Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is a non-profit Cameroonian conservation organization established in 1999. ERuDeF is one of the most dedicated and impactful conservation organizations in Cameroon and also in the Central Africa sub regions. It is the leading national conservation organization in Cameroon.
Over the last decade the organization succeeded to create the first conservation complex (Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex), the first of its kind for a national NGO. It has been able to mobilize both national and international support that led to the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife sanctuary (which harbors the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli)) in 2014 by the government of Cameroon. ERuDeF focuses more on the conservation and protection of critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable wildlife species such as the Cross River gorillas (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti), central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), amphibians such as the goliath frog and other species. ERuDeF has been working in Lebialem Highland conservation complex and other protected areas in Cameroon for the past eighteen years using some of the most innovative solutions to conserve threatened and endangered wildlife species such as collaborative management approaches to support the creation and management of protected areas. Again ERuDeF has had a unique contribution to the conservation of species through extraordinary entrepreneurship and/or innovation. This is seen in the area that involve the introduction of the community conservation social enterprise (CoCoSED) model which is a model used to empowered local communities through income generating activities, savings and loans. Other innovations which the organization uses to foster conservation actions include the ERuDeF Institute which trains young conservationist in Cameroon, and the creation of corridors in most protected area in Cameroon, to help allow genetic connective among species and for easy migrations. ERuDeF is collaborating with both national and international organizations. ERuDeF collaborate with the local communities around the protected areas by integrating and involving them in all aspects of conservation activities, with the government of Cameroon through its concerned ministries such as the Forestry and Wildlife(MINFOF), Environment and Protection of Nature(MINEPDED), Agriculture and Rural Development and Tourism and Leisure. Internationally, ERuDeF is collaborating with so many conservation organizations such as WWF, WCS, ACF, BRLi, and GIZ. Furthermore, ERuDeF is one of the key partners involved in the support and collaborative management of the Mount Cameroon National Park in the Southwest region of Cameroon. ERuDeF in collaboration with the German funded program for the sustainable management of natural resources in the Southwest region is working to implement a region wide conservation corridor program. Besides the Southwest region, ERuDeF is also leading other nationwide initiative in terms of conservation corridors creation and management in the Northwest and East Regions of Cameroon. ERuDeF has been working in the Deng Deng National Park, East Region of Cameroon since 2013, where she was involved in the elaboration and validation of the management plan. It has also conducted both ecological and gorilla inventory in the Deng Deng National Park. ERuDeF has been involved in the creation and implementation of several community forest projects over the last decade. ERuDeF has led the restoration efforts of the critically endangered Microbelinia bisulcata (African zebra wood) and other threatened tree species of the Mount Cameroon area for the past 5 years. ERuDeF is operating in 6 regions of Cameroon, where she is involved in the management of the buffer zones biodiversity and as well as the agrobiodiversity in farmlands adjacent to key biodiversity hotspots in the designated project regions.
ERuDeF strategic plan is a five year initiative to conserve threatened species of biodiversity nationwide from 2019 to 2023. The strategic plan is drawn from key technical department such as the Department of Conservation, Forestry and Agriculture.
ERuDeF works in accordance with the national and international Law and regulations on biodiversity conservation. This is because Cameroon is signatory to many international and Sub-regional conventions on biodiversity conservation and nature protection that binds to global environmental concerns.
ERuDeF seeks to conserve, develop and restore important ecosystems in Cameroon with emphasis on the Cross River Gorilla range, the mountain and mangrove ecosystems through multi disciplinary partnerships by involving the public and private sectors.
At ERuDeF, we conserve biodiversity and protect environments through research, training, education and community engagement.
· To develop priorities and strategies for addressing relevant rural and environmental issues;
· To provide local communities with the means to efficiently manage their natural resources and to alleviate poverty;
· To develop successful and/or potentially successful strategies for mobilizing communities and people to conserve their natural resources;
· To promote women’s role in conservation and development through training and support of women programs;
· To fight against deforestation, land degradation and desertification;
· To promote alternative sustainable development strategies in rural areas including development of alternative models of rural financing;
· To promote advocacy, education, training and information programmes that increase people’s awareness of environmental problems as well as human issues affecting.
Over 20 years down the road, ERuDeF has been supporting the government of Cameroon’s effort in biodiversity conservation through different programmes which covers Southwest, Northwest Littoral and East Regions of Cameroon. ERuDeF is also looking forth to extend to the Northern Regions of Cameroon with focus on the Lake Chad basin and Tchabal Mbabo Mountains in Adamawa and the Central Africa.
The Organization runs the following departments, offices and semi-autonomous institutions.
– Department of Conservation
– Department of Forestry
– Department of Agriculture
– Department of Administration
– Department of Finance
– Department of Communication
– Office of the President/CEO
– Office of the Executive Director
– Office of Policy
– Office of Programs
– Office of Development and Philanthropy
– Office of Professional Development
– Office of Budget
– Office of Accounting
– Office of Internal Control
– ERuDeF UK office
– US laison Office
– ERuDeF Institute of Applied Biodiversity Sciences
– Social Business Division
– Centre for the Advancement of Women Initiative
ERuDeF seeks to conserving endangered flagship species (great apes and elephants) and diurnal primates, threatened birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as restoring fragile ecosystems. The following are some of the conservation targets:
• Threatened Birds
• Reptiles and Amphibians
• Indigenous populations
• Local communities
• Water catchment
ERuDeF’s strategy seeks to harmonise its activities with those of public and private agencies active in the field of wildlife conservation and sustainable development both nationally and internationally. The strategic role of ERuDeF in these partnerships will be to provide practical and up to date knowledge and data base within its core research areas while promoting conservation activities in its geographical area of focus. Contributions from visiting scientists, colleagues and international volunteers will add diversity and value to ERuDeF’s efforts, as well as increasing its regional profile in the international conservation community. ERuDeF collaborations, scientific publications and attendance at international fora will consolidate its growing global reputation.
• A competent, motivated and experienced field team ready to work
• Availability of equipments for project implementation
• Anticipated fund for project activities
• Insufficient staffs capacity
• Insufficient funds to adequately implement projects in target areas of intervention.
• Poor communication with field staffs due to: Bad roads, internet connection and poor telephone network.
• Strong values shared amongst stakeholders and actors
• Availability of potentially valuable natural resources with high added value
• National and regional administrative support on conservation policy
• Dialogue amongst stakeholders.
The major threats in ERuDeF’s areas of intervention can be grouped as follows:
• Unsustainable timber exploitation;
• Commercial Agriculture;
• Poaching ;
• Unsustainable farming methods such as Slash& burn/shifting cultivation ;
• Ivory Poaching;
• Habitat fragmentation.
• Unsustainable exploitation of Mangroves.
• Unsustainable fishing methods.
The department of conservation is backbone of the organization and has five main programs as follow: Creation and management of protected areas, Research and Biomonitoring, Education for Sustainable Development, Conservation corridor management initiative, Planning advocacy and development.
A future with healthy forests, and wildlife where all people live in harmony with nature
The Department of Conservation has as mission to promote the long term conservation of threatened biodiversity species in Africa.
The department seeks to safeguard globally threatened species through protected area and corridor management.
Strategic Goal 1: Seeks to support the efforts of the Government of Cameroon to create and manage a system of protected areas across key biodiversity areas of Cameroon.
Strategic target 1: Create 6 protected areas by 2023.
Strategic Goal 2: Seeks to save the last globally threatened species of biodiversity through research and biomonitoring in their range habitats.
Strategic target 2: 75 % of threatened wildlife species in key protected areas within ERuDeF’s Areas of intervention are known by 2023.
Strategic Goal 3: Seeks to reduce anthropogenic threats, increase wildlife population and promote environmental sustainability through mobilisation, education and training.
Strategic target 3: Knowledge of 60% of population living within ERuDeF conservation sites improved, anthropogenic threats are reduced by 60% and wildlife population increase by 10% by 2023.
Strategic Goal 4: Seeks to ensure genetic connectivity between protected areas within ERuDeF’s Areas of intervention.
Strategic Target 4: Genetic connectivity between protected areas within ERuDeF’s conservation landscape has increased by 30% by 2023.
Strategic Goal 5: Seeks to support a successful planning, advocacy and development for sustainable management of protected areas.
Strategic Target 5: 6 Management Plans of Protected Areas developed and implemented.
The Department of Forestry has five programs which include; community forestry, forest governance, conservation of threatened trees, REDD+, and restoration of degraded landscapes. The department currently coordinates and manages the Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) 15-yeasr program, the DRYAD project and the community forestry projects. The Department of Forestry plans to expand its project and program activities to seven ERuDeF designated landscapes in Cameroon, including the Mount Bamboutos landscape, the Western Highland Plateau, the Mandara Mountains, the Lebialem highlands, the Nlonako-Muanenguba landscape, the Mount Cameroon landscape, and the Deng Deng-Dja landscape. These landscapes cut across six regions, including the South west, West region, North-west, Littoral, Adamawa, and North regions of Cameroon.
Is to create community forests and monitor their sustainable management, ensure the protection and conservation of threatened tree species, restore hundreds of thousands of degraded mountain and highland landscapes, and fully engage local communities in sustainable forest management in Cameroon through community-led projects and programs.
The main mission of the Department of Forestry is to contribute towards ensuring the protection and sustainable management of forest resources and improvement of socio-economic wellbeing of local communities in Cameroon through innovative forest management and conservation approaches, training, education, livelihood sustainability and participative actions.
· To conserve 20 globally threatened trees of the Cameroon Mountains through the creation of community forest with forest protection and conservation being important intervention components.
· To promote the engagement of local communities in the sustainable management of natural resources through community forestry with livelihood intervention being an important component.
· To contribute towards the rehabilitation and restoration of hundreds of thousands of hectares of deforested and degraded landscapes through tree planting in the next 15 years.
· To promote good governance by encouraging inclusive dialogue, participation of local communities and transparency, and discouraging corruption in the forestry sector.
5. To contribute to climate change mitigation and reduce CO2 emissions through the planting of trees in farmland and on degraded landscapes and promoting silviculture and reforestation practices in community forests.
Strategic Goal 1: Fundraising and Partnerships.
Strategic Target 1: To fundraise about 5,000,000,000 FCFA to run tree planting, ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood improvement projects in seven landscapes, and cover administrative, 8 human resources, logistics, and management costs of the department while maintaining existing partners and building new partnerships.
Strategic Goal 2: Tree Planting and Restoration.
Strategic Target 2: To coordinate and supervise the planting of 50,000,000 trees across seven (07) landscapes to restore fragile mountains and lowlands and their ecosystem functions and services in multi-stakeholder and community-led restoration projects in the next five (05) years from 2020 to 2024.
Strategic Goal 3: Community Forestry.
Strategic Target 3: To coordinate and liaise with local communities and local, regional and national government authorities towards the creation of ten (10) new community forests in the seven landscapes in the next five (05) years.
Strategic Goal 4: Community Enterprise and Livelihoods Development.
Strategic Target 4: To improve the livelihoods of at least 10,000 smallholder farmers and their households through increased tree crop production, improved diversified nutrition, increased household income, and improved value chains of tree products leading to household food security and economic stability.
Strategic Goal 5: Human Resource Management.
Strategic Target 5: To build a multidisciplinary team of expertise in forestry, environmental education, landscape restoration ecology, environmental communication, gender and environment, landscape restoration economics, livelihood development, with 1-3 years of experience to work in the different project landscapes.
Strategic Goal 6: Internship Training Strategy.
Strategic Target 6: To train and mentor 60 interns with diverse expertise that should constitute the department’s database of young professionals willing to take up leading positions in field implementation of project activities and in the conception, development, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment of new projects.
Strategic Goal 7: Forest Conservation and Forest Governance
Strategic Target 7: To promote forest and green economy, carbon forestry, participatory and integrated forest governance and the conservation of threatened tree species in Cameroon.
Strategic Goal 8: Communication.
Strategic Target 8: To expand on the forms of communication and public sharing or dissemination of the departmental operational project and program activities, results and impact at the local, national and international media.
Strategic Goal 9: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Impact Assessment (MEIA), and Learning (MEL).
Strategic Target 9: To effectively conduct monthly, quarterly, semester and annual monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment of departmental projects and programs and enable learning and knowledge sharing among local community members about the progress in projects.
The Department of Agriculture was created in 2018, from the then departments of Agroforestry and Agriculture, and the Department of Economic Development to oversee the activities, results and impacts of the Agroforestry Program that started since 2007. From 2007 through 2014 the focus of the agroforestry program in Cameroon was on the traditional agroforestry which had to do with planting of the nitrogen fixing trees for soil fertility improvement. This increased the yields of farmers by 200% while income rose from 20 to 50%. Additional advantages included increase fuel wood for household. However, this was not enough because the farmers remained poor as many of them failed to continue the program.
Cognizant of this gap, Forest Garden Approach was introduced in 2015, which focused on soil health, Food security, income and nutrition. The farms were then diversified with the introduction of fruit trees, NTFPs/medicinal, and timber species. Since 2015 farmers interest have doubled with many more farmers participate and income increasing at a rate 5% per year.
By 2017 about 10 million nitrogen fixing trees, fruit trees, medicinal trees, NTFPs and timber species have been planted and farmers’ production and income have increased. From the household survey conducted in April 2018, it shows that farmers’ yields have increased and production on the rise, but they lack markets to sell these farm products. It will become even more difficult when these economic trees get mature and yet very limited market to sell. In order to further boost production and value chain development, there will be need to introduce micro financing and value chain development as well as cooperative development.
The Department is made up of the following programs: Food Security and Economic Resilience, Rural Landscape Productivity, Mountain Ecosystem Management and Protected Area Management through Agro-Biodiversity Development.
1. It seeks to improve on the food security and income of resource-poor farmers through the restoration of degraded agricultural lands in Cameroon.
2. Improve on the quality of lives and incomes of the forest adjacent communities living around our core conservation area and provide adequate incentives to support the sustainable management of biodiversity.
Strategic Goal 1: To increase food security of 400 smallholder farmers through increased access to diverse food.
Strategic Target 1.1: 400 and more farmers have Forest Garden and more food is secured by 2023.
Strategic Target 1.2: Increase in quantity of food crops and fruits trees produced of 21,000 farmers from 0.75tons to 2 tons by 2023.
Strategic Goal 2: To secure the protection of 10 water catchments in the 3 key mountain. watersheds (Mt Bamboutos, Mt Nlonako and some mountains around the Western High Plateau).
Strategic Target 2: At least 20% increase in flow rate and volume of water (volume increases from 100m3 to 500m3) by 2023.
Strategic Goal 3: To improve economic sustainability of 400 smallholder farmers.
Strategic Target 3.1: 11 cooperatives and 11 cooperative enterprises and value chain development put in place by 2023.
Strategic Target 3.2: About 25% of community members gain employment (70% being women and youths) by 2023.
Strategic Goal 4: To promote sustainable agricultural land use in and around protected areas through improved techniques.
Strategic Target 4: At least 50% of the populations have capacity to manage fragile ecosystems of the different landscapes/protected areas by 2023.
Strategic Goal 5: To maximize local incomes from the available forest resources so as to ensure biodiversity management and conservation.
Strategic Target 5: Increased economic growth and improved livelihoods in the forest adjacent communities while enhancing the quality of the environment at least by 50% (forest and its habitats) by 2023.
Strategic Goal 6: To support Collaborative Management of the entire Lebialem Highlands, Mt Nlonako, Mt Muaneguba, Mt Oku and the Mt Bambotous, Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.
Strategic Target 6.1: Setting up at least 10 cottage industries to absorbed at least 500 hunters, trappers, youths, farmers etc in the forest adjacent communities to serve as a funds mobilizer for Biodiversity Community Trust and for income generation.
Strategic Target 6.2: Over 500 livelihood donations in the form of piglets and bee hives, that will yield over 2000 piglets in 2023.
Strategic Target 6.3: Over 200 snails farm shall be constructed and equipped and donated to communities in Tofala and Mak-Betchou that will generated over 100 people employed, income increased by over 50% by 2023.
Strategic Goal 7: To promote sustainable financing of community-based biodiversity management through the creation and strengthening of the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF).
Strategic Target 7: Through the implementation of the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative in each landscape, the gap of the livelihood prioritization will be filled through the financial support of our potential partners. At the end, the household income will grow; community economic investments and jobs creation will be available.
Strategic Goal 8: Promotion Access Benefit Sharing value chain addressing specificities of genetic or biochemical compounds that arise from biodiversity.
At the beginning of every quarter, all the departments in the organization will hold a meeting during which the objectives, indicators and targets for that quarter will be defined. At the end of that quarter, an evaluation meeting is held during which all programs/projects are evaluated based on objectively verifiable indicators. The departments will be feed with all this information i.e quarterly plan and report. During the evaluation meetings, the most successful strategies are feedback upstream and the not so successful strategies will be reviewed by the organization during extraordinary technical meetings.
At the end of each year, the organization holds a meeting to review the activities of the year and restrategise.