Call for Application, Communication Officer

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is a non-profit Cameroonian conservation organization established in 1999. ERuDeF has been working for over two decades across Cameroon and has significantly contributed towards restoring fragile eco-systems, regeneration of forest through plantation and agroforestry, conservation of biodiversity through wildlife habitat protection and protected area management, promoting environmental education, as well as empowering rural communities through innovative economics and livelihood development programs.

The Chief Executive Officer is seeking the services of three (03) highly qualified communication officers respectively in charge of (i) public relation, corporate marketing and branding, (ii) broadcast, documentary and photography and (iii) print, online and social media to join the communication team. These are full-time positions and the prospective candidates will work in the division of communication and will perform the followings;

  • Communicating for all programs in ERuDeF i.e., covering events, workshops and programs of the organization to create articles, news/media pieces documentaries which will be added to the organization’s repertoire;
  • Creating, curating and managing on a daily basis the organization’s branding efforts by developing relevant content topics to reach target customers, clients and potential funders;
  • Search Engine Optimization for all its websites in coordination with the Brand Manager; translating concepts, ideas and documents into appealing and encouraging online content and info graphics which will increase web traffic and maintain desired search engine results;
  • Liaising with all Senior Program Officers to analyse performance for all marketing and sensitizing efforts; identify areas of high use and areas that require promotion and/or further development in each project landscape;
  • Creating, reviewing and editing content assigned for both offline and online publications;
  • Assisting in the planning and execution of communication campaigns and events.

Required skills and qualifications

  • MSc/MA in communication/ digital marketing/ journalism from any recognized University, past work experience and a steady track record;
  • Knowledge of Microsoft office and video editing skills and advanced knowledge on media metrics and social media analytics;
  •  One to two years of progressive experience in a digital role where candidate demonstrated excellent brand building strategies which led to a quantifiable increase in exposure of the organization;
  • Advanced knowledge in English language, French language is an advantage;
  • Excellent attention to details;
  • Excellent judgement and corporate language when communicating with/selecting content to disseminate to the community;
  • Ready to undergo training in environmental science, biology, botany/plant science, earth science, ecology, geology, geography and land management is considered a plus.

Composition of Application File: All application files should consist of; a curriculum vitae, copies of relevant certificates, attestation of service if available, medical certificate not older than three months, photocopy of national identity card, two passport size photographs and a motivation letter addressed to the Director of Administration and Human Resource, ERuDeF P.O. Box 189 Buea, Southwest Cameroon.

Remuneration: The pay package for this position is very encouraging and negotiable based on experience  and track record from previous positions.

Location of Position: The prospective candidate will be expected to work at ERuDeF Head Office Buea and travel nation-wide.

Mode of Application: All application files are expected to be deposited at the ERuDeF Head Office Buea or by e-mail to hq@erudef.org or info@erudef.org. Applications are opened until positions are filled.

ERuDeF is an equal opportunity employer regardless of age, gender, religion and ethnic origin.

Repairing Human Damages on our Ecosystem

Wendell Berry, a naturalist and writer once said, “the earth is the only thing we have in common”, so why would we want to destroy the only thing which bonds the human race? Our world was created naturally with so much riches, with enough for both humans and species to live on. Due to anthropogenic activities, our world is quickly crumbling with many species quitting the stage, and going into extinction. Nevertheless, with such calamity befalling the only thing we have in common; all hope has not been lost. Mother earth still remains the only place where humanity and indeed plants and animal can find refuge.

This decade has been termed as the UN decade on ecosystem restoration. Like many have put it, there has never been a more urgent need to revive damaged ecosystems than now. It is now or never. The UN decade on ecosystem restoration calls on all government and indeed everyone to prevent, halt and reverse degradation of areas such as grasslands, forest, oceans and mountains, essential for the survival of human beings on earth. The ball has been set rolling with the launch of this campaign in June 2021.  The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is quoted as saying; “We are ravaging the very ecosystems that underpin our societies, and in doing so, we risk depriving ourselves of the food, water and resources we need to survive.”. Where did mother earth go wrong but for her patience with the destructive actions of human beings?

It would be needless to start pointing out the tones of effects accompanying our wanton destruction of Mother Earth’s capital. The Coronavirus virus pandemic is a glaring example of the toxic relationship we have developed and nurtured with mother earth. If the present status quo is maintained, we can only expect the worst to happen, God forbid!

Cameroon has had its own fair share of the effects of the global problem of consistent biodiversity loss and the destruction of the very fabric that holds the earth together. Desertification is engulfing the Northern part of Cameroon, species are going into local extinction and land degradation is now a reality like never before in Cameroon. To add to the unending list of these effects, floods are very rampant in cities like Douala and Limbe.  All these re-echoe the calls that we need to collectively restore the earth before it becomes inhabitable again.

Cameroon is committed to restoring 12 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2030 as part of the Bonn Challenge. This together with  local and other international commitments such as the Paris Climate Agreement assure us that there is a will and indeed  there is hope. While we do agree that where there is a will there is a way, action on the ground needs to be stepped up and more importantly, environmental non-governmental organizations and the Cameroon state functionary need to act together like never before.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has been working to protect forests and  flagship species of plant and animals for more than 20 years. ERuDeF works with the government, companies, communities and other stakeholders to promote certification for responsible forest management practices: combat illegal logging, reform trade policies, protect forested areas, and more. In this light, our main priority in ecosystem restoration is to plant 300 million trees in 15 years, to restore degraded lands in both Cameroon and the Central Africa Sub-region. We launched this commitment as our own litle way of contributing to the global narrative of ecosystem restoration.

In August 2018, we launched one of our flagship projects, the Mount Bamboutos Initiative to restore 35,000 hectares of the  degraded Mount Bamboutos ecosystem with the planting of 15 million trees in 15 years, piloting till 2021

As the 3-year pilot phase of the Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) project, supported by TreeSisters and Darwin Initiative drew to an end on March, 31 2021, ERuDeF was able to secure new funding from the German based organization, ECOSIA SA, in order to continue to support the goals and objectives of the initiative

This project which will run for an initial one year  was launched in February 2021.The project titled “Restoring the biodiversity and ecosystem functions of the degraded Mount Bamboutos Landscape” will protect and restore over 1500 hectares of degraded riparian forests, sacred forests and water catchments by planting 700,000 native and agroforestry trees. The project is implemented in some selected chiefdoms namely: Bafou, Bangang and Babadjou in the West region, Bamumbu in the Southwest region and Menka in the Northwest region of Cameroon. 

 ERuDeF has also been in the forefront in protecting bird species. “Birds connect our world” pronounced last year’s migratory bird day theme. This theme shows us how interconnected our world is and the 2021 migratory bird day and on April 09 2021, ERuDeF Celebrated the World Migratory Bird Day under theme “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a bird!” tells us how glamorous the earth is.  

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), remains resolute in conserving, restoring and connecting the integrity of ecosystems that support the movement of migratory birds, which face many difficulties as they connect the world.  ERuDeF honors these beautiful winged creatures, and also raises awareness on the need for international cooperation to conserve them. Migratory birds undertake regular seasonal movement often north and south along flyway between breeding and wintering grounds. Today, migratory birds still face serious threat, from loss of habitat, climate change, poisoning, power lines, illegal hunting, pollution and natural disasters. ERuDeF  therefore  used the opportunity for world migratory bird’s day celebration, to call on each and every individual to step up actions and adopt sustainable natural use methods to better protect migratory birds and the habitats they need to survive and thrive. On May 21, 2021 ERuDeF also observed the world Endangered Species Day in order to recognize the national conservation efforts to protect our nation’s endangered species and their habitats.

In Eastern Cameroon, ERuDeF is currently working on the Deng -Dja Conservation Corridor Project, to save  western lowland gorillas and many other IUCN Red List Species. We continue to make advances in marine and mangrove conservation, ecosystem restoration, agroecology restoration as well as amphibians and great apes conservation. In the Lebialem Highlands, ERuDeF is also working to save IUCN Red List Species, such as the Gross River Gorilla, the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee which are critically endangered.

ERuDeF looks forward to spreading its tentacles to other countries in order to ensure the earth is connected and safe. It is our collective responsibility to save our biodiversity habitats, and secure the ecosystem’s future for the people who depend on it.


Discover the Mouth-watering Ecotourism Potentials of Eastern Cameroon

Around the world, ecotourism has been hailed as a panacea: a way to fund conservation and research, protect fragile and pristine ecosystems, benefit rural communities, promote development in poor countries, enhance ecological and cultural sensitivity, instill environmental awareness and social conscience in the travel industry, and satisfy and educate the discriminating tourist. At the threshold of the new millennium, tourism has emerged as the biggest industry of the future. Ecotourism today is an economic activity of immense global importance. Perhaps there is hardly any other field of activity where it captures the mind of so many people around the world and involves many people directly and indirectly. 

Known as “the town of the rising sun”, the Eastern region of Cameroon is one of the most extensive regions of the country with an ecologically friendly environment. To the north, it is bordered by Adamawa, to the east by the Central African Republic, the south by the Republic of Congo and to the west by the center region. It is made up of national parks such as the Lobeke National Park with a rich and varied biodiversity in plants and wildlife resources with over 45 mammals species, 305 birds species, 18 reptiles species, 134 fish species, 764 plant species belonging to 102 families which have been identified (cameroontravelandtours.com), the Boumba Bek national park  which according to the Environmental News Service, “encompasses a biodiverse group of plants and animals, Chimpanzees, forest antelopecrocodiles and bongos are all found in the Park. The Deng Deng National Park is also an interesting attraction site which harbors great apes, gorilla, chimpanzee and other endangered species such as forest elephants. A population survey conducted around the Deng Deng National Park  area revealed that  more than 300 western lowland gorillas and 600 chimpanzees live within the National Park. The Dja Fauna Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site inscribed in 1987 and one of the largest and best protected reserve within the rainforest zone of Africa is also found in the East. It harbors a wide range of species such as chimpanzees, more than 1,500 known plant species, over 107 mammals (including forest elephantsAfrican forest buffalo and leopard) and more than 320 bird species waterfalls and crater lakes.

Aside from the natural attractions around the region, other exciting sites to visit include;

The old colonial prison at Dume; the now abandoned prison was constructed in 1909 and it went operational in 1911. It partly hosted the administrators and had sections for prisoners. It also hosted a guillotine for execution of “notorious” activists and some buried alive. Today the structure has been abandoned by locals because of the agony surrounding the structure.

Also very exciting is the boat and canoe ride along rivers like the Sanaga, Lom, Pangar, Mbouti and Djérem that meanders within the Deng Deng-Dja Conservation corridor.

A visit to one of the oldest and largest college in the East Region; Ecole de Salle, constructed by the catholic missionaries in March 03, 1949 will be a great site for religious tour. The college partly hosted the bishop and established as an Apostolic Vicariate of Doume.

The culture of the people of East Cameroon will give you an unforgettable experience. The East region is dominated by the pygmies who are the oldest inhabitants of the region and the country as a whole. They have one of the ancient traditions and are adamant to change. They have refused to led the western culture erode their culture and way of life. The East is made up of the Gbaya and Baka who inhabits the area. Most of the original inhabitants of the region live in the hinterland with hunting being their main occupation. They have secret sites where they do healing and cleansing of the land when there are problems. They equally have very interesting traditional dances which are mostly exhibited during national days and cultural festivals. Participating in their traditional dances, their hunting methods, farming methods and different meals will give you an unforgettable experience. The land of the rising sun is indeed a place to visit.

Longest Ecological Corridor to Conserve Western Lowland Gorillas in Eastern Cameroon under creation

To consolidate the conservation of great apes and other threatened species in Eastern Cameroon, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) through financial support from World Land Trust (WLT), UK, launched the Deng Deng-Belabo Conservation corridor project in 2020. This project is just a small fraction of the bigger corridor initiative between the Deng Deng National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve. The main goal of this project is to preserve quality habitat of 7406 ha between the Deng Deng National Park and Belabo Council Forest for the migration of the western lowland gorillas and other threatened species.

The Deng Deng National Park and Dja Biosphere Reserve are two protected areas found in the East region of Cameroon. These two protected areas now occur as isolated block of forest due to increase human pressure that has caused the fragmentation. The increased human pressure has also caused a small population of the western lowland gorillas and the central chimps to be isolated in the Deng Deng National Park and another population of these species also isolating in the Dja Biosphere Reserve. These two isolated groups are under serious threat and could possibly get extinct in few years to come due to inbreeding.

To curb the occurrence of inbreeding and possible extinction of the species, ERuDeF is supporting the creation and management of an ecological corridor in the said area through the community forestry approach. Two community forests of sizes 5000 ha and 4,588 ha ha between the Deng Deng National Park and Belabo Council Forest are currently under creation.

Biological surveys (both fauna and flora) have been conducted in the two community forests and the surveys recorded 8 primate, 7 ungulate, 7 rodent, two reptile and one carnivore species in communityforest one and 7 primate, 7 ungulate, 7 rodent, two reptile and one carnivore species also recorded in community forest two. Some species of birds were also recorded including the threatened African Grey parrot.  The surveys also recorded 145 plant species in 41 families in community forest one and 156 plant species in 41 families in community forest two.

Socioeconomic and household surveys were conducted and a total of five villages with a total population of 2244 people border Community Forest one, while five villages with a total number of 3920 people border Community Forest two.

Sensitization meetings were also organized where the key stakeholders including the local people were sensitized on the project and its importance to the communities. The two community forests were named as KEBO and ADEMKEPOL by the local people in an awareness meeting.

Two legal entities in the form of Common Initiative Groups (CIGs) have been put in place. The two community forests boundaries have been mapped out; a public notice have been signed informing the communities of the intension of creating the community forests which will be placed under the management of the management institutions. The Articles of association have also been drafted and approved by all relevant stakeholders awaiting legalization at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

At the end of this project, about 5000 local people will be impacted while over 600 western lowland gorillas will be saved and protected as human pressure on their habitat must have reduced by 80%.

Saving The Largest Frog On Earth

Mount Nlonako has been termed as a veritable hotspot of African amphibians, mammals and reptile species. Unfortunately, these species are said to be teetering near extinction in recent times due to numerous human interferences. The Nlonako mountain is home to the largest and longest living frog on earth, the Goliath frog. It measures between 17 to 52cm and weighs 3250 grams. The population of the goliath frog in the wild is rapidly decreasing due to accelerated habitat loss through degradation/deforestation and hunting of their meat for food and for the expanding bush meat trade. The most threatening, are the new sophisticated traps used in catching these species now been scrupulously used in the Nkongsamba area of Cameroon. The Nlonako Mountain is ranked among the top 10 mountain ecosystems in Cameroon. The mountain is known to host a total of 93 amphibian species (Hermann et al., 2005a) which constitute Thirty-nine percent (39%) of all 236 amphibian species recorded for Cameroon (Lebreton, 1999). Mt Nlonako is the most species rich single-locality of amphibian fauna in Africa (Hermann et al., 2005). Historically this area has served as a refuge during drastic climate fluctuations. The fluctuations and refuges played an important role in the evolution of the high number of (endemic) amphibian species.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Goliath frog is an endangered species because of a 50% decline in population size in the last three generations. Lack of employment and livelihood opportunities has pushed the local and indigenous population in and around the Mount Nlonako area to engage into hunting of this charismatic amphibians for income and protein. Following a study carried out by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation in 2016 it was discovered that on an average the local hunters hunt twice a week and harvest an average of 10-15 frogs a week, resulting to an estimated harvest of 19,440 frogs every peak season.

In order to curb threats to the Goliath frog and other threatened amphibian species of Mount Nlonako, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is committed in saving the endangered wildlife and their habitat. ERuDeF aims to save this species through the creation and management of the proposed Ekom Nkam waterfall Sanctuary; promotion of applied research; promotion of good landscape governance; restoration of degraded habitat; promotion of education for sustainable development and promotion of local economic development and sustainable finance.

ERuDeF’s plan to rescue amphibians and curb the illegal wildlife and bush meat trade is critical. Every Goliath frog rescued is important to the survival and continuation of the species. The only real hope for these amphibians is the preservation of their rainforest home. Those that cannot survive in the wild are given a life-long home. However, their offspring are candidates for future reintroduction into the wild.

Discover Mount Kupe Muanenguba’s Rich Water Sources

Mount Kupe is a plutonic mountain in the western high plateau of Cameroon. It is the highest of the Bakossi Mountains, rising up to 2,064 meters (6,772 ft). Aside from its rich biodiversity, Mt.kupe is blessed with a total of 4 watersheds; River Manyu, River Nkam , River Moungo  and River Woun watershed. This richness in diverse water sources is also portrayed in the presence of numerous streams, springs, rivers and the beautiful twin lake of Mount Kupe Maunaguba with its unique features; the shape of the African map with its blue and green colors this lake was named twin lake by Kupe Muanenguba local communities, the female lake being for domestic uses while the male been for ancestral purposes and a touristic site. The Bakossi National Park serves as protection for these various watersheds. Its highest peak, the Muandelengoh (1895 m), stands towering near the Muandelengoh, Ndun, and Mualong villages south of the Mbwe valley, and is very noticeable from Bangem. The park holds a high flora and fauna biodiversity, with a high rate of endemism. The sacred forests and groves belonging to the local people but situated in the National Park have a significantly higher plant species diversity than the nearby Mount Cameroon.

This rich water source mountain is a unique hotspot for many primate species, including the Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), one of the most endangered primate species in the world, and the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). Other primates include Preuss’s red colobus, Red-eared guenon, Preuss’s guenon, Putty-nosed monkey, Mona monkey and other important mammals like Blue duikers, Red river hog, Red-fronted duiker, Black-fronted duikers, Sitatunga, and Long tail pangolin.

Over the years this one’s rich afforested mountain has experienced deforestation due to shifting cultivation, logging of wood for timber, and expansion of human settlements and establishment of pasture lands. Every side of the mountain has been steadily converted to agricultural use. Forests have been cleared up to 1,500m on the eastern slopes and up to about 750m and 1,100m on the western and northern sides, above the villages of Mbule and Nyasoso. As of 2010, there was still primary mid-altitude and montane rainforest on the northern side. However, the beauty of its water sources remains outstanding and are treasured by the Kupe Muanenguba community.

The future of wetlands: our perspective 

January 2nd 2021 was commemorated as World Wetlands Day. Commemorated under the theme “Wetlands and water”, wetlands are a very important ecosystem that has unfortunately continue to experience unprecedented depletion. The theme for this year underscores the importance of wetlands as a source of fresh water and encourages efforts to restore them and halt their continuous loss. ERuDeF, just like any other conservation actor is concerned about the rapid degradation and loss of wetlands. According to a UNEP report, Cameroon’s mangrove area dropped from about 272 000 ha in 1980 to about 195 000 ha in 2005, a reduction of about 30 percent over a period of 25 years. This implies that 2 500 ha of mangrove is lost every year. About 300 million-400 million people worldwide live by, and depend on wetlands. Despite this dependence, half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since the 1900 according to a report by World Wildlife Fund, (WWF).

May be an image of nature, body of water and text that says 'AND RURAL PT ERuDeF CAMEROON World WetLands Day 2021 Theme Wetlands and Water Let us protect our swamps,marshes and bogs. Support ERuDeF's efforts restoring the freshwater and marine ecosytems of Cameroon ERuDeF Communication erudet cam ERuDeF Gerudefcam www.erudef.org communication@erudef.org'

Cameroon is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands and their resources. Though efforts have been made by the government of Cameroon and other conservation actors in Cameroon to protect and preserve wetlands, these efforts have largely been thwarted by human activities. The unsustainable harvesting of fresh water resources including over fishing poses a big threat to this ecosystem. The practice of wetlands recovery for human activities such as construction is on a steady rise. This practice is not only unfriendly but completely violates domestic laws and thwarts Cameroon’s commitment with the rest of the world in protecting and preserving wetlands. In 2017, Cameroon’s Minister of Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development, Helle Pierre, called on Cameroonians constructing on wetlands to stop the practice. The call seemed to have failed on deaf ears as the practice still continued unperturbed.

Aware of the threats posed on wetlands, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation developed a programme known as the Fresh Water and Marine Ecosystem Programme to tackle the threats posed on wetlands and its resources. This programme aims to achieve the following: The proposed Ndongere Marine National Park and 7 Mangrove Community Forests will be created and managed, at least 1 million mangrove trees planted to restore degraded mangrove forests and 2 million indigenous trees planted to restore degraded riparian forests.
In collaboration with government of Cameroon and the the United Nations Environment Program ERuDeF has been part of the project titled “Participative Integrated Ecosystem Services Management Plans for Bakassi Post Conflict Ecosystems”. “ERuDeF will not relent its efforts in protecting and conserving wetlands, we have designed long term programs, spanning a period of 15 years that will tackle conservation issues including the conservation and protection of Wetlands” the President and CEO remarked

While we laud the efforts of the Cameroon government in protecting wetlands, more needs to be done. Existing laws on the protection of wetlands need to be enforced to the later. Maximum intergovernmental collaboration in protecting and preserving wetlands especially in the Bakassi Peninsula should be continuously perused. National and international environmental NGOs needs to increase collaboration and involvement of the local population in protecting these fragile ecosystems.

As Buea Hits Biggest Ever Water Crisis, ERuDeF University Institute plans to Drill Over 30 Boreholes

“it is embarrassing to say, but I just have to reveal that,
in my house we go for more than two days without bathing, sometimes we can’t
even flush our toilets, my children are now perpetual late comers in school,
because they trek very long distances to get little water which we can manage.
If not for the few rich people who have constructed boreholes, enclosed in
their mighty fences, and make water available for a few hours once or twice a
week, I wonder what we would have done” says Asong Peter, an inhabitant in
Sandpit.

Buea, capital of the Southwest Region, located on the eastern slopes of Mount Cameroon has been suffering from acute water shortage. Lack of potable water has been an embarrassing phenomenon in most neighborhoods.  For more than four months and counting, taps have gone dry, with the precious liquid becoming a very scarce resource. This town is blessed with abundant water resources but paradoxically the inhabitants of this region are facing a serious water crisis as there is insufficient water to simultaneously support both human and ecosystem water needs. Moreover, the capacity of the main water supply authority CAMWATER (Cameroon Water Utilities Corporation) is insufficient to cater for the over 300000 inhabitants. The scarcity of water in  Buea is attributed to: increase in population and rapid urbanization that exert tremendous pressure on the water resources; pollution resulting from poor waste disposal and the use of agro-chemicals (pesticides, herbicides etc.) around water catchments; complete breakdown of old water pipes due to little or no maintenance; and the degradation of water catchments.

A certain mama Linda explained how she had been suffering for five years because of water crisis. She has six children but there is no water to take good care of them. She and her children live mostly on fried food. She spends her heart earned money only on water. She always hires someone to fetch water. If she doesn’t have money, her children go on a week without taking proper baths, they wear mostly dirty clothes because there is no water for Laundry. Her children are always ill because of poor hygiene as a result of water crisis. However, they depend on rain water which means that, they have water only during the rainy season to pull on with their activities.

Due to water scarcity, the local populations are forced to
trek for over long distances just to get to a drinkable source of water.
Students and workers in Buea do not meet up school and office time due to the
fact that they need to follow long lines every morning in order to fetch water
for their domestic chores. The local population is more exposed to diseases
such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and other water-borne illnesses which are
all associated to water scarcity. If strict measures are not taken to fight
against this crisis the local population are going to face other problems such
as hunger and desertification that are worse than the ones listed above.

Government authorities on their part have struggled to curb the water crisis like constructing boreholes, but this has been futile as such boreholes and water tanks are very little to quench the thirst of the increasing Buea population. The Environment and Rural Development Foundation the leading Conservation Organization in Cameroon together with her partners is working enormously to see the malice of this water crisis reduce through her intervention in Water catchment Development. Also, ERuDeF and her partners plans on drilling about 30 boreholes in some rural communities around Buea. This will go a long way in reducing the pains suffered by the Buea Municipality inhabitants.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)
Through the ERuDeF University Institute has also developed initiatives that
involve working with local populations to fight against water crisis in
Buea.  These initiatives include
educating the communities on the protection of water catchments.

Education is critical to solve the water crisis. In fact, in order to cope with future water scarcity, it is necessary to radically reform all forms of consumption, from individual use to the supply chains of large companies. Without proper sanitation, the water becomes full of diseases and unsafe to drink. Besides, improving the sewage systems in specific areas is another way to prevent water scarcity from becoming any worse. In addition, improving water infrastructure must be a priority, as water conservation and efficiency are key components of sustainable water management.

Protection of water catchments cannot be left out when talking about water crisis in Buea because these area serve as sources of pure water. ERuDeF has been fully active in protecting these catchments through planting environmental friendly trees around the water catchments with massive participation of the local population.

Women In The World Of Covid-19

In the past women were seen as “the weaker sex”, they
were socially, politically, economically and culturally inferior to their
husbands. Subdue to remain under a man or boy in every domain.

Just when the world saw the need for women’s equal
right to participate in education, society, economy and politics and as more
and more women become empowered; they have become the biggest victims of war.
More than 41M people worldwide are living in a situation of internally
displacement caused by disasters; wars and half are women and girls (IDMC,
2020). Sub Saharan Africa had highest number of Internally Displaced women and
girls, meanwhile Cameroon as a result of the present Anglophone crisis
according to OCHA 2021 reports, more than 705,800 are Internally displaced,
830,000 people in need in host countries . 60% of the said populations are
women and girls.

Then COVID-19 pandemic came with other issues; women
are more economically and emotionally stressed without protection from all
forms of violence. Despite the disputes, Women choose to challenge gender
stereotypes/biases, call out gender actions or assumptions, maintain gender
equal mindset and foster development.

ERuDeF Staff Celebrating Women’s Day

ERuDeF Centre for the Advancement of Women’s
Initiatives (CAWI) has as objective to empower women and girls through its
women, gender and humanitarian programmes. We have impacted more than 100,000
women and girls by given them the right knowledge, skills, materials for a
better strategic, healthy and peaceful world. This year we support internally
displaced women with skills like soap making to earn money, assist with loans
for internally displaced women to startup businesses, engage women and girls in
ecosystem restoration and provide alternative sources of income for women in
ERuDeF conservation spots, support internally displaced children especially
girls return to school, educate the younger generation especially girls on the
importance of this day and ensure every staff of ERuDeF is gender sensitive.

With the theme for the year 2021 ‘Women in Leadership;
Achieve an equal future in a COVID -19 world. Women leaders in ERuDeF and men
as well gave us an insight of how they have been able to handle work, family, Anglophone
crisis and COVID-19 during these difficult moments. In all Women play a great
role during these periods as caregivers, innovators, community organizers,
counselors and fighters amidst all these crises.

Let us celebrate the social, economic, political and
cultural achievements of women while supporting them in any way we can.

[SUPPORT WOMEN TODAY] [SUPPORT WOMEN TODAY]

#choosetochallenge

Microberlinia bisulcata Project in the Mokoko Forest Reserve & Mt. Cameroon

Within Cameroon, 15
of the country’s Critically Endangered trees are recorded from Mount Cameroon. It is a high priority for
tree conservation, hosting more than 40 globally threatened tree species.
Following the establishment of Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP) in 2010, GTC
partner ERuDeF supported MCNP staff and local community members to develop the
skills required to identify, survey and propagate threatened tree species. This
was through the Conservation of threatened trees of the Mt. Cameroon area
project

The five year-old projects have
been supported by FFI through the Globa Campaign Program.

However,
the project has found no individuals of Microberlinia
bisulcata
(African Zebra wood/Zingana) remaining within MNCP’s boundaries.
The 2012-13 surveys identified an important population of about 900 individuals
outside MCNP, in the nearby Mokoko River Forest Reserve. In 2014 and 2015 this
population was subject to heavy illegal logging. During crack down patrols organized
by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife in June, 2014, pieces of sawn timber
were seized and the culprit arrested. However, addressing illegal logging on a
long-term basis is extremely challenging, as only one government representative
is based at this reserve and high levels of immigration to the area are
resulting in ongoing forest conversion. For this species, seed collection and
planting into more secure areas of forest close to MCNP (as mentioned above)
was seen as the most effective strategy for its survival.

Hunting seeds of Microberlinia within the forest Floor at Mokoko FR

In 2015, the Mohamed bin
Zayed Species Conservation Fund yielded to ERuDeF’s proposal to sponsor conservation
activities at the Mokoko area (where 900 seeding trees are found) for one year.
Since then, MBZ through “Save Microberlinia
at the Mokoko area”project  has greatly
supported  conservation activities in the
reserve. The project had the objectives to:

  • To
    ensure the implementation of the 1994 Forestry Code at FMU 11008A and 11008B
  • To
    ensure that M. bisulcata in and
    around the Mokoko River Forest Reserve is conserved

Several methods were employed to meet up objectives. Planning meetings were held with all stakeholders at the beginning of every quarter and evaluation meetings were held every semester. Capacity building workshops were affected using a participatory approach with the aid of posters, demonstration and brochures. Sensitization and training sessions were held in different communities in Mokoko Forest Reserve on the Cameroon 1994 Forestry Law, identification of M.bisulcata, nursery creation and management, patrols. Field expeditions and surveys took place in the reserve through which M.bisulcata trees were marked as reserve and wildings were collected.

The
main activities included capacity building of MINFOF officials including the
CPs and VFMCs on patrols against illegal logging of M.bisucata. The remaining trees of African Zebrawood were marked as
reserved and wildings were collected for regeneration purpose. To ensure
sustainability of the species, a technical proposal was prepared for the minister
of forestry and wildlife to place a ban on the species.

During
surveys, 25 seeding trees of M.bisulcata
were marked to be reserved. It was noticed by the patrol team during patrols
that illegal activities had reduced significantly. This was attributed to
frequent presence and the aggressiveness of the Local authorities and the
existence of a network of informants on illegal activities. To ensure that M.bisulcata in Mokoko Forest Reserve is
conserved. A technical proposal was prepared and submitted to lobby for the
placement of a ban on the commercial logging of the species.

The project created numerous impacts in the area. The Meme River Forest and the Southern Bakundo Forest Reserves were reforested with M. bisulcata raised by CP of Mbonge .The transaction fetched him some 1700USD which he used as school fees of his 2 children in the High school.

Microberlinia bisulcata at Mokoko FR

Some major challenges were
encountered during the implementation period. These included continuous illegal
logging of the species and forest clearance. Within the project year, four mature and fruiting M. bisulcata trees on which the project depended heavily for seed
collectionhad been felled by farmers
and illegal operators.

A classical inventory was necessary for M.bisulcata to back up the technical
note to ignite a Ministerial ban on the species. However, this was not possible
due to financial constraints.

 Despite the challenges faced, the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has ignited the possibility of saving the remaining M. bisulcata trees in the wild and if given the opportunity of continuity will definitely save M. bisulcata in the entire Mt. Cameroon area.