Saving Rainforests, Conserving Species, Impacting Lives

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WHO WE ARE

Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is an award-winning non-profit Cameroonian conservation organization established in 1999. ERuDeF has been working for over two decades across Cameroon and has significantly contributed towards restoring fragile Eco-system, regeneration of forest through plantation and agroforestry, conservation of biodiversity through wildlife habitat protection and protected area management, promoting environmental education, as well as empowering rural communities through innovative economic and livelihood development programmes.

ERuDeF’s success story in Cameroon

Translating theories into action

The world is witnessing an unprecedented decline in species numbers, habitat degradation and destruction caused by the extraordinary human pressure being manifested by civil wars, famine and poverty. The increasing composite nature of the human pressure is accelerating the destruction of the last globally threatened species and their last ranges and habitats. This is characterised by the increasing isolation of protected areas and biodiversity hotspots across all the continents of the world.

In Cameroon, the national non-profit organisation, ERuDeF has been leading since 1999, the battle to save the last threatened biodiversity species and their habitats throughout Cameroon. This initiative by ERuDeF is manifested through the saving of the last wild places for the critically endangered Cross River Gorillas in South-West region, Cameroon, the Western Lowland Gorillas in East, Cameroon, the world’s biggest frog in Littoral (mount Nlonako) and South-West (Mount Muanenguba), the endangered birds of Mount Bamboutos in Western Cameroon as well as the ecologically fragile ecosystems of Mount Bamboutos and the Adamwa plateau (ecosystems that supply over 90 percent of Cameroon’s water and energy), restoration of the endangered Microberlina bisulcata in the Mount Cameroon National Park.

While the role of international non-governmental organisations cannot be over emphasised in providing the overall lead in saving the last threatened species and wild places, their numerical strength as not been able to cause or stop this rapid continuous decline often leading to the local extinction like the case of the Rhinos declared to be extinct in 2011. In this backdrop, the role of the national conservation organisations as well as the impact cannot be neglected. As the leading national conservation organisation in Cameroon, ERuDeF has been lobbying with the government to realise the need to gazette more Protected Areas and provide more protection or restriction that will lead to the conservation of the last ranging species of Fauna and Flora.

ERuDeF is also at the fore front of a new initiative called, “The Cameroon Corridor Initiative”. This initiative seeks to link the increasingly isolated protected areas and biological areas and biological populations. Such initiatives include; the Tofala Mone Corridor, the Deng-Deng National Park, Dje Reserve Corridor.  While protected areas and conservation corridors seek to provide benefit to the species and their habitats, the human population living adjacent to these areas, derive substantial benefits from the development of livelihoods and other community development initiatives being introduced in local communities by ERuDeF. These benefits are evident in the change of livelihoods and improved incomes of these communities. Statistics collected from Lebialem Highlands show that, over 400 bee hives installed by ERuDeF has improved livelihoods of the farmers by 65 percent, the palm oil sector, the farmers have had 13714.62 USD as their incomes in the last 2 years.  Also out of over 40 women trained in local soap making, close to 30 now depend on it for the upkeep of their families., making an annual income of 1500 USD.