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28 October 2016

Agroforestry Farming System Gaining Ground In Mount Cameroon Area

Posted in News, Views 541

Agroforestry Farming System Gaining Ground In Mount Cameroon Area

Farmers around the Mount Cameroon National Park who undertook training on agroforestry techniques at the Mt. Cameroon area have begun raising nurseries of agroforestry tree species that will be transplanted into their farms to boost yields.

This observation was made recently by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Cameroon Mountains Endangered Trees Programme Manager, Adeline Tengem during an evaluation visit to some four communities in the four clusters of the Mt. Cameroon National Park.

Aimed at monitoring progress made by farmers few months after a training workshop on agroforestry farming technologies organized by ERuDeF, it was realized during this trip that farmers in Bakingili, Bafia, Bomana and Bova in the West Coast, Muyuka, Bomboko and the Buea clusters of the Mt. Cameroon National Park have begun raising nurseries of multipurpose species.

Some of these species include Malus domestica (Apple), Elaeis guinensi s(palms), Garcinia cola (Bitter kola), Persea Americana (African pear) and Irvingia gabonensis (bush mango). The farmers attributed this initiative to the training given them by the Organization last March, 2016.

“After understanding farm optimization techniques in agroforestry, I realized the importance of prioritizing the agroforestry approach in my farm rather than just planting normal trees. With the training on farm optimization, I understood that I could get rid of the useless trees in my farmland and plant economically viable ones.” the nursery Assistant of Bafia Community, Fai Godlove, testified.

Mr. Fai added that apart from just raising agroforestry trees in his nursery to boost soil fertility and increase farm yields upon planting in his farm, he is also interested in timber species like Entandropragma angolensis (mahogany), Microberlinia bisulcata (Zebrawood) Afrostyrax lepidophyllus (contri onion) and Prunus Africana (pygeum) to integrate alongside agroforestry species for the livelihood of his future generation.

A Bomana based farmer, Mr. Mbah Peter, on his part said he is impressed with the farming methods and the possible impact on agricultural productivity.

“With this technique, I belief I can use a small portion of land and produce more than what I am producing now. I am confident that when these trees will be transplanted, they will increase my farm yields and income level” Mr. Mbah said.

The Cameroon Mountain Threatened Trees Programme Manager was very impressed with the strides these farmers have made within such a short period of time.

Such move according to her, will speedy the realisation of the project’s long term goal.

“Introducing the agroforestry in these communities was a way of empowering adjacent communities to the Mount Cameroon National Park as a means of reducing anthropogenic pressure on this biodiversity hot spot. This system would diversify and improve on the income of the household of these adjacent communities who are mostly farmers and depend solely on the Park’s resources for their alternative livelihood” she expounded.

The Conservation of Threatened trees of Mt. Cameroon is ERuDeF’s initiative conceived in 2011. It is supported by Fauna and Flora International, UK and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, of the United Arab Emirates.

By Adeline Tengem

 

28 October 2016

Bangem Farmers Reap Fruits Of Bio-Farming Technology

Posted in News, Views 603

Bangem Farmers Reap Fruits Of Bio-Farming Technology

Farmers in Bangem, Kupe Muanegumba Division-Southwest Cameroon have begun witnessing high yields in their farms thanks to the bio-farming technology introduced in this area some nine years ago by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

Speaking to the ERuDeF agroforestry team recently, the farmers said the new farming method have improved their output greatly and they do not have to abandon their farms to fallow for three to four years as was the case before.

“We have witnessed huge changes in our farm produce and finances too thanks to bio- farming. Previously, my harvest used to be very poor because before planting, I used to burn my farm. After cultivation, I would wait for up to four years for the piece of land to fallow” Pa Mewsie John, a seasoned farmer explained.

The bio-farming has equally helped the farmers to practice intensive agriculture reducing pressure on the forest.

“If I used to harvest 10 bunches of plantains, today, I can harvest not less than 18 bunches on the same piece of land. I am also very happy as I no longer have to go around destroying the forest looking for new farm spaces because the old one is in a period of fallowing. We are grateful to ERuDeF for showing us this light” the Bangem farmer quipped.

The testimony of the farmers according to the South West Coordinator of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development of ERuDeF, Mr. Emmanuel Ngome, is a dream-come-true for the organization.

“It is our desire to see farmers adopt modern techniques like crop rotation, green manure and biological pest control. This promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activities that restore enhance and maintain ecological harmony. This boosts soil fertility and increases farm yields hence bettering the lives of many farmers” Mr. Ngome said.

The bio-farming technology was introduced in 2007, after a survey by ERuDeF indicated that most farmers in this part of Cameroon were practising slash and burn and shifting cultivation, which is not only environmentally disastrous, but also unproductive. With such method, farmers experienced low farm yields which compelled them to live from hand to mouth.

The bio-farming method is natural and ensures high quality and safer agricultural yields that are not harmful to man, the ecosystem and or any other organisms. The introduction of bio-farming by ERuDeF is thanks to funding from Trees for the Future, USA.

By Mr. Emmanuel Ngome

28 October 2016

ERuDeF’s Bio-monitoring Programme Widens Eco-Guards Understanding Of Tofala

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ERuDeF’s Bio-monitoring Programme Widens Eco-Guards  Understanding Of Tofala

Some two eco-guards, Mr. Elebe Bessala Aldalbert Christian and Mr. Goue Mengamenya Placide, integrated into the bio-monitoring programme of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), August 25 to September 3, 2016, in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, say they can now carry out their surveillance duties with relative ease thanks to the experience and exposure gained during the exercise.

They made this profession last October 20, to ERuDeF’s Director of Conservation after a patrol to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

The eco-guards said the bio-monitoring programme opened their eyes to the reality of the sanctuary.

“Before, our surveillance activities were limited to communities around the sanctuary mostly by monitoring bush meat sales in markets; no monitoring was carried out within the Sanctuary itself. This activity has enabled my colleague and I to have a better idea about the Sanctuary” Mr. Elebe said.

He disclosed they have not been able to carry out their routine patrol to track down illegal activities and bring defaulters to justice due to lack of material and financial resources.

“As eco-guards, we are supposed to be carrying out patrols and forest surveillance as well as bio-monitoring in the Sanctuary but we do not have the materials and financial means to do them. We are therefore appealing to the government, ERuDeF and other partners to help us with materials and financial support that will enable us to render our services for the effective conservation of wildlife species in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary’’ the Eco-guard appealed.

Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the key biodiversity hotspots in Southwest Cameroon created in 2014. It is host to the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodyte ellioti) and many other mammals, endemic birds, plants and butterfly species.

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi

28 October 2016

Mak-Betchou VFMC Exco In Nkongho-Mbo Installed

Posted in News, Views 486

Mak-Betchou VFMC Exco In Nkongho-Mbo Installed

Newly elected executives of the Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) in the Nkongho-Mbo forest area have been installed. The eight man executive including village heads, elites, women association members, farmers and youths from the Njungu, Lebeh, Lebock, Ngientu, Mbemfe, Nzeleted and Fonki villages, were installed, early October, 2016, during a ceremony organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF).

Aimed at increasing local participation in the protection of the environment in general and the forest in particular, the newly installed were called upon to serve as intermediaries amongst the local population, forestry administration, and other actors in the conservation of the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Prior to the installation, VFMC executives were schooled on the internal rules and regulations governing Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) and the Cameroon’s 1994 Forestry Law.

Installing the newly created committees, the Chief of Post of Forestry for the Elumba-Mbo area, Mr. Kennedy Fonge Atabong, implored members to be committed in their services as to better contribute to the protection of their natural environment. He called on them to keep aside financial benefits.

“Working as a VFMC member does not have financial benefits. This is because VFMC is not an employment medium but more of volunteerism and members are not remunerated. However, reasonable pre-approved expenses linked to VFMC activities will be reimbursed where applicable” Mr. Fonge Atabong expounded.

The newly elected executives on their part, thanked ERuDeF for giving them such an opportunity while pledging total collaboration.

“We are grateful with this opportunity that ERuDeF is giving us. At first, these things were done by white men. But today, we see our own Cameroonian NGO coming to our aid. We will all come together and work in collaboration with ERuDeF so we can reap all the benefits from upcoming conservation projects”, the Chief of Lebeh uttered.

Meanwhile, three other VFMCs in the Lebialem section of the proposed Sanctuary were equally re-organized in the Fondoms of Lebang, Essoh-Attah and Njoagwi to act as intermediaries in the conservation of their forest areas.

The creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary to be facilitated by ERuDeF is financed by Rainforest Trust, USA.

By Ignatius NJOM

28 October 2016

Agroforestry Technologies, Improving Farm Yields In NW Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 439

Agroforestry Technologies, Improving Farm Yields In NW Cameroon

Farmers in the North West Region of Cameroon who adopted the agroforestry system of farming introduced by Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), say they are witnessing increase in their farm yields.

One of the farmers, Mr. Ayong Thomas of Kugwe village in the Momo Division adopted this modern farming technique in 2011. He planted over 40,000 seedlings of Acacia, Leucaena and Prunus in two of his farms, and is today reaping the fruit of his labour.

“These trees have acted as biomass and have greatly improved on the soil fertility of my farmland. Because of this, I have increase in farm yields. With the sales from my farm produce, I can support other burning family needs” the farmer said.

The tree species are also of great economic value.

Acacia and Leucaena are fast growing leguminous trees and are good wood for the kitchen. Today, I can boast of over 100,000 FRS a year as savings from my from fuel wood business” Mr. Ayong testified.

Unlike his ‘ignorant’ neighbours, the Boyo based farmer enjoys good quality fuel wood all year round.

“My neighbours face a lot of difficulties especially during the rainy season to get quality wood. On my part, I have good wood and my wives are very grateful as their kitchens are free from smoke since wood from these trees are very good” he explained.

The agroforestry system of farming was introduced in the North West and other regions of Cameroon in 2007, with support from Trees for the Future, USA, as a way of restoring degradable landscape, ensuring environmental protection and improving on the income of poor resource farmers in Cameroon.

By Payong Marquise

17 October 2016

Conservation of High Value Biodiversity in the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary Through Agricultural Value Chain Development.

Posted in News, Views 477

Conservation of High Value Biodiversity in the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary Through Agricultural Value Chain Development.

The endangered species such as chimpanzees, leopards, cats, bushbabies,elephants,special birds and plants are at the edge of extinction due to agricultural activities of communities adjacent to this proposed wildlife sanctuary (ERuDeF, 2011).

The adjacent communities living in these areas are agrarians with their livelihood largely dependent on small-scale farming and animal husbandry. Crops and animals grown include Cocoyam. Cassava, plantain, oil palm, cocoa white pepper, pigs, fowls, and goats. Incomes from the yields of these agricultural activities cannot sustain their livelihoods deviating attention to poaching, extended agriculture (slash and burn).

To achieve the conservation of this high-value biodiversity, households and communities adjacent to this area must be financially and economically empowered .Agricultural value chain development using the Community conservation social enterprise development (CoCoSED Model( Mr. Louis Nkembi, unpublished) for selected crops and animals (oil palm, cocoa, poultry and piggery).This model has objectives:1).Financial and economic empowerment 2).Community development 3)Support to conservation of high-value biodiversity and contribution towards the development of endowment fund.

Application of this model will lead to increase in households’ production and incomes, create more jobs, and consequently lead to less pressure on high value biodiversity and poaching, reduced to minima level.

A total of $100,000 will be required to carry out this project.

With $150 will help create an extra job for one household involve in cocoa value chain (for 80 households will required $12,000).

With $1000 will help raise the income level of 1household involve in oil palm value chain by $100(for 15 household will required $15, 0000)

With $10,000 will provide seed fund for one social cooperative enterprise (for 7 social cooperative enterprise will require $ 70,000). Finally, $ 3000 will be used for the training of communities’ members.

More information can be obtained through the following This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. www.erudefinstitute.org and www.erudef.org

The two-year project will be carried out by a team of experts from ERuDeF with long years of experience in community management, commodity value chain development, market information system, protected area creation, management and conservation. With the use of community conservation Social Enterprise model developed and tested by Mr. Louis Nkembi,the president/CEO of ERuDeF, there is no doubt that the project goal will be achieved.

17 October 2016

Achieving Biodiversity Conservation by Building Forests Management Capacities of Communities in the Tofala-Mone Wildlife Corridor, South West Cameroon

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 Achieving Biodiversity Conservation by Building Forests Management Capacities of Communities in the Tofala-Mone Wildlife Corridor, South West Cameroon

The Tofala-Mone east corridor in South West Cameroon constitutes a gamut of biodiversity amongst which are primates such as the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzees and the cross river gorillas. These wildlife species are under threat due to poaching, habitat lost and fragmentation through human settlement and conversion to farmland for subsistence. These scenarios thus not only post a problem to wildlife but biodiversity as a whole. Habitat loss and fragmentation also has a negative impact by halting natural inter-breeding across different populations of the species.

There is therefore urgent need to conserve the biodiversity of the area by protecting wildlife habitat and reducing hunting pressure. One way this can be solved is by legal protection of the forest land through the creation of community forests.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), with support from the Waterloo Foundation and Global Forest Watch (GFW), has since January 2016 been carrying out a project to create four community forest blocks in the area. It will serve as a genetic wildlife corridor, linking the chimpanzees and gorillas of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and those of the Takamanda reserves through the former Mone reserve. The long term goal is to conserve the rich biodiversity/threatened species of the area. The long term impact of the project lies on the sustainable management of the community forest by the local communities. This may not be achieved if the capacities and skills of the local communities entrusted to sustainably manage the community forests are not built. Hence wildlife habitats and livelihoods will continue to be lost, environmental degradation will exacerbate, and natural resource base conflicts will be on the rise. Overall, biodiversity of the area will keep dwindling.

It is against this backdrop that ERuDeF is seeking for financial support to build the forest management capacities of the local communities in the area on key aspects of sustainable forest management, so that they will become apt and able to meet the expectations of biodiversity conservation. The project which is expected to last for a period of one year, shall cost the sum of 200 000 US Dollars.

With this amount, 50,000 USD will be used to sensitize 10 communities on sustainable forest management practices. 60,000 USD will help in the training of 40 local forest operators (community members) on sustainable forest management techniques such as low impact logging (control logging), silvicultural techniques, nursery raising, reforestation techniques, management/exploitation inventory techniques, compliance with legal policies/frameworks and conflict management/resolution techniques. 40,000 USD will be used for the development and implementation of a conflict management/resolution mechanism. Finally 50,000 USD will be used for the education and support of local population on alternative livelihood opportunities and sustainable management of non-timber forest projects.

The expected outcomes of the project are;

i) Local communities have the skills and capabilities to sustainably manage community forests,

ii) Forest resources are sustainably managed, leading to biodiversity conservation in the area,

iii) Livelihoods and standards of living of local populations in the area are improved.

For more information about this very important project and how you can assist in this initiative please go to www.erudef.org

The project shall be executed by long term experience experts within ERuDeF and partners. ERuDeF has a long term commitment in community forestry in general and in the project area in particular. It will therefore continue to work towards the sustainability of the project. It is important to note that GFW is already doing a great job in the area to build the capacities of the local communities, in monitoring forest degradation on the ground, using the new GFW App, which will help in feeding back information for concrete decision making and management planning.

17 October 2016

Planting Of 4.5 Million Fruit Trees To Salvage Forty-One Peasant Villages Adjacent To Mt. Cameroon National Park Deprived Of Livelihood.

Posted in News, Views 481

 Planting Of 4.5 Million Fruit Trees To Salvage Forty-One Peasant Villages Adjacent To Mt. Cameroon National Park Deprived Of Livelihood.

The creation of the Mt. Cameroon National Park to conserve its biodiversity has lead to legal restrictions to access farm land by the mountainous villages adjacent and surrounding the mountain.

The villages that thrive on subsistence agriculture and hunting, and their portions of farmland are contained to what they occupied prior to the creation of the park

This has further been compounded by the increase in population. (Hypothetical): the population of the area which stood at 39,000 inhabitant in 2009 when the park was created now estimated at 47,000 (projection from MINFOF 2014) in 2016. NB Cameroon has an annual growth rate of 2.51% and a Child dependency ratio of 72.1% (United Nations Statistics Division: 2015)

With this, restricted means of livelihood 50% of children of school age are indulge in child labour; working for anglers for a fish a day or subjected to be house helps in the nearby urban areas where they are paid USD 20 a month.

This is because the meagre household incomes have fallen since they can no longer increase their farm sizes, coupled with their poor agricultural practices of slash and burn.

The introduction of modern agroforestry farming method would diversify and increase production and improve on the income of these 4,500 household, which make up these villages.

This will eventually reverse the current trend and parents would afford for their children's educations. This will also reduce human pressure on the park and will create a balance between conserving the biodiversity of the Park and the survival and livelihood of the adjacent villages.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has the capacity and expertise to carry out this project with her 17 years’ experience in conservation and of fauna and flora. She has successfully done so in four regions of Cameroon with resounding results.

A modest sum of USD 345,000 will plant four, 5 million agroforestry trees in these villages to enhance their agricultural production and increase average household incomes. USD 76 spent per household planting fruit trees will multiply this initial amount 10 times in three years and this flow will continue for the life span of the fruit tree.

In the 21st century it will be inadmissible that children living adjacent to the Mt, Cameroon National Park would be deprived of the basic primary and Secondary Education because their communities have been restricted legally to access more farmland; the main source of livelihood. Thus funding this project will:

  • alleviate the poverty
  • increase incomes of households

· For further information, contact us at www.erudef.org

17 October 2016

Conserving Biodiversity Population Through Increased Awareness of Anthropogenic Activities in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 390

Conserving Biodiversity Population Through Increased Awareness of Anthropogenic Activities in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon

Over 250,000 people (70% of whom are peasant farmers) live around protected areas, South West of Cameroon (MINFOF, 2013). These farmers destroy species habitats, transforming them into agricultural farmlands. They carryout illegal logging, hunting and trafficking of species for their livelihoods. Though poverty has served as the leading cause, negligence of information on the importance of conserving biodiversity has also contributed to encroachment in protected areas, thereby making most wildlife species in these areas even more threatened.

In a bid to increase awareness on the dangers of human pressure on biodiversity hotspots and the importance of conserving these areas, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) created a newspaper in 2013, the Green Vision. This Newspaper is the lone English language journal reporting solely on environment related issues. Other newspapers barely carry news on the environment. Even when they do, their reporting style does not adequately reflect the situation on the ground. Green Vision prides itself in reporting accurate, inclusive, and impartial news of affairs relating to the environment, to keep the local and international communities informed on the bright side and dangers of their activities on the survival of wildlife species.

Workshops to train journalists on environmental reporting will not only improve on their reporting skills, but also buttress their interests on environmental journalism. By so doing, much attention would be focused on these protected areas and the activities of their adjacent communities. More airtime space on community radios in partnership with Green Vision would help spread sensitization messages to rural communities in the protected areas. More still, mobilization of Green Vision staff to local communities to carryout face-to-face sensitization campaigns would create more awareness.

With huge media presence in these areas and extensive exposure on the dangers of human pressure on biodiversity conservation, the over 250,000 inhabitants of these regions would be aware of the dangers of their activities. By so doing, they would limit their activities on these areas. This would help conserve critically endangered (CR) species including the Cross River Gorilla, the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee, and lots of other IUCN red listed mammals, amphibians, birds and plant species. This would help increase and maintain global population trend of wildlife.

US$15,000 will be needed to advocate the dangers of human activities on protected areas and on the importance of conserving them in the next 3 years. Of this amount, US$6000 will organize four workshops to train 30 journalists on community engagement in the management of the Wildlife Sanctuary; US$5000 will secure radio airtime for some 10-community radios stations for two years, US$2000 will be used to carryout community sensitization and US$2000 will used to facilitate investigative stories on these areas.

Your support would not only create awareness, it would protect the lives of many species who risk death because of illegal activities of ignorant villagers.

Visit our website site www.greenvision.news/ www.erudef.org for more information.

17 October 2016

Sustainable Management of Threatened Tree-Seedlings Planted at the Mt. Cameroon National Park (MCNP) and Peripheries.

Posted in News, Views 441

Sustainable Management of Threatened Tree-Seedlings Planted at the Mt. Cameroon National Park (MCNP) and Peripheries.

Over 20000 threatened trees planted at the Mount Cameroon National Park by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation are increasingly victimised by anthropogenic threats like bush fire, perennial weeds, and pastes that they may become extinct within the next two to three years if desperate sustainable management measures are not put in place.

Studies indicate that community sensitization and engagement in the monitoring and management of trees via constant clearing/removal of perennial weeds and mulching is indispensible to the survival of trees seedlings in rural and urban areas (Ferrini & Fini, 2010). The engagement of forest adjacent communities through these techniques is therefore preponderant for the sustainable management of these over 20,000 threatened trees in and around the Mount Cameroon National Park. The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has over five years experience of working to restore threatened trees within the degraded Mt Cameroon forest area as over 15 years experience in the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity in the Western Highlands of Cameroon. Through this, they have harnessed a great amount of technical know-how and can effectively ensure the sustainable management of these trees.

With the empowerment of these adjacent communities with the adequate knowledge and skills required to monitor and manage the trees, at least 70% of the 20,000 threatened trees survive by the end of 2017. Also, encroachment into the National Park by forest adjacent communities will reduce 75%. This will go a long way to contribute towards the mitigation of the effects of climate change as the forest cover will be reinstated and will served as a carbon sink. Fresh and constant water supply also be available to adjacent communities in and out of season.

US$35,000 will however be needed within the next 3 years to realise this project. Of this amount, US$8,000 will aid training local institutions (on quarterly basis) for one year; US$12,000 for monitoring of threats on the species for the next 3 years; US$ 10,000 for general management of the species and US$5,000 for evaluation and production of maps to monitor the survival rates of the tree species.

ERuDeF’s has in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and forest adjacent communities, contributed towards reducing conservable human pressure on threatened tree species in this area. More on this can be gotten at www.erudef.org, and www.greenvision.news.

Urgent national and internal interventions are therefore very crucial in ensuring the survival of over 20,000 tree seedlings in and around the Mount Cameroon National Park. Without this, these trees will be destroyed and the huge amount of material, financial and human resources invested for over five years to raise these seedlings would have gone in vein.

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