thesis

For research projects funded through the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs, the transfer of funds will be done in the following installments;

1. First installment of 50% will be disbursed after the signing of this student research placement and agreement policy between the student and the Director of the ERuDeF Institute and/or his/her Representative

2. Second installment of 30% will be disbursed after the field work and deposit of the final draft of the research in the office of the Director of the ERuDeF Institute

3. The third and final installment of 20% will be disbursed after the deposit of the final draft of the proposed peer reviewed paper

Finally, all the projects financially supported through the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs will properly be accounted for with authentic receipts.

6. Supervision of Students on Internship at the ERuDeF Institute

All research internships are paid by the students’ from his/her own sources at the rates in force. The research internships funded through the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs will have the supervision’s fees deducted directly before the final research funds are transferred to the student. The following rates are applicable to all students who shall be seeking to carry out research internships and placements within the auspices of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies and/or its partners’ programs.

1. Undergraduate Students (National on case by case basis): 100000XAF

2. Undergraduate Students (International): 300000 XAF

3. Master Students (National): 200000 XAF

4. Master Students (International): 400000 XAF

5. PHD Students (National): 500000 FCFA

6. PHD Students (International): 1000000 XAF

7. Rights of Research Students.

In engaging research students, the ERuDeF Institute recognizes the rights of research students to:

· Know what is expected of them and to be given clear information and an induction into the organization;

· Have clearly specified lines of support and supervision;

  • Be shown appreciation;
  • Have a safe working environment;

· Know what their rights and responsibilities are;

· Where possible, be trained and receive on-going opportunities for learning and development;

  • Be free from discrimination;

· Experience personal development through their participation as research students.

8. The Responsibilities of Research Students

· Supply a CV and other relevant testimonials that may be requested from time to time prior to engagement;

· Carry out their tasks in a way that corresponds to the aims and values of the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’programs ;

  • Work within agreed guidelines and limits;

· Exercise high levels of integrity and be reliable;

  • Respect and uphold confidentiality;

· Attend training and support sessions as may be with supervisors at the ERuDeF Institute .

· Comply with existing policies and procedures at the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs;

· Commit to respect the conditions laid out by the ERuDeF Institute’ research policy;

· Submit regular progress reports requested by the supervisor and the ERuDeF Institute .

· Any research student who contravenes the ERuDeF Institute ’ policies and procedures while performing their functions as research students will be subject to instant dismissal by the Director;

· Research students are responsible for paying for their airfare, living and field expenses, travel documents (passport, visa), vaccines and travel insurance for the entire period of the research internship. If foreign students’ stay exceeds the period of internship, students will be responsible for paying the extra fees linked to the travel insurance.

9. Relationship with the ERuDeF Institute and Partners’ Programs Staff.

· Steps will be taken to ensure that the staff at all levels are clear about the role of research students and that good working relationships are fostered with all the staff.

· The roles of research students and the ERuDeF Institute/ Partners’ staff will be complementary and mutually supportive.

· Where possible, appropriate training, support and resources will be provided for all those who work alongside research students and for those who have a managerial role in relation to research students.

10. Research Student Agreement

· The condition for a research student to be admitted into the ERuDeF Institute for a research internship is subject to a Memorandum of Understanding between the university department, his/her supervisor and the student on the one hand and the ERuDeF Institute on the other hand.

· Every research student must read, understand and sign a Masters/PhD Agreement with the ERuDeF Institute that outlines the ERuDeF Institute ’ policy by which research students must abide. The signing of such an Agreement must be done prior to joining the ERuDeF Institute .

11. Implementation, Monitoring and Reporting

· Overall responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and review of these policies and procedures lies with the Human Resources and Students’ Affairs Department.

· Any comments that could help improve this policy should be communicated in writing to the Human Resources and Students’ Affairs Officer.

· In accordance with the ERuDeF Institute’ practice and reporting policy, weekly, monthly and final reports of work done by research students will be submitted by them as a basis for monitoring. The research students will have access to their records.

12. Duration and Termination

· The minimum research period for any research student at the ERuDeF Institute will be six months and the maximum will be three years. Further extension will be given up to a maximum of one year for master students and three years for PhD students, provided that there is a mutual agreement between the ERuDeF Institute and university. Justification in writing for such extensions must be sent to the ERuDeF Institute’s Director at least three months prior to the expiry of the previous extension.

· Research students agree that the ERuDeF Institute may at any time, for reasons of poor behavior and non-respect of the internal policies of the ERuDeF Institute and/or those of its partners, decide to terminate the relationship with the student. A month notice of such a decision would be communicated to the student’s supervisor.

· The ERuDeF Institute has no legal obligation to offer employment to its research students at the end of their research internship.

13. Recruitment into the ERuDeF Institute and/or Partners’ Programs

Over the next decade, the ERuDeF Institute and its partners will continue to grow and expand their programs in Cameroon and beyond. In order to meet up with this growing demand, there will be an annual recruitment of relevant skilled staff into their respective programs. For those research students wishing to be recruited as permanent employees of the ERuDeF Institute and/or its Partners, the research student would comply to the following conditions;

· Accept to undertake an additional training in program development and fundraising. This may start at the beginning of the research internship period if properly arranged. It is a paid 12-month training program. The course fees stand at 300 000XAF broken down into 200 000 CFA for tuition and 100 000 XAF for project development mentorship.

· Respect strictly the internal policies in force at the ERuDeF Institute and/or its partners’ programs

 

29 April 2016

GBHS Fontem Environmental Club Reaps From School Garden

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 1060

GBHS Fontem Environmental Club Reaps From School Garden

The Environmental Club of GBHS Fontem has begun reaping from its school garden. The club now harvests huckleberry, sweet herbs and cabbages, which are sold to finance its activities. The Coordinator of GBHS Fontem Environmental Club, Njilegac Damian, and other members of the Lebialem Environmental Education Association (LEEA) attribute the success of the school garden to constant training and coaching from ERuDeF.

“Income generated from the sale of the garden’s output is used to purchase school needs such as pens, pencils, rulers and exercise books for needy students in the club,” Njilegac said.

Njilegac said some of the garden produce are stocked at the school’s cooperative and retailed to students at prices far lower than normal market prices.

The Environmental Club Coordinator explained that vegetables take about two weeks after nursing to be transplanted to the garden while tree species take about two months.

He said the Environmental Club initiated the school garden in line with second generation agriculture (sustainable agriculture) for sustainable development that is being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tree species donated by ERuDeF are also planted at the school garden to serve as organic and green manure, given that the excessive application of chemical fertilizer is detrimental to the environment.

By Samuel Ngueping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 April 2016

Lewoh Throws Weight behind V. Mane Fils in ABS Mondia Project

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 1016

Lewoh Throws Weight behind V. Mane Fils in ABS Mondia Project

The people of the Lewoh Community in the Lebialem Division-Southwest Cameroon have pledged total collaboration with Mane Foundation  , in the research and development of a local plant located in their community, Mondia Whitei known localy Ndrah Li`.

“We the Lewoh people are very happy about this Mondia Project and will like this project to continue. Mr. Mane is a very kind and good man and we are pledging our full support and collaboration to ensure the success of this project because the more his company progresses in this project, the more we, our council and country will also progress” said Fuafueleka the chief of Atetem.

This commitment was made at the end of the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) Negotiation for Research and Development workshop, which took place last April 5, 2016  in Lewoh village  under the auspices of the representative of the Minister of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Mr. Lemnyuy William, who is also the ABS National Focal Point.

Bringing together local community members & traditional authorities, the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINEPDED, Mayor of Alou Subdivision, the Executive Director of V. Mane Fils ,who is also  the president of Mane Foundation, the President CEO of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) amongst others, Mr. Shey said the workshop is in consonance with the adhesion of Cameroon to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and theBenefits Sharing arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

The President of the Mane Foundation on his part, thanked the community for their hospitality and collaboration this far. He also thanked ERuDeF for diligently ensuring the sustainable management and implementation of projects on behalf of the Foundation.

The President of Mane Foundation  said the project will bring additional revenue to the community via root purchase, improve livelihood, social and environmental aspects of the community.

Discussions and negotiations were made with the Lewoh community on different aspects of the MAT for Research and Development document. Principal amongst these was the fact that the community members will cultivate and sell 1kg of dry Mondia Whitei roots at 5000frs.

In order to ensure the sustainable exploitation and regeneration of the plant, Michel Mane promised an additional 50frs payment to the local community per Mondia plant planted and another 50frs for each Mondia young Plant growth up to a certain level.

The Lewoh people greeted this with lots of ecstasy

“We did not know that this plant could be of any benefit to us. The price has encouraged many of us and we will go home today and start planting tomorrow especially giving that this is a rainy season. Mr Mane has made us to understand that every plant growing in the bush is of value and should not be neglected” said Amingo Walters, a Lewoh Indigene.

One of the Queens of Lewoh Madam Cecilia Nkengafac Atabong corroborated this: “I just need to lay hands on the seeds and you will see what I will do, I will cultivate on large scale and even recruit labour for its cultivation that I can gain something to take care of my children”.

Chief Fuatulah, Representing the Fon of Lewoh see the project as a lucrative source of livelihood to his people.

“This project will reduce Rural Exodus. Cocoa is the only crop sustaining the people of this community and harvested once a year. But with this plant, within the cocoa harvesting, my community will still have something to sustain themselves. It is not difficult to cultivate and is less expensive compared to Cocoa. After planting, up to 3 meters, that is all. You don’t need to spray or spend money on fertilizers. I have told my people to concentrate on this because I belief it will better their life” the cheif of Fuatulah  said.

He thanked Louis Nkembi and ERuDeF liaising with Mr Mane to give meaning to the Mondia in his community wishing him and the organization God’s blessing in all their endeavours.

The Lewoh people said they are eagerly waiting ERuDeF and Mr Mane to give them Mondia seeds and training on the cultivation of the plant.

Meanwhile the ABS Focal Point cautioned the Lewoh people to report any case of a clandestine collection of plants specimen in their community to MINEPDED.

 

10 December 2015

Urgent Action Needed to Save GRG in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 1803

Urgent Action Needed to Save GRG in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

 20 to30 of 300 of one of Africa’s most endangered ape, the Cross River Gorilla, found in THWS may become extinct in the next 10 years due to anthropogenic activities like indiscriminate hunting, habitat encroachment & fragmentation

 Several conservations efforts implemented over the years Conservation efforts to reverse this plight has often taken a western approach which do not reflect local realities and is therefore slow in harvesting required result.

Communities have viewed this as another western initiative imposed on them.

 Locals value their animals. Traditional beliefs like folklore and taboos, offer an indigenous conservation ethic and an effective means of conservation.

 With the support of Flagship Species Grant from Fauna and Flora International, in collaboration with an American film team, At Films, some 8 short films, each addressing a different conservation threat and local folktale relating to CRG have been produced for and with GRH habitat communities.

Screening these films at market squares, schools and community meetings (of hunters/farmers) in 11 communities to THWS; erecting bill boards with picture of CRG and conservation messages in local languages in 11 communities to THWS and producing radio documentaries in local languages/broadcast on station whose signals extend to 11 communities to THWS will be of great impact.

At least 60% of farmers in each of 11 communities farming in THWS will retrain, over 70% of hunters/trappers in each of 11 communities will drop guns/traps in favour of CRG conservation and at least 50 % of community members become involved in conservation initiative

The realization of this dream requires some financial implications:

800,000XAF will support the purchase of a projector, speakers, a laptop, a DVD player for film screening in 11 closest communities to THWS; 700,000XAF will aid in screening films/carrying sensitization campaigns in 11 adjacent communities to THWS; 750,000XAF support the production and planting of 11 bills  boards; 500,000XAF will assist in the production and broadcasting of 4 radio documentaries; 850,000XAF will support survey to determine impact while; 1000,000XAF will support staff cost for the project period

You can find samples of our work and intervention at:

www.folkfilmmaking.org,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H19j4EySxo, www.erudef.org, or contact us; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A similar project in 2007 was successful in the conservation of Mane Wolf in Central Brazil (Bizerril et al 2011).  With about 16 years of working in Tofala, I belief this project will provide a safe haven such efforts will provide a safe haven for the 20-30 CRG in THWS. Given that a gorilla puts to birth once in every five years, it is expected that in the next 7 to 10 years the CRG population would have increased from about 30 to about 35 or 40 in this wildlife sanctuary, limiting them from straying and risking being killed like the strayed silverback killed in Pinyin, March 2013.

 

By NdimuhBertrand Shancho

10 December 2015

Enrichment planting of Zebra wood and other highly valued red List plants in fragile Community Forests at the Mt. Cameroon Region

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 2036

Enrichment planting of Zebra wood and other highly valued red List plants in fragile Community Forests at the Mt. Cameroon Region

 The Mount Cameroon Region is a biodiversity hotspot with the most diverse ecosystem in Cameroon. It is the 10th most conservable places in the world (IUCN 1994). The area harbors the last near isolated and threatened population of trees in the Southwest region of Cameroon. 

The activities of the surrounding villages affect (directly or indirectly) the management and the resources of the park; about 70% of the area’s population depends solely on the forest for survival. The major threat to the Mt Cameroon Ecosystem is loss of habitat due to logging and conversion of forest to arable land. According to Weidelt, 1996, at least 200 m3    of the Mt. Cameroon forest is damaged by felling every year.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), a local nonprofit organization in collaboration with the South West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife and the Mount Cameroon National Park service have been working hard to enhance conservation and restore the integrity of the ecosystem.  This is within the framework of ‘the conservation of threatened trees of the Mt Cameroon area’ project where trees are raised in nurseries and distributed to adjacent communities to support them regenerate their fragile Community Forests through enrichment planting.

However, these conservation efforts have proven to be futile at the level of maintenance of the species in Community Forests. Out of 16000 threatened trees planted into 3 Community Forests (Woteva Bakingili and Bomana) at the Mt. Cameroon area from 2014-2015, about 7000 have been reported dead due to failure of the village structures to properly manage these resources.

This new project seeks to ensure effective regeneration of 3 Community Forests around the Mt. Cameroon National Park with at least 150000seedlings of Microberlinia bisulcata and other highly valued Red list plants within 3 years. The project will carry out aggressive capacity building workshops with at least 30 Village Forest Management Committees (VFMCs) in 3 villages around the Mt. Cameroon National Park on the use of modern techniques (computerized information gathering and use of Global Positioning System [GPS]) and Compass in forest management activities. Training will also be done on transect establishment for tree planting.

The project will also ensure the regeneration of 3 Community Forests with at least 5000 seedlings of Microberlinia bisulcata and other Red list trees within 2 years and guarantee survival of at least 80%. Farmers in the respective communities will be empowered to engage in agro-forestry practices in their farms around the Mt. Cameroon area. This will control encroachment into Community Forests.

By the end of this project, Community Forest Management teams of the various communities will have sufficient Knowledge on forest management activities which will be transferred to the younger generation to guarantee sustainably forest management.

The community members will be able to improve on their livelihood from sales of NTFPs (from country onion and Pygeum) in the short term and quality timber (from Zebra wood, Azobe, Mahogany) from their rich forests in the longer term. Meanwhile, farmers will benefit from agro-forestry techniques and this will improve on soil nutrients and livelihood through sales farm yields and offseason crops. All these will reduce human pressure at the Mt. Cameroon National Park and Forest Reserves.

The sum of One million 5000000FCFA is needed to execute this project. (1000000) will support the purchasing of 3 computers, 3Global Positioning System (GPS) and 3 compasses for the training of VFMC and CFM teams. Five hundred thousand francs (500000F) will support training of 30 VFMC/CFM teams in 3 communities on the use of computer and GPS. Nine hundred thousand francs (900000) will support the collection of at least 30000 seeds wildings of the threatened trees listed and successful propagation in nurseries. Nine hundred thousand francs (900000) will support transplanting of at least 15000 mature seedlings into 3 Community Forests. Seven hundred thousand francs (700000) will support the establishment of 6 pilot agro forestry farms in 3 communities. Five hundred thousand francs (500000) will support management of the planted trees in 3 Community Forests. Five hundred thousand (500000) will support evaluation and mapping of points of surviving seedlings in the 3 Community Forests.

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