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01 March 2017

Government To Create Another Protected Area In Southwest Cameroon

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 Government To Create Another Protected Area In Southwest Cameroon

Cameroon Government through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), has officially declared her intention to move the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary in the Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon, into a protected area.

This information was made known through a Public Notice issued early February, 2017. The Public Notice informs adjacent communities to the proposed protected area, as well as other stakeholders of Government’s plans to transform this biodiversity hotspot hitherto used customary by the local people into a permanent forest estate. This according to the Notice, is to ensure the conservation and appropriate management of the richness and critical biodiversity of this area by the state and other partners.

The proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is an over 7000 hectares forest area located between longitudes 586000m and 596000m and latitude 598000m and 606000m. It is host to over 300 Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzees (one of the biggest chimpanzee density in Western Cameroon), over 100 forest elephants (the most northern range of African forest elephants within the Southwest Region of Cameroon), Drills, Cross River gorilla, bush baby, Blue duiker, Red River hog, red eared monkey and Mona Monkey amongst others. The area is also home to some unknown plant species as well as globally threatened birds species like the Cameroon montane greenbul, crossley’s ground thrush, Bangwa forest warbler, Green breasted bush shrike and Red headed picathartes. Contiguous to the Bayang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, this biodiversity hotspot is surrounded by close to seven Fondoms, with three located in the Lebialem Division, and the rest in the Kupe Muanenguba Division.

The gazetting process of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is being facilitated by a Buea based Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). In an interview granted The Green Vision recently, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Organisation, Louis Nkembi said government’s declaration of intent to gazette this biodiversity hotspot is a significant milestone to the conservation process. The ERuDeF boss expressed gratitude to the Cameroon Government for such a move.

“I will like to say thank you to MINFOF for recognizing the work that we have been doing here since 2008. This is a clear indication that the government remains committed to saving the last species of our great apes, wildlife and globally threatened species where ever they are found in Cameroon” he said.

Mr. Louis recounts the path treaded so far; “When we launched the process for the creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary in late 2013, the procedures as outline by the government of Cameroon through the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, include amongst others the preparation and production of a scientific and technical report that describes the richness of this forest area. This was prepared and forwarded to the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife. The next stage was for the Cameroon Government through her technical department, to officially declare to the world and most especially the people living around the area that it has been selected for protection, and this, the government has just done”

The issuing of the Public Notice according to the ERuDeF vision driver, has paved the way for the compilation of the final document that will be put together and submitted to the PM’s office for the final and eventual creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. To get to this point, he disclosed that ERuDeF is supporting MINFOF officials (both national and regional authorities) to move through the process of village to village sensitization, which will culminate in the holding of the divisional commission for the classification of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. This will be held in Menji under the auspices of the Senior Divisional Officer of Lebialem.

“After the divisional classification meeting, the final document will be pulled together and transmitted through the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to the PM’s Office, where there will be eventual validation and signature in case there are no oppositions,” Mr. Nkembi added.

The process is hoped to be completed by December 2017.

ERuDeF boss expressed profound gratitude to Rainforest Trust-USA “for providing funding for this major endeavor,” and to all local stakeholders who have been involved in this process that seeks to make Mak-Betchou one of the most beautiful biodiversity hotspots that will in turn generate income and employment opportunities for the people around this area.

By Bertrand Shancho

01 March 2017

ERuDeF-UK To Erect Research & Ecotourism Centre In Tofala

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 ERuDeF-UK To Erect Research & Ecotourism Centre In Tofala

A state of the art research centre and an ecological lodge would soon be erected in Besali, a community adjacent to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. The United Kingdom branch of the Environment and Rural Development (ERuDeF-UK), disclosed their plans during a feasibility study carried out in the area, January 31 to February 3, 2017. According to the Chair of ERuDeF UK, John Daniels, the aim is to promote research and ecotourism in the area.

During this visit, the ERuDeF team held talks with Chiefs and inhabitants of some villages in Tofala including Besali and Bechati communities of the Tofala rain forest to enlighten them on the project and what they stand to benefit.

The Chiefs and village inhabitants welcomed the project with great joy and anticipation with the traditional ruler of Besali, Chief Ekwe Tayem Robert, offering a piece of land for the construction of the research centre.

“This Project is a great idea which I am sure will bring lots of benefits to my people as has always been the case. Reason why I didn’t hesitate to offer a piece of land to be used for the realization of the project” Chief Ekwe stated.

Apart from the employment and high exposure which the creation of this touristic site will bring to the community dwellers, support for education through scholarships and empowering the local women cannot be left out as this will go a long way to help alleviate poverty in the area and also reduce human pressure on the forest as alternative sources of income will be provided to the women.

After holding talks with the adjacent communities, the ERuDeF-UK and ERuDeF-Cameroon teams headed to the Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, where they spent two nights carrying out feasibility studies for the establishment of an ecological lodge in the forest.

This visit also gave the team an opportunity to appreciate the touristic potential of this biodiversity hotspot.

“A place like Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is indeed an attractive site to behold. Its rich biodiversity, beautiful landscape and untamed forest vegetation has been my point of interest in the area since from my last visit in 2013 and now. …. The place is worth visiting over and over again reason why I think a research centre and an eco-lodge is a paramount need in the area” ERuDeF UK branch committee Chair disclosed

In the same light, ERuDeF-UK Committee Member, Mr Paul Spillet, who doubles as a Photo Journalist, expressed great satisfaction after spending two nights in the forest.

“Though my first time in Africa, it feels like home to me. Being in Tofala was a completely great and enjoyable experience and I must say coming to Tofala has undoubtedly heightened my love for nature and am so glad I visited,” he remarked.

For his part, the President and Chief Executive Officer of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, said the presence of these Eco touristic infrastructures will greatly boost tourism in the area. He urged the population of Besali to cease the opportunity and make great strides in their fief.

The Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is an irresistible touristic site with special features including waterfalls like “Tem-tem waterfall”, streams and endemic plants, insects, butterflies and animal species. It is host to close to 30 critically endangered and endemic Cross River gorilla, 900 bird species, over 100 plant species and over 150 endangered Nigeria Cameron Chimpanzee.

Besides its great touristic features the area is surrounded by hospitable communities.

However access to this ‘paradise’ remains a nightmare especially during the rainy season.

By Melvis Takang

01 March 2017

International Trees Foundation Lauds ERuDeF’s Agroforestry Strides

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The Environment and Rural Foundation (ERuDeF), has been highly praised for great advances made in agroforestry system of farming. The acclamation remarks were made by the Programme Officer of the International Trees Foundation (ITF), Paul Laird, during a one day curtesy visit to the Organisation, Friday February 24, 2017. The aim of the visit was to understudy the Organisation and seek new ways wherein ITF and ERuDeF can partner for the sustainable management of trees.

According to the ITF Programme Manager, ERuDeF has progressively grown to a major player in conservation and environment in Cameroon. He intimated his great impression with the great strides the Organisation has put forward.

“What is a bit of a surprise and exciting is that an Organisation that International Trees Foundation (ITF) gave some small donation back in 2005, and again in 2010, has grown into quite a major in terms of conservation and environment in Cameroon. It’s impressive to see the range of what you (ERuDeF) is doing now,” Paul Laired said.

He went ahead to indicate that ERuDeF scored a passed mark among Organisations ITF is willing to partner with in conserving forests, planting trees, enhancing the use of trees in agroforestry systems to improve people’s lives, among others. He mentioned that ERuDeF and ITF are currently working on two ideas which will enhance forest conservation.

“ITF supports mainly community based Organisations and NGOs, in a number of African countries as well as the UK. People who are doing good work on the grounds, in terms of conserving forests, planting trees, enhancing the use of trees in agroforestry systems to improve people’s lives. Now, I think ERuDeF still does that, but ERuDeF still has a wider capacity. So the purpose of coming is to share ideas with ERuDeF, understand what ERuDeF is doing at the moment and see if there are other opportunities to partner again in future,” Paul Laird expounded.

For his part, the President and Chief Executive Officer of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, appreciated ITF’s commitment in restoring degraded landscapes through the planting of trees. He attributed ERuDeF’s successes to dedication, commitment and hard work from every member of staff in the Organisation.

He thanked the ITF Programmes Manager for coming and hopes that they two organizations continue to grow together in partnership so as to achieve the greater vision for conservation.

The International Trees Foundation joined forces with ERuDeF since 2005, restoring the degraded landscape of Mt Bamboutos and the Lebialem highlands. There are glimmers of hope the two Organisations will be working together in the field of conservation.

By  Yanick Fonki

09 February 2017

ERuDeF’s Department of Operations Split For Maximum Productivity

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One of the largest departments of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), the Department of Internal Operations, has been split into two. The two new departments are Administration & Human Resources and Programmes and Planning. This split was announced during the organisation’s Annual Review and Planning Meeting, which took place from the 3rd to 6th of January, 2017 at ERuDeF’s Head Office in Buea.

The split Comes at a time when the organisation is up-scaling and consolidating her position as the leading NGO in Cameroon and extending her tentacles to other parts of Africa. According to ERuDeF’s President and Chief Executive Office (CEO), Louis Nkembi, the split is to ensure effective division of labour, hence increasing productivity.

Mr. George Nkemka, hitherto Head of the Programme Division within the Department of Operations, was thus appointed as Pioneer Director of the newly created Department of Programme . Meanwhile Mr. Charles Tangie is the Senior Director of the Department of Administration and Human Resources.

Mr. Nkemka holds a BSc. Degree in Agriculture from the University Centre, Dschang and a diploma in Applied Plant Breeding from the International Agricultural Centre (IAC), Wageningen, Netherlands. He prides over 30 years of professional experience in research, agricultural extension and data management.

He's authored 3 publications to his credit in the field of agriculture and rural development. He was recruited into ERuDeF in July 2016 after retiring from the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development as the Southwest Regional Chief of Service for Agricultural Statistics.

The pioneer director is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the sustainability and growth of the organization. He has as immediate task to raise one Billion francs CFA by the end of 2017. Mr. Nkemka is also expected to monitor and evaluate projects of the organization; identifying gaps and suggesting solutions for improvement.

For his part, the new Senior Director of Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Charles Tangie, is a holder of Master of Education in the teaching of Georgraphy, from Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS). Yaounde. The Senior education luminary retired from the Cameroon civil service, while serving as Principal in 2014. He was recruited with the ranks of Senior Director of Operations in ERuDeF in March, 2016

Mr. Charles Tangie will concentrate his efforts on ensuring the effective and efficient use of human and financial resources . This to ensure the realization of the organisation’s goal and 2025 expansion vision.

Both directors expressed gratitude to the ERuDeF Board of Trustees for the confidence given them. They pledged total commitments to meet up with the responsibilities accorded them.

09 February 2017

Southwest Farmers Rewarded For Best Agroforestry Practices

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Southwest Farmers Rewarded For Best Agroforestry Practices

Some four farmers from different agroforestry farming groups in the Southwest Region, have been rewarded with modern farm equipment. The farm tools consisting of spraying cans, cutlasses, hoes, amongst others, were handed to the farmers at the end of the Southwest Regional Agro Pastoral Show, which took place in Buea, December 19, 2016.

According to the coordinator of Agroforestry at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) for the Southwest Region, Mr Emmanuel Ngome, the laureate farmers were impartially selected from a host of agroforestry farming groups in the Southwest Region.

“We have a total of 16 farming groups in the Southwest Region effectively implementing the modern agroforestry technique of doing farming. We went inside these farming groups and conducted an impartial selection of the best farming implementing the technique. We finally came up with four farmers who are reaping big from their farms after implementing the modern agroforestry technique,” Mr Ngome stated.

The farmers showcased their produce to the amazement of the general public who were attracted to the quality of the yields. Many combed the stands of these farmers, purchasing their goods and also inquiring how they can adopt the agroforestry technique of farming.

According to the overall best farmer, Madam Nayo Rosaline, agroforestry farming especially alley cropping and live fencing has exponentially improved her household income. She pledged her total commitment to agroforestry practice.

“I am excited and at the same time surprised to be selected as the best winner amongst all the farmers who had been practicing agroforestry. I have been working with ERuDeF for the past four years. I have mastered their method of farming and I do practice both live fencing and alley cropping in my farms. Apart from the huge yield I get in my farms as a result of this farming method, today I have been highly recognised. I received a sprayer and five cutlasses. These equipment will greatly improve on my farming activities as well as alternate the money I was to use to purchase the tools be used for other things,” Madam Nayo intimated.

Other laureates who benefitted from the prizes promised to use the equipment in their various farms so their subsequent harvests will be huge. Meantime, other curious farmers not practicing agroforestry, inquired on how to effectively carryout agroforestry systems in their farms. Many left with the positive impressions, promising to upgrade their farms with modern agroforestry techniques.

The farmers present were promised even bigger awards in the nearest future. The ERuDeF agroforestry coordinator for the Southwest, Mr Emmanuel Ngome, urged the farmers to greatly put into use, the various tools and techniques they have acquired from ERuDeF, into practice. He announced the donation of seeds and seedlings of agroforestry, medicinal, and fruit trees in the nearest future. This, he indicated shall go a long way to upgrading the farms of these farmers.

09 February 2017

Launching the Mt Bamboutus Initiative

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Launching the Mt Bamboutus Initiative

Some three non-profit organizations including the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), African Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST), and GADD have begun working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to develop a pilot project for the conservation and restoration of the degraded Mount Bambutous Landscape.

Coming within the framework of the IUCN PPI-5 program, these non-profit orgnisations, during a two day working session, January 14-15, 2017, at ACREST Head Office in Bangang, were each given a project component within their area of competence and intervention to develop. The organizations each came out with specific objectives and activities based on the project components they are to lead.

ERuDeF for instance will lead the Agro-forestry and Biodiversity Conservation, and governance components of this pilot project. Within this component, the organization will ensure the enhancement of agro-forestry practices in farmers plots within the project site through capacity development of farmers, nursery development and transplanting, and the establishment of the farm optimization model in communities within the site.

It will also ensure that the degraded landscape of Mt. Bamboutos is restored and the biodiversity of the area conserved. This will be achieved through the out planting of seedlings within the degraded landscape, biodiversity inventory, sensitization and environmental education, monitoring of illegal activities, payment for ecosystem service schemes (PES), and alternative livelihood supports (beekeeping, NTFP value chain development, livestock breeding etc)

As far as governance is concerned, ERuDeF will be promoting sustainable land use governance and management through the production of past and actual land use of the project site, identification of stakeholders, participative mapping, workshops, defining suitable areas for protection and conservation, strengthening of communication systems and the propagation and enforcement of existing laws amongst others.

GADD on her part, will head the Sustainable agriculture and value chain development component of the project. In this light, the organization will work towards promoting the practice of sustainable agriculture and value chain development. This will be achieved through sensitization and capacity building of stakeholders, establishment of demonstration plots, documentation of good practices, identification of value chain to be supported, and others.

Meanwhile ACREST will be the lead NGO in the area of Technology and Renewable Energy. Here, the organization will be ensuring the promotion of appropriate technology and renewable energy within the Mt Bamboutus area with focus on the development of water supply systems, installations of solar systems, biogas systems and improved cooking stoves

for homes, provision of solar drier, solar fridge and chip producer for food transformation, and the ensuring the practice of drip irrigation, grafting techniques and the construction of transport equipment and tools with the project area.

At the end of the workshop, PPI-PACO Programme Coordinator, Thomas BACHA, congratulated these organizations on their efforts in developing key activities and objects of the components allocated to them. He urged each of the organizations to develop a logical framework based on the specific objectives and activities under their respective project component.

The organizations were also implored to seek co-funding and the submit project proposal within their respective project component by April 2017. The project is expected to begin in August 2017.

By Deh Nji & Tengem Adeline

09 February 2017

Elites, Chiefs To ‘Meet’ Minister of Forestry and Wildlife For Protected Area Creation in Nkongho-Mbo

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 Elites, Chiefs To ‘Meet’ Minister of Forestry and Wildlife For Protected Area Creation in Nkongho-Mbo

The chiefs and elites of Nkongho-Mbo have resolved to in the months ahead transmit a letter to the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife expressing their desire for the creation of a protected area in their clan.

This resolution was arrived at, January 13, 2017, at the end of the Nkongho-Mbo Review and Planning Meeting towards the Creation of the Proposed Mak-Bechou Wildlife Sanctuary, after a unanimous decision by the chiefs and elites to support the creation of a protected area in Nkongho-Mbo.

Speaking on behalf of the Chiefs, the traditional ruler of Jungo village, His Royal Majesty Fonjungo, said the creation of this protected area will help in the conservation of their “God-given resources and the sustainable development of the area”. The representative of the elites, Justice Fonjock Ekenya corroborated the Chief adding that the creation of the protected area will as well aid in the conservation and sustainable management of medicinal plants and the development of Nkongho-Mbo’s touristic potentials.

The chiefs and elites promised to stand firm together to support the development and implementation of conservation programmes in their clan with the mentorship of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). Both chiefs and elites resolved to meet with the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife in April, 2016 to declare their desire for the creation of a protected area in their clan.

ERuDeF’s President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, commended the commitment of the chiefs and elites of Kongho-Mbo reiterating the indispensability of nature to man. “We need nature to survive but nature does not need us to survive” Mr. Nkembi said pledging his organisation’s support in training and capacity building for sustainable development in the Nkongho-Mbo Area.

In order to ensure the proper spelling and adequate representation of adjacent villages in the map, the ERuDeF boss promised to complete mapping area and updating existing map with the aid of the administrative map of the area by March 30, 2017.

Mr. Nkembi also pledged his organisation’s willingness to develop a website for Nkongho-Mbo clan to give visibility to the activities of the people of Nkongho-Mbo. A gesture that was greatly appreciated by the chiefs and elites of Nkongho-Mbo, who promised to ensure content development and management of the site.

To limit differences that exists amongst adjacent communities to protected area, ERuDeF and the representatives of the chiefs and elites, agreed to meet with Fon of Mbetta, Lekwe and Dinte villages to resolve issues patterning to community engagement and the sustainable development of projects in the area.

The chiefs and elites of Nkongho-Mbo and staff of ERuDeF agreed that some two cooperatives be created in the area to ensure sustainable development and income generation amongst others. The cooperatives include the Nkongho-Mbo Farmers, and Women cooperatives. Meanwhile it was resolved that the protected area in question, was going to be known the Proposed Mak-Mikiih Wildlife Sanctuary.

The meeting was organised by ERuDeF with financial support from Rainforest Trust-USA and supervision from the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife.

09 February 2017

ERuDeF Unveils 2017 Plans, ‘Extension’ To Europe and North America Imminent

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 ERuDeF Unveils 2017 Plans, ‘Extension’ To Europe and North America Imminent

The Chief Executive Officer of Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organization, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Mr. Louis Nkembi, has made known the 2017 plan of action of his organization.

Speaking during the ERuDeF Annual Review and Planning Meeting, which took place recently at the organisation’s head office in Buea, the President/CEO said besides increasing the competitiveness of ERuDeF in Cameroon as the leading conservation non-profit organization, and increasing/maintaining a more competitive human resource, ERuDeF will be increasing and consolidating her visibility in Europe and North America in 2017.

The organization according to Mr. Nkembi, will increasing her influence and mobility in the Central African Sub-region. He said the achievement of such goals can only be achieved through a relentless commitment to hard work and a constant monitoring and control of all organizations’ activities in close collaboration with his solid administration.

The ERuDeF boss zoomed on 2016 naming his achievements one by one

“2016 has been a great year. We launched the first ever Participatory 3D model in Cameroon in our Tofala Mone East corridor project, facilitated the signing of the second Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) in Cameroon and Francophone Africa and finialised ground works for the launching of the ERuDeF UK branch and raised incomes of households by over 12millioncfa in the lebialem area. Our interventions in the field have touched the lives of over 5000 students in 50 schools with over 3.6 million trees planted through the agroforestry systems. Meanwhile the Tofala mone corridor project was consolidated through the creation of a series of community forests and upgrading of a management plan of the fmu11002. These and a host of others were recorded as success stories in the year 2016” Mr. Nkembi expounded.

He attributed these achievements “his close collaborators in his world of conservation” that is partners and funders like Tusk Trust, Fauna and Flora International, African Conservation Foundation, Man and Nature, Trees For The Future, Rainforest Trust, ICRAF, Biolab Foundation, MBZ and many others.

Though a successful year, the President/CEO said resistance from some forest adjacent communities to conservation difficulties remain a major nightmare to the organization.

Mr. Nkembi implored lovers of nature and sympathizers of great apes nationally and internationally to join forces with ERuDeF in the conservation of threatened biodiversity species, restoration of fragile ecosystems and the fight against climate change so that the environment will in return ‘protect us’.

He assured prospective funders that their support to the organization, will greatly contribute to saving the last globally threatened biodiversity species and their habitats in Cameroon given that ERuDeF is the leading and most competitive national and soon to be international conservation organisation in Cameroon with core competences in the holistic application of conservation approaches.

09 February 2017

Agroforestry Field Technicians in Littoral, West, NW, and SW Cameroon Trained On Grafting

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 Agroforestry Field Technicians in Littoral, West, NW, and SW Cameroon Trained On Grafting

Some 25 agroforestry Field Technicians from the Littoral, Northwest, Southwest and West Regions of Cameroon have been trained on grafting and nursery management. They were trained recently during a four day training workshop organised recently in Bnagang by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies (ACREST).

Aimed at improving the skills and competences Field Technicians in this region, participants were drilled on some six types of grafting including top grafting with 85% to 95% of success, side grafting with 60% to 85% of success and slide grafting with 45% to 60% of success, budding, marcoting and air layering.

One of the facilitators, Dr Alane Karuki, recommended top grafting as one the most efficient grafting method, which can be carried out with raffia, fungicide systemic, root stock and scion. He gave detail description on the application of the top grafting method.

“Technicians should make sure the root stock and scion have the same size and the scion needs to be at the dormant stage,” Dr. Karuki added.

His counterpart, Dr John Mutua on his part, gave some guiding principles, which the technicians must follow when grafting.

“It is very important to identify trees family by taking into consideration, their fruit, leaves and flowers. The deep identification can also go through the DNA analysis” he expounded.

The workshop was interspersed with practical sessions. Each trainee demonstrated their level of understanding by planting agroforestry trees using the grafting method. The technicians who proved their worth by efficiently applying what they have leant, said the technique will greatly enhance agroforestry agriculture in the region.

“All these while, I thought I knew how to graft but with this seminar, I think I have been greatly empowered. I shall be applying the techniques in my farms and I shall also teach my fellow farmers in Menoua,” Mr Temzi Jean, technician of Menoua Division stated.

At the end of the workshop, each technician was advised to teach farmers of their respective divisions on the top grafting techniques. They were equally encouraged to graft all species of trees in farm field, free of charge.

Grafting is the process in which two parts of different plants of the same family are jointed and growth together to produce fruit.

09 February 2017

Mrs. Ursula Nkeng, Appointed ERuDeF’s Pioneer Chief Operation Officer

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 Mrs. Ursula Nkeng, Appointed ERuDeF’s Pioneer Chief Operation Officer

The Senior Director of Finance and External Operations of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Mrs. Ursula Nkeng, has been appointed pioneer Chief Operation Officer (COO) of ERuDeF. Her appointment was made public by the President/Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Mr. Louis Nkembi, at the start of ERuDeF’s Annual Review and Planning Meeting, early January, 2017.

This appointment according Mr. Nkembi, is a step towards ensuring the realization of the organisation’s long term sustainability and expansion vision.

“We are anticipating that within the next 10 years we should have effectively put in place the structure that will permit the long management of the organization. It is within this perspective that the Board of Trustees recently put in place the position of the Chief Operating Officer to directly assist the CEO in the management of the organization” the ERuDeF boss expounded.

The ERuDeF President/CEO said Mrs.Nkeng’s dedication to the organization and high sense of assiduity since 2008, won the admiration of the Board of Trustees, who consequently appointed her the Pioneer COO of ERuDeF.

This position has been greeted with lots of joy by Mrs. Nkeng Ursula, who promised to meet up with the challenges.

“I am very impressed and lack words to express my joy. This shows that my nine years of service to this organization is yielding fruit. Being a new position at ERuDeF, it’s going to be very very challenging given that I will be the one to lay the foundation of this position and the stability of the organization will depend on the foundation” she said.

The pioneer COO, has a vision for the organization. “My vision is to see to it that the organization extends to other parts of Africa. This means identifying focal persons within the organization for each prospective site/country, organizing meetings with focal persons and prospective partners, building and developing ideas on possible projects and expansion strategies. I will in collaboration with the CEO lobby other international organizations to partner with ERuDeF so that ERuDeF can grow in future to be like WWF, WCS and FFI amongst others; it will grow beyond just receiving funds from international donors to a point where it can be able to fund other younger NGOs in the country” Mrs. Nkeng promised.

The newly appointed COO said she will in the weeks ahead meet with all departments within ERuDeF to get their respective challenges in term of project implementation and staff welfare given that the success of the organization depends on staff’s welfare and stability.

Mrs. Nkeng promised ensuring the strict respect of the organisation’s internal policy and the appropriate remuneration of staff.

“I will review the organisation’s internal policy; distribute to every staff and follow up to ensure that they understand and abide by it. I will also make sure that what is due each staff is given them in term of compensation and pay package” she said.

The pioneer COO pray that God gives her wisdom, inspiration and strength that will make her withstand the challenges and make ERuDeF grow from strength to strength.

Ms. Nkeng Ursula is undertaking an MBA in Business Administration. She is a graduate with Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Banking & Finance and a composite minor in Management, Accounting and Economics. She was recruited into ERuDeF in July 2008 as the Finance Officer. In 2014, Ursula was promoted as the Director of Finance and Budgets and in 2016 she was promoted to the position of Senior Director of Finance and External Operations, a position she’s been holding till her recent appointment.

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