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29 November 2016

‘Ecological Restoration Needed At Mount Bamboutos’

Posted in News, Views 454

‘Ecological Restoration Needed At Mount Bamboutos’

The President/CEO of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) Louis Nkembi has underscored the urgent need for conservation measures and sustainable agricultural practices to be put in place in the Mount Bamboutos Area. This, according to him, will aid in restoring the depleted ecosystem while improving on the livelihood of rural farmers.

During a visit paid to the area last November 13, 2016 by ERuDeF and some visiting partners from VirginiaTech University, USA, the ERuDeF President/CEO observed that increase in agricultural activities; deforestation and unsustainable management of water and land use have induced forest resources depletion. The aftermath of this, according to Mr. Nkembi, has been destructive landslides and drying up of water sources, which are used for irrigation in the dry season. Meanwhile the remaining patches of gallery forest too are fast disappearing as there area is suffering from eucalyptus dominance.

“50 years ago, this Mountain (Bamboutos) was all covered with forest and farmers enjoyed very high yields but today, the Mountain is left with just patches of riparian forests. If prompt actions are not taken now, in the next 30 years, the forest will be completely empty” the President lamented.

He implored all farmers, farming around water catchments to give up a small portion of their farmlands so trees could be planted for the sustainable management of the watersheds. He recommended planting of endemic tree species for the restoration of depleting biodiversity species including insects, plants, reptiles, birds and the last remnant of the green monkeys.

Mount Bamboutos

Mt Bamboutos situated between long 09°57'E and 10°15'E and lat 05 °27'N and 05 °48'N belongs to the most important geomorphologic system in the Region. The mountain represents a key watershed, supplying at least one third of water feeding the major hydro-power system in Cameroon at Edea. It is also part of the Cameroon Mountains Endemic Bird Area having a high degree of endemism. In 2009, the Government of Cameroon designated it as a proposed Integral Ecological Reserve.

By Achingale Queen Anyifuet

29 November 2016

Three New Staff Recruited To Enhance ERuDeF Expansion Vision

Posted in News, Views 481

Three New Staff Recruited To Enhance ERuDeF Expansion Vision

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has in line with her expansion vision of extending its activities to all 10 regions of Cameroon and other African countries, has recruited some three new staff into different posts of responsibility in the organization including a Journalist, a Conservation Coordinator for Mount Muanenguba and Mount Bamboutos projects and a Coordinator for Livelihood and Gender Programmes who effectively assumed duty, November 2016.

Mr Geraud C. Tasse, is the Conservation Coordinator. The PhD research fellow from the University of Buea says as a biologist, he will use his experience to identify key taxa, monitor and develop new opportunities of ensuring a harmonious coexistence between wildlife and communities around key biodiversity hotspots.

Miss Melvis Takang comes in as a Journalist. The Journalism and Mass Communication BSc. holder from the University of Buea is in charge of Marketing, Corporate and Emerging markets. She sees her new position as an opportunity to broaden her scope of the profession as well as contribute to the realization of ERuDeF’s mission.

“I see this as a stepping stone to my career and I would give in my best to ensure that I communicate in the best possible way so that the Organisation continues in its mission of protecting the environment and supporting community development” the Journalist pledged

The Coordinator for Livelihood and Gender Programmes is Mr. Mbah Rene Akum, holder of a Bsc in Gender Studies and Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Buea. The new recruit says he would use his new position to show that livelihood projects are becoming more efficient and effective in achieving conservation goals if a gender responsive approach is employed.

According to ERuDeF’s Human Resources Management Officer, Miss Magdalene Ndi, as the Organisation expands beyond the country, there is an inevitable need for an increase in human resource personnel to support the expansion. She called on the new recruits to be diligent and fully committed as they strive for excellence in their new job.

By Ndi Magdalene

10 November 2016

Genetically Connecting Isolated Critically Endangered Species In The Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon By Creating Conservation Corridors

Posted in News, Views 440

 Genetically Connecting Isolated Critically Endangered Species In The Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon By Creating Conservation Corridors

High level of endangered endemic plant and animal species present in South West of Cameroon, are increasingly being isolated due to continuous habitat fragmentation and increased forest destruction and deterioration. As a result of all of these, the already threatened species are disproportionately affected because they cannot respond quickly to the altered spatial configuration of the habitat. The Small populations are at increased risk of a variety of genetic consequences that influence their long-term survival. These sub-populations may be too small to be viable or, if local extinction of species occurs, fragmentation cuts off the potential for repopulation since there are no intact populations nearby. (CBIN 1998). The key species present are the Forest elephants ( Loxodonta cyclotis), Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes ellioti), Cross River Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla dielhi), the crown monkey (Cercopithecus pogonias) threatened endemic amphibians (e.g. Conraua goliath), birds (Turaco bannermani) and endemic threatened tress (Prunus africana)

This situation therefore calls for urgent creation of a conservation corridor linking Mt. Cameroon and Mokoko Forest Reserve, FMU 11002 and Mak-Betchou (all protected areas), to ensure genetic connectivity, easy migration of species and the long term survival of the species. Specifically,

The main objective of the project is to create and manage corridors in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex for genetic connectivity and migratory pattern of wildlife species. Other objectives will include;

  1. Identify land use patterns within the corridors and protected areas.
  2. Conduct transects and recce surveys in order to determine the densities or relative densities of key wildlife species and anthropogenic activities in the corridors and Protected areas.
  3. Map out biodiversity hotspots of key wildlife, spatial distribution of anthropogenic activities and their migration patterns within the corridors (gene flow).

The expected outcome of this projects will include:

1. Easy migration between species, hence, ensuring genetic connectivity.

2. Healthy ecosystem

3. Sustainable management of the forest estate.

Based on her decades of experience in the protected area creation, management and conservation especially in facilitating the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, advocating the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou wildlife Sanctuary and other conservation corridors, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), is proposing a 3 year funding of US$2,500,000 for the implementation of the project.

US$1,000,000 will be used to create and manage corridors in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex for genetic connectivity and migratory pattern of wildlife species,

US$ 100,000 will be used to Conduct transects and recce surveys in order to determine the densities or relative densities of key wildlife species and anthropogenic activities in the corridors and Protected areas.

Finally US$500,000 will be used to Map out biodiversity hotspots of key wildlife, spatial distribution of anthropogenic activities and their migration patterns within the corridors (gene flow).

For more information, please go to www.erudef.org

Your timely contribution will not only create conservation corridors to help unite small population species whose long term survival is threatened because of isolation, but will also help conserve our already very fragile ecosystem.

10 November 2016

Increase Household Food Security And Poverty Alleviation Through Sustainable Agriculture Management In Western Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 469

Increase Household Food Security And Poverty Alleviation Through Sustainable Agriculture Management In Western Cameroon

The Centre for Poverty Employment and Growth (CPEG) of the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), acknowledged that bad agricultural practice promote food insecurity. From them, food security has three dimensions, namely; food availability, food access and food use (Toit et al, 2011).

In Cameroon, the concept of food insecurity is closely linked to poverty given that poverty refers to the condition of not having the means to afford basic human needs such as clean water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter (Nsoh, 2011).

The problem facing agriculture in our country has been well researched and documented politically to specific levels (Ayissi, 2007). In the Western part of Cameroon, a number of factors account for problems facing agriculture. This include:

· poor agricultural practice and lack of quality control through the value chain of the farms priority product;

· excessive utilization of chemical product both fertilizers and pesticides.

· Wrong soil tillage, animal waste, bad rotation process, stubble burning lead to soil degradation (Manfred, 2011).

This project seeks to improve household food security and income through sustainable agricultural management. Specifically, we will:

· Train and build capacity of farmers on new agricultural techniques by taking into consideration their priority products,

· Support farmers and stakeholder on processing and conservation techniques of their priority products,

· Establish a close relationship between each stakeholder to better implement market policy and guarantee project sustainability.

With the implementation of this project:

· Farmers will be able to increase their productivity by 70% and will be able to produce all year round through crop rotation techniques,

· Their skill and competences of small farmers will increase by 80% through acquisition of new techniques of processing and conservation,

· Market demand will increase by 30% through close collaboration established within the project implementation.

To implement this project, £100,000 is needed. Of this amount, £25,000 would be used for sensitization, £15,000 to support communities’ network through donation of agricultural equipment, £40,000 to be used for training and capacity building and £20,000 for monitoring and evaluation.

The project which shall span for 4 years, will be executed by a team of experts with a wealth of experience in agroforestry activities from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). In collaboration with Trees for the Future, the agroforestry department of ERuDeF has impacted the lives of local farmers in the Western part of Cameroon. It has integrated six million agroforestry trees in small holders’ farms to improve their soil fertility, and increase their productivity.

For more information, kindly visit our website: www.erudef.org

Food security is a global concern. It is paramount to invest resources in generating considerable quantity of food so poverty could be reduced. This project will improve on the livelihood of resourced poor farmers through equipping and empowering them with the necessary tools so as to upscale their agricultural production, hence, combatting global food insecurity.

10 November 2016

Contributing Towards The Conservation And Restoration Of The Mount Bamboutos Landscape Through Community Forest Creation In Bamumbu, South West Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 472

Contributing Towards The Conservation And Restoration Of The Mount Bamboutos Landscape Through Community Forest Creation In Bamumbu, South West Cameroon

Mount Bamboutos, rich in biodiversity, is severely threatened by negative human activities such as intensive and uncontrolled agriculture, illegal logging, poaching and varying unfriendly activities. These threats have subjected it to frequent erosion and deadly landslides, reducing the water level, hence, leaving the community and surrounding villages with limited water supply and vulnerable to water-borne diseases.

Creating a community forest in the southern slope of the mountain will enable the local community to have legal protection of the forestland, restore the degraded landscape and sustainably manage the biodiversity of the reserve. It is against this backdrop that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation is developing a project proposal, seeking for financial support for the creation and management of the Bamumbu Community forest. The principal objective of this project is to contribute towards the conservation of biodiversity and restoration of the degraded landscape of Mount Bamboutos. Specifically, the project seeks to:

i) create and sustainably manage the Bamumbu Community forest

ii) promote the sustainable management of natural resources within the community forest with 100% community implication in the management,

iii) improve on the standard of living of the local population through the introduction of cottage industries and development of economic opportunities,

iv) strengthen the forest management capacities of the local communities in order to better manage their forest resources

v) restore degraded landscape and protect the major watershed through tree planting.

It is expected that at the end of the project;

i) about 5000 ha of the forest land is legally protected through the creation of a community forest in Bamumbu,

ii) natural resources within the CF are sustainably managed and biodiversity of the area conserved,

iii) standards of living of the local population are improved, livelihood opportunities and socio-economic development of the community enhanced,

iv) local community members have the capacity to sustainably manage the community forest and protect their natural environment,

v) the watershed is protected and degraded areas restored.

To successfully implement the project, the sum of US$200,000 is needed to support the project activities.

- The sum of US$100 000 will be used for the community forest creation process (sensitization, delimitation of boundaries, creation of the legal entities, production of maps, consultation meetings, compilation of documents required for attribution of the community forest, surveys, elaboration of simple management plan and signing of a management convention).

- US$50 000 shall be used to support livelihood activities through the creation of sustainable community forest enterprises.

- US$20 000 shall be used to build the forest management capacity of the local forest operators.

- US$30 000 shall be used in the restoration process and protection of the watershed.

Experienced experts within ERuDeF and partners will execute the project that shall span for 5 years. ERuDeF has demonstrated her ability to promote community forestry in Cameroon. The organization is currently implementing two community forestry projects in South West part of the country. These include the creation of three community forest blocks in the Tofala-Mone conservation complex, with support from the Waterloo foundation, Global Forest Watch and Tusk, and the DRYAD project aimed at providing sustainable community forest enterprises with viable business cases, training and technical assistance while promoting sustainable community forest management. Therefore, with ERuDeF’s long-term commitment in community forestry in general and in the project area in particular, it will continue to work towards the sustainability of the project. It is important to note that the sum of US$6,000 has already been secured for the project. This amount has been committed for the community forest creation process.

More information can be gotten on the ERuDeF’s website at www.erudef.org

If successfully implemented, the project will contribute enormously towards the conservation of the endangered wildlife of the Mount Bamboutos reserve, restore the degraded landscape, protect the major watershed, enhance livelihood and boost economic development in the surrounding communities. In addition, the long-term impacts of the project will meet national, regional and global concerns of climate change mitigation.

10 November 2016

Placing Young Girls At Forefront Of Conservation Through Social Cohesion Programmes

Posted in News, Views 452

Placing Young Girls At Forefront Of Conservation Through Social Cohesion Programmes

Most if not, all global decisions taking to conserve the environment, men dominate the actors to women. Conversely, women are more committed in protecting the environment. According to the United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP) publication on Gender equity and the Environment, Women do seem to be better attuned to the needs of the environment, and more committed to protecting it, than men. But until they are given at least an equal share in taking the decisions that determine how the world is run, there is little chance of stopping the sky metaphorically falling on our heads. For this to succeed, the girl child being future mothers and leaders, need to be imparted with an intimate understanding of the environment so as to place them at the forefront of the management and preservation of our natural environment.

Since 2012, The ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies has been working endlessly in educating primary and secondary school pupils and students in a beat to orient the minds of these young leaders to see the need in environmental conservation. This is done through environmental clubs and environmental advocacy weeks in communities and schools around protected areas in the Southwest Region.

Cameroon being a major biodiversity hotspot in Africa, serving as home to a wide range of species, spread across the IUCN Redlist, ranging from Gorilla gorilla diehli (CR), Pan troglodytes ellioti (EN), Loxodonta africanus cyclotis (VU), Mandrillus leucophaeus (EN) Caffer nanus (Vu), Conraua goliath (EN), Turaco bannermanii (CR), Oreas picathartes (NT) and lots of plants, amphibians and reptiles.

With the aim of preparing future women leaders in conservation, the ERuDeF Institute seeks to commence a pilot project call MISS ENVIRONMENT AWARD in the Southwest Region of Cameroon. The aim of this project is to build the capacity of the girl child in conservation leadership so that in the nearest future, women will be at the forefront of conservation and decision making.

To implement the project, the sum of US$200,000 shall be needed. Of this amount, the Outreach Department will use:

1) US$100,000 to organise a Miss Environment contest, selecting one winner in each Subdivisions of the seven Divisions in the Southwest Region. It will end up with a Regional Miss Environment.

2) US$500,000 to Build the capacity of the winners on leadership by facilitators from the President Obama Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)

3) US$500,000 to Award meritorious laureates with financial remuneration to be used in supporting conservation activities in their communities and a network of young environmental advocates will be created in the region.

The selection will be through a very animating contest on environmental and cultural issues that encourage conservation. This project will expose more than 40,000 young people to conservation sensitisation. More than 5,000,000 people will effectively watch this through the national broadcaster, hence, motivating and educating more people on environmental protection and conservation issues. The young leaders selected from the various levels will be exposed to a one week leadership programme with facilitators from the President Obama Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) to be environmental ambassadors in their various subdivisions and communities.

More information about us can be got from 0, www.erudef.org and we can be contacted by mail via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The need to empower the girl child on environment conservation and other related issues is very paramount. Therefore, the coming together of environmental activists around the world to help empower the girl child in environmental leadership programmes is a prerogative in combatting climate change.

 

28 October 2016

‘ERuDeF’s Community Forest Project Has Prospects Of Changing Lives In Rural Areas’

Posted in News, Views 455

‘ERuDeF’s Community Forest Project Has Prospects Of Changing Lives In Rural Areas’

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)’s Coordinator in Kenya, Peter Minang, has revealed that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s work on community forests around the South West Region of Cameroon is of great importance with the potential of changing the lives of rural people in the community forest areas.

Speaking at the end of a visit to the Organisation, Mr. Minang said barely few months after the commencement of the project, ERuDeF has recorded a lot of progress.

“ERuDeF has been able to do a good appraisal on the potentials of engaging these community forests in managing their resources in a sustainable manner; in a way that will improve upon their livelihoods, and hopefully contribute to getting them out of poverty” he added.

Though the project is at its initial stage with much still to be done, Mr. Minang was impressed with what has been achieved so far. He was confident with ERuDeF’s capability to carry out the project successfully.

“Some hard work still has to be done but I am not worried because I know ERuDeF is capable of working with us to get these community forests to where they are supposed to be in terms of sustainably managing the forest resources” he hinted.

The DRYAD Project Coordinator said community forest enterprising is a very new concept in Cameroon and even in Africa and will thus be really challenging.

“The biggest challenge will be on how to bring four to five community forests into a joint venture where they can, through economies of scale, actually benefit as a group as opposed to having small community forests that cannot be able to each run their respective viable enterprises” Mr. Minang opined.

He appreciated the ERuDeF DRYAD Project Coordinator, Sheron Endah, for her achievement so far, beseeching her to be focused as well as put in her all for the success of the project.

By Ndimuh Bertrand Shancho

28 October 2016

Chiefs, Elites Join Voices To Call For Mak-Betchou Gazettement

Posted in News, Views 557

Chiefs, Elites Join Voices To Call For Mak-Betchou Gazettement

Traditional rulers and elites in the Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon, have added their voices to national and international ‘calls’ on the Cameroon Government to precipitate the gazetting process of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

They drafted a petition for the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) to reiterate their stand at the end of a meeting for the engagement of key actors in the creation and management of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, which took place last Saturday October 8, 2016 at MINFOF, Buea.

According to Fon Fotabong V.L. of Njoagwi and Chief of Essoh-Attah, HRM Julius Forkwetta, the gazetting of this biodiversity hotspot will conserve the different wildlife species for future generation, induce more development and livelihood benefits to their communities.

The President/CEO of the Environment and Rural Development (ERuDeF), Louis Nkembi, on his part, said the gazetting of the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary will transform the area into an enviable touristic hotspot in Cameroon and Africa.

“Some countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, etc. have tourism at the centre of their revenue potentials. The creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary will bring much economic benefits in terms of tourism in the areas adjacent to it,” Louis Nkembi reiterated.

He pointed out that in the wake of the creation of the protected area, many villagers will be employed for skilled, semi, and unskilled works in eminent cottage industries as well as benefit from international subventions from biodiversity conservation organisations and individuals.

“These international philanthropists will sponsor community development projects through the issuing of small and big grants,” Louis Nkembi added.

The ERuDeF boss presented the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Model, an initiative aimed at providing funding opportunities to local communities as a way of improving their livelihoods, scaling up development and diverting communities’ attention from the forest.

He indicated that the implementation of the model will provide business opportunities to both individuals and the entire community.

Another facilitator at the meeting, Mr Kum Jude Kawzu, implored community members to group themselves into cooperatives. This, according to him, will attract more benefits rather than operating as individuals.

The Gazetting Process

The creation and management of a Protected Area (PA), according to the Regional Chief of Service for Wildlife at MINFOF, Mr. Nono Joseph, starts with conducting research on all the fauna, flora, socioeconomic, touristic and development potentials on the area in question. After this, the results are reported, which culminates in the preparation and transmission of a Technical Note to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), Yaounde.

Thereafter, the Minister (of Forestry and Wildlife) signs a Public Notice seeking public opinion on the creation. Adjacent communities to the proposed protected area and stakeholders in all subdivisions surrounding the concerned area, are also sensitised.

When this is done, chiefs in villages around the proposed protected area append their signature accepting the creation of the area. A formal report is then constituted by MINFOF and submitted to the Prime Ministry, where the Prime Minister then issues a decree classifying the area as protected.

Case of Mak-Betchou

Regarding the gazetting of the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, the Southwest Regional Chief of Wildlife said the creation process commenced in 2010 with surveys and bio-monitoring conducted by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) between 2010 and 2014. The research recorded four direct sightings of groups of chimpanzees and 1,346 chimpanzee nests, 178 observations of elephant signs and signs of other mammals.

“Based on these biodiversity potentials, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife initiated the classification of this area as Wildlife sanctuary with the support of ERuDeF in 2014. Technical Notes were prepared and forwarded to Yaoundé in 2015,” Mr Nono Joseph said.

He disclosed that that the gazetting process for the proposed wildlife sanctuary is now at Technical Note phase. Mr. Nono beseeched the chiefs, elites and community members present, to device a positive measure that will hasten the completion of the steps. It is in this regards that the chiefs, traditional rulers and elites of the Lebialem Division drafted a petition, which will be sent to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife advocating for the speedy gazetting of the Mak-Betchou rainforest.

The meeting for the engagement of key actors in the creation and management of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, was organised by ERuDeF under the auspices of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife with financial support from the Rainforest Trust-USA.

By Yanick Fonki Ndaley

28 October 2016

Upper Bayang Communities Trained To Monitor Illegal Activities In Tofala-Mone

Posted in News, Views 498

Upper Bayang Communities Trained To Monitor Illegal Activities In Tofala-Mone

Some seven Upper Bayang communities within the Tofala-Mone Rainforest Corridor including the Bakumba, Ayukaba, Chinda, Egbemo, Kendem, Bokwa, and Etoko communities have been trained on how to use the Global Forest Watch Application (Forest watcher), installed in smart phones in monitoring deforestation activities around the Tofala-Mone East Corridor.

They were trained during a six day capacity development workshop organised recently in the Upper Bayang Subdivision by the African Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

Aimed at providing local communities with tools to maximize the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of enforcement and forest policy intervention in the conservation corridor, the Upper Bayang communities were schooled on how to establish effective community forest monitoring by integrating Forest Watcher and Participatory 3-Dimensional Modeling (P3DM) in conducting locally informed and watcher-guided forest surveys to collect and validate deforestation and forest degradation activities in communities and state forests within the Cameroon highlands eco-region.

Forest Watcher according to ACF Director, Mr. Arend de Haas, is an application which is installed in smart phones for the detection of deforestation sites with the aid of satellite images.

During the workshop, these community members were engaged in practical exercises to deepen their understanding of the forest watcher and P3DM applications. Data were collected on deforestation alerts and validated by the community members using both the forest watcher and P3DM applications.

At the end of the training, the smart phones were handed to the community members, who expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and ACF while promising to use the skills acquired and the smart phones in fighting against continuous illegal forest activities in the Tofala-Mone East Corridor.

“The skills I have acquired on using the forest watcher App will help to easily track deforestation activities within this forest area and report for appropriate actions to be taken. With this App, I can have the direction and the distance of the deforestation zone from my position” Mr. Ashu Simon Taku, one of the workshop participants stated.

Mr. Simon Ashu, like his friends from other communities at the workshop, said with such training and monitoring device, the independent monitoring of proposed community forest blocks in the area will be easier and illegal logging activities will easily be detected.

The workshop was attended by MINFOF officials, traditional rulers and representatives from the Bakumba, Ayukaba, Chinda, Egbemo, Kendem, Bokwa, and Etoko communities.

By Floribert Assongacap

28 October 2016

ERuDeF And MoBECoS Partner In Conservation Social Enterprise Development

Posted in News, Views 588

ERuDeF And MoBECoS Partner In Conservation Social Enterprise Development

The Mount Bamboutos Echinops Cooperative Society (MoBECoS) and the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the implementation of the Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative. CoCoSED is an initiative of ERuDeF which seeks to help local communities generate funding, through community based financial mechanisms to support community projects like water, electricity and other livelihood activities without necessarily waiting on government’s intervention

The MoU was signed last September, 2016 at the Cooperative Community Hall in a ceremony that brought together the representative of the Fon of Bamumbu, the representative of the Chief of Magha-Bamumbu, MoBECoS members and other community members.

The MoU permitted the people of Magha-Bamumbu, on the one hand, to ensure constant supply of products generated through livelihood supports from ERuDeF, to MoBECoS for transformation, and ERuDeF, on the other hand, through her Silver Back Company, will liaise with MoBECoS to sell the products and send part of the profit to ERuDeF endowment fund for charitable actions.

The Assistant Director of the Department of Livelihood and Economic Development, Madam Lea Kenmene signed on behalf of ERuDeF while the President of MoBECoS signed on behalf of the Cooperative with both parties pledging to respect the terms of the agreement.

“ERuDeF be rest assured of our support. For some time now, our efforts have been minimal. We would double our efforts to ensure that this new initiative works in this community” the President of MoBECoS said.

Corroborating this, Chief Nebo Abraham of Fomenji said the initiative has development prospects and is therefore “for the good of our people”. The traditional ruler equally cautioned MoBECoS members to keep aside their selfish interests and be supportive of the initiative for the betterment of its members and the community as a whole. He also congratulated ERuDeF for introducing the CoCoSED model.

On her part, the ERuDeF Livelihood and Economic Development Assistant Director, Mrs. Lea Kenmene assured all and sundry that her Organization will work with the community members for the conservation of their rich biodiversity, while also ensuring the wellbeing of the people.

“ERuDeF is ready to coordinate and support the necessary funding opportunities that will be managed and controlled by the communities themselves, to enable them improve their wellbeing,” Mrs. Lea Kenmene added.

Community Conservation Social Enterprise Development (CoCoSED) Initiative is part of the Mak-Betchou Rainforest Conservation Project supported by Trusk Trust-USA.

By Kenmene Alida

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