ERuDeF celebrates the International Fascination of Plants Day

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has joined their counterparts world over to commemorate the 2nd edition of the International Fascination of Plants Day. The celebrations which took place on May 21, 2013 at the Regional Delegation of Scientific Research and Innovation in Buea, was aimed at drawing peoples’ attention to the fascinating nature of plants and to raise awareness about the importance of plant science for agriculture, sustainable food production, horticulture, forestry, and for the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals..

In a power point presentation, ERuDeF’s Forester, Asa’a Lemawah explained the efforts made to restore some globally threatened plants at the Mt Cameroon forest such as the Microbelinia bisulcata plant. Ms Asa’a explained that this plant is under serious threat due to human activities such as indiscriminate logging. She used the occasion to explain that ERuDeF and her partners are currently nursing seeds of these trees to replace the lost ones at the Mt Cameroon forest.

The day which was being marked for the first time in Cameroon was organized by a Common Initiative Research Group Agrovisc with the support of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The key message which ran through the day was the role of plants in environmental conservation.

In a presentation on ‘Plants and our health’, the Executive Director of Agrovisc Dr. Okolle Justin hailed plants explaining that they have a significant role to play in the human health. The brain behind the celebrations expressed satisfaction on the day in his words “I feel highly motivated and challenged to keep on celebrating this day in Cameroon”.

Another presentation on the multiplication of yam set was given by a Representative of the Botany Students Association of the University of Buea.

All the speakers urged participants to eat plants and plant trees on a daily basis given that they are quite helpful and nutritive. Just to recall that plants have been used as major detoxifiers to the human system. Dr Mafani George a Biogeologist at the Regional Delegation for Scientific Research emphasized the relevance of plants by adding that plants cut across all scopes and that they have been used to search and identify minerals in the soil. An outdoor display of some common and useful plants which followed revealed the marvels of plants to participants. Plant products like “TRY ME” of the traditional Medical Practitioner Dr. Fru were amongst the items displayed. It is alleged this plant has cured many ailments. Another Scholar present at the event, Dr Arthu Susan elaborated on Moringa Oleifera a native and resistant tropical species which has been noted for its highly medicinal and nutritive value.

Also present at the occasion were students from different secondary schools and the Universitiy of Buea and the Catholic Diocesan Institute

By Nkeng Johannes (Student on Internship)

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