The French Embassy, through its fund “Appui à la Société Civile du Sud (SCS), in Cameroon has granted the Environment & Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) support to its conservation program in Magha Community Bamumbu Village, SW Cameroon. The grant is to support the Mt Bamboutos Echinops giganteus Project which aims to regenerate and valorize the production of the local plant which has pharmaceutical and essential oil properties. This funding alongside additional funding from Man & Nature will help support for the next 18 months the implementation of the first phase of the Mt Bamboutos Echinops Project. This project will focus on the economic, social, environmental and governance issues on the Lebialem side of Mt Bamboutos. The Mt Bamboutos Echinops Project is the first pilot project to test the implementation of the ABS Initiative of the Nagoya Principle in Cameroon.
Most of the people in Magha-Bamumbu are Farmers and Cattle Rearers whose yearly income stand between 340-930 euros. The community is blessed with natural plants but whose commercial values are never exploited. This support will help the production and commercialization of the Echinops giganteus and help boost the incomes of the people. Equally, the Mt Bamboutos has been facing massive deforestation and poor agricultural practices. This has led to massive degradation of the soil which caused a massive landslide in Magha-Bamumbu in 2003 claiming more than 20 lives. The Echinops project is therefore bringing in a new source of revenue through the creation of a cooperative: MoBECoS (Mount Bamboutos Echinops Co-operative Society) to permit villagers have equal benefit sharing from the exploitation of Echinops giganteus. The provision of modern bee-hives to the local population who are already involved in traditional bee-keeping will also help to boost the income of the people. The reforestation of Magha-Bamumbu will help in regenerating the soil thereby avoiding erosions and landslides. It will also contribute to protect the water catchments of the area.