The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) supported by French Charity Man & Nature has organized a series of workshops with the aim of building the capacities of village based palm oil management committees in the Lebialem Highlands, to ensure sustainable management of the biodiversity of the landscape, while improving on the wellbeing of the population, through sustainable production of quality palm oil. During the workshop, which rounded off on November 4, 2013, emphasis was laid on green production that respects the norms of environmental safety. New local strategies were adopted for improved waste management emanating from the processing of palm oil. The entire population of the four communities hosting palm oil mills including Besali, Bechatti, Essoh-attah and Nkong used this occasion to promise ERuDeF and the conservation world that they would do all it takes to secure a safe haven for the flagship species including the critically endangered Cross River Gorillas, the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees, living in the adjacent forests. One of the Villagers Mr. Mofor of the Essoh-Attah village said they are ready to collaborate with ERuDeF to make the protection of these animals a reality, not just a dream.
These workshops came on the backdrop to finalize the installation of the fourth oil mill based in Bechati. The population came out massively to put the last big push to the installation process on November 16, 2013. Just to note that this new semi-industrial mill is one of the strategies of ERuDeF and its Partners to ensure a more effective conservation efforts, by supporting alternative livelihoods. In an interview with the Fon of Bechati, he said, the his village will make maximum use of the mill to ensure that it does not deviate from its original mission of improving local livelihoods for the conservation of the rich biodiversity of that part of the Lebialem Highlands.
By Forbe Hodu