TECHNICAL TEAM COMMENCES WITH SURVEY REPORTS
[one_third][/one_third]A technical note incorporating a detailed socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation, biological and geographical surveys and historical facts of Mt Muanenguba will soon be established. This was the outcome of a technical meeting held at the Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, Moungo Division, Littoral of Cameroon, Thursday April 6, 2017. The meeting aimed at drawing up strategies leading to the classification of Mt. Muanenguba as a protected area, brought together a technical team from the Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), and the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF).
According to the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Moungo, Mr. NNA Francis, the technical note is very important in the process leading to the classification of Mt. Muanenguba as a protected site.
“It is very imperative for the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to sign the Public Notice document. The document paves way for the facilitating NGOs together with MINFOF officials to sensitise each village adjacent to the proposed area, on government’s intention to protect part of the forest. Without a Public Notice, some activities cannot proceed because they will be seen as illegal by the government. The document to be produced must contain a detailed socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation, biological and geographical surveys and historical facts of Mt Muanenguba,” Mr. NNA Francis said.
The Technical Team in building a road map with relation to the realisation of the project, strategized to complete socio-economic and livelihood prioritisation surveys in 16 villages adjacent to Mt. Muanenguba, an activity that is 80% completed. They also plan to complete the sensitisation of villages which had not been made aware, carryout biological and geographical surveys, as well as the history of the proposed protected area, create and train 16 village forest management committees (VFMCs) on collaborative forest management, among others.
The team also plans to recruit and train 12 community rangers & and organise a workshop on biodiversity & resource management. To further create dynamism in the Technical Team, it was unanimously agreed that two chiefs’ representative, one from Kupe Muanenguba and the other from Moungo Division be part of the team.
[one_half][/one_half]For the Director of CAMHERP-CBF, Dr Nono Legrand, the name Integral Ecological Reserve should not be used for the classification of the proposed protected area.
“An Integral Ecological Reserve is an area with full protection of its flora and fauna. A Sanctuary is an area where only designated animal or plants species are given full protection. So I propose for the name to be changed from Mt. Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve to Mt. Muanenguba Herpetological Sanctuary,” Dr Nono Legrand added.
While applauding the idea, the technical team proposed to discuss about the nomenclature change during their next technical meeting, billed for July 6, 2017.
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), joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) to conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.