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14 December 2016

Building A Collaborative Monitoring Approach To Rescue Forest Concessions And Protected Areas In Manyu, South West Cameroon, From Human Encroachments.

Posted in News, Views 571

Building A Collaborative Monitoring Approach To Rescue Forest Concessions And Protected Areas In Manyu, South West Cameroon, From Human Encroachments.

The remaining tropical forests in Cameroon are under severe threat due to encroachment by forest fringed communities. This has led to acute deforestation, hence, habitat loss and environmental degradation. In a two days meeting recently organised by the South West Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in Cameroon, managers of forest concessions and protected areas conservators in South Western Cameroon reported that over 30 000 hectares of forest land considered as protected and/or restricted zones have been cut down for agriculture and human settlement despite the fact that such activities are against the Cameroon forestry law. What is pushing the locals to this regrettable act, though crucial for solving the problem, is not clearly known. There is therefore the need to take prompt measures in order to redress this situation which has a negative effect on the national economy and environmental sustainability.

It is against this backdrop that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation is seeking for funds to help negate this problem.

The overall goal is to provide a long lasting solution to forest encroachments in forest concessions and protected areas in Manyu Division, South Western Cameroon by advocating for change through all means and afford strategies for effective collaboration between different stakeholders involved.

The project will achieve three objectives;

  1. Carry out an indebt survey within the forest concessions and protected areas in South Western Cameroon in order to appraise the extent, patterns and root causes of forest encroachment
  2. Support and promote forest monitoring by integrating modern monitoring tools and techniques in order to detect early cases of deforestation and take informed decisions
  3. Advocate by all means for a positive change

The project will lead to the following outcomes;

  1. It will rescue over 500 000 ha of production forests and protected forests in Manyu Division, South West Cameroon from human encroachment through the integration of modern monitoring tools and techniques.
  2. The extent, patterns and root causes of human encroachment in the area would be known making it easier to seek long lasting solutions.
  3. It will lead to effective law enforcement by the service in charge of forestry and wildlife due to advocacy and sensitization.
  4. The project will also lead to a net increase in the national economy through increase timber yield since illegal deforestation would have been addressed.

The project which will last for a period of 3 years requires the sum of £150 000. Key activities will include surveys in and around forest concessions and protected areas (£50 000), sensitization campaigns within forest fringed communities (£20 000), purchase of monitoring tools (£10 000), capacity building on monitoring techniques (£30 000), reorganization and support to village forest management committees (£10 000), capacity reinforcement on effective law enforcement (£10 000), advocacy of stakeholders for a positive change (£20 000).

The project shall be executed by a team of experts from ERuDeF and collaborating partners with a long term experience in forest management activities. ERuDeF collectively and individually, and with support from other partners, have led the successful gazettement of the Mt Cameroon National Park (2009), Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (2014) and Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary (in process) as well as creation of a number of community forests in the region. ERuDeF is also involved in the long-term management of the Mt Cameroon National Park. ERuDeF also participated in the design, development and validation of the Mt Cameroon National Park recently (October 2014). ERuDeF is currently engaged in a range of regional landscape conservation projects including the development of protected areas and conservation corridors.

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

If this project is funded it will help to rescue the remaining natural forests, maintain wildlife habitat and contribute towards the sustainable management of Cameroon’s rich biodiversity.

29 November 2016

West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

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West And Northwest Cameroon Farmers Rewarded For Best Agricultural Practices

Some 70 farmers in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon have been awarded prizes comprising machetes and spray pumps for their extraordinary performance in the implementation of modern agricultural techniques, the Agroforestry farming systems. While the first five laureates from each region were given sprays and/or machetes, 60 others received one machete each.

The prizes including over 135 machetes and 11 spray pumps were offered to the farmers during the 2016 Agroforestry Open Day jointly organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Trees for the Future-USA in Balafotio, November 14, 2016, and Kugwe, November 17, 2016, in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon respectively. It brought together farmers from the West and North West Regions, traditional authorities and government officials, ERuDeF’s President/CEO and his agroforestry team, and international Volunteer.

Organized under the theme ‘’Transforming agriculture to sustain the world of tomorrow’’outstanding farmers, practicing agroforestry systems in the West and North West Regions were during the Open Day celebrations identified and offered farming equipment.

One of the beneficiaries in the West Region, Mr. Pierre Douanla, a Balafotio based farmer, who had applied the alley cropping and life fencing in his farm, received a spray pump and 10 machetes.

He expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partner for “adding power to his elbow” promising to use the farming tools to boost productivity.

“I am very satisfied to have benefitted from the spray and machetes. These items will facilitate my work and the time I used to go about begging for sprays will be diverted to useful activities” Mr. Douanla said.

He promised to share his equipment with other farmers of his group.

“I will use these equipment with my fellow farmers so that together we can facilitate the production of food crops and better up our lives” he added.

Just like their counterparts in the West Region, farmers in Northwest Cameroon greeted the prizes with lots of joy and boisterity pledging to encourage more farmers to adopt the farming system.

“I would do my best to see that more farmers get involved in this programme. I will go around and sensitise my fellow farmers especially women to follow my example so that they too can benefit from this modern system of farming which is yielding unimaginable results” Mrs. Ayong Jeannette pledged.

The success stories of these beneficiaries thrilled all present and farmers, who have hitherto being hesitant as they expressed their willingness to incorporate the agroforestry system of farming into their farms during the next farming season.

“I now have a better idea about this new technique and the advantages therein. I have been wondering why some of these farmers havebetter farm yields than myself. Be rest assured, I am the next person to join this programme and would personally sensitise my people to join too” his royal highness, Douanla Jean Paul, chief of Balafotio, promised.

Another farmer in the same area Mr. Bruno Ngongang, says he will also adopt the farming system because it is cost effective.

“For some years now, I have been spending a lot on fertilizers and the situation has not really change but from the testimonies today, I have seen that with these trees (agroforestry trees) in my farms, my soil fertility problem is solved at no cost. I think many of us farmers are going to join this programme” he pledged.

In the Northwest, the farmers expressed the same zeal to join the programme.

“I have been facing serious problems in my farm because of soil infertility and my pigs too are not doing well. Today I have been told that just with acacia tree species in my farm, my soil will change and the fresh leaves can be used to feed my pigs because of their high protein content. I wish to be part of the programme so that I can also benefit from its advantages”, a Kugwe based farmer, Mrs. Ebu Beatrice stated.

In the meantime, Technicians present during the ceremony were also awarded prizes for their hard work. While four technicians in the West were promised a spray each, their counterparts in the North West were promised five machetes each. This move was in appreciation of their efforts in coordinating farmers and to motivate them (technicians) to be more committed.

The President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi at the end of the Open Day/prize award, congratulated the laureates encouraging them to continuously increase their commitment in fighting against food insecurity.

The celebration of the agroforestry open door day is in line with ERuDeF’s efforts to promote modern agricultural techniques with the goal of improving soil fertility, promoting farm optimization and value added chain development. The programme is supported by Trees for the Future, USA.

By Payong Marquise

29 November 2016

Irish Volunteer Plants Over 2000 Agroforestry Trees In Fako Division

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Irish Volunteer Plants Over 2000 Agroforestry Trees In Fako Division

Irish volunteer, Tony Malone, has corroborated the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s efforts in protecting fragile environments, boosting soil fertility and protecting water catchments by planting over 2000 agro forestry trees in Fako Division, Southwest Cameroon.

The tree species including Acacia and Leucaena were planted, early November 2016, around the Mile 15 waterfall and Mutengene water catchment area, with local farmers under the auspices of the ERuDeF Agro forestry team.

The planting of these trees is one of Mr. Malone’s ways of contributing to solving global environmental problems.

“I think planting trees will affect not only Cameroonians and Africans but the world at large as it will help to fight against climate change, improve soil fertility thereby improving livelihoods of communities” the Irish Volunteer said.

Mr. Malone revealed that his visit to Cameroon is the beginning of a new era in environmental protection; a domain which he cherishes but has never had the opportunity to do it because of his tied schedule.

He promised to continue planting trees and support further actions that will benefit the entire humanity and ensure sustainable environmental management.

The ERuDeF South West Coordinator of Agro forestry and Agricultural Development, Mr. Emmanuel Ngome commended the Volunteer’s passion for the environment.

“I am particularly happy with Mr. Tony Malone’s passion for the environment. Despite his age, he had to trek long distances to plant trees for environmental protection. I encourage him and every Cameroonians to give more attention to environmental conservation by planting more trees and protecting other threatened species” Mr Ngome recommended.

The tree planting exercise was carried out by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation with financial support from Trees for the Future, USA.

By Ngome Emmanuel

29 November 2016

Palm Oil, Other NTFPs Production To Increase With New Business Plan

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Palm Oil, Other NTFPs Production To Increase With New Business Plan

The Silver Back Co. Ltd (SBC) has developed a one year business plan that will boost palm oil, kernel oil and Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) production and generate income to support conservation efforts in the Lebialem Highlands.

The business plan, developed recently by Silver Back Co. Ltd team with technical coordination from Man and Nature technical adviser for Cameroon projects, Mr. Theo Théo Tournebize, laid emphasis on products and services, sales and marketing, operations amongst others.

According to Mr. Théo Tournebize, the new business plan is very realistic in pushing forth the mission of SBC and if well followed, production would increase significantly.

“This new plan has been drawn taking into consideration field realities and the production and storages capacity of SBC Ltd. If the mills operate in full capacity and more marketing avenues exploited, then I believe, the production season for the next year would be a better one”, the Man and Nature Technical Adviser attested.

The SBC Coordinator, Mr. Njom Ignatius, on his part said if the new plan is well implemented, the 2016/17 production season will be great given that the SBC is continuously engaged in both production and market identification.

“SBC has just acquired a more than 10 ton capacity warehouse in Dschang, Western Cameroon. This is very strategic as it is closer to neighbouring city, more storage spaces and easy transportation to markets” he explained.

The SBC boss added that any increase in production means increase in profit and consequently more finances, which will be redeployed for livelihood and community development.

With the new plan in action, it is expected that 112,000 liters of palm oil will be produced in 2016/2017 production season opposed to 18,160 liters produced in 2015/2016. This means there will be a 60% increase in overall production.

This project is carried out with main funding from (AFD/Man and Nature, Transpetrol Foundation).

29 November 2016

More Farmers In Western Cameroon Benefit From Agroforestry Systems

Posted in News, Views 579

More Farmers In Western Cameroon Benefit From Agroforestry Systems

Statistics gathered from Balafotio Village in the Western Region of Cameroon indicates that 80% of farmers trained on agroforestry systems in 2013 have begun experiencing increase in farm yields.

After paying evaluation visit to this area, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Agroforestry Programme Coordinator for Littoral and West Regions, Chamjou Junie observed that 42 of the 50 farmers who planted acacia, luceana and caliandra seedlings in their farms using alley cropping and life fencing techniques have better outputs than their hesitant counterparts.

One of the farmers who adopted this farming system, Mr. Pierre Douanla, says the difference in agricultural productivity since the adoption of the agricultural technique is very clear.

“I have realized that the same piece of land that gave me two bags of beans before the introduction of this system gives me up to 12 bags today” Mr. Douanla testified.

Mr. Pierre Douanla, just like the 41 other farmers, says the increase in agricultural productivity has improved on his household income as no money is spent on buying chemical fertilizer like before.

He promised incorporating other agricultural aspects into his farm; “I intend to introduce apiculture into this farmland so I can benefit in all aspects from this system” the farmer added.

Mean while, new groups of farmers to be trained on farm optimization and agricultural value chain in 2017 have been constituted.

The agroforestry farming system introduced in Balafotio in 2013, was an initiative of ERuDeF with the support of Trees for the Future-USA aimed at improving soil fertility and shunning the use of chemical fertilizers, which are not environmentally friendly.

By Chamdjou Junie Brodelle

29 November 2016

Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative Legalisation Imminent!

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Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative Legalisation Imminent!

A file including necessary documents for the legalization of the Alou-Tofala Cassava Farmers’ Cooperative (ATCaFCoS) has been constituted and will be deposited at the Lebialem Divisional Delegation of Agriculture and Rural Development for onward transmission to Regional Delegation of South West for final registration in the days ahead.

This is the outcome of a constituent General Assembly organized recently at Fossungu, in Alou Sub Division, Southwest Cameroon by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), involving all 24 founding members.

Aimed at following up the legalization of ATCaFCos, shares were advertised at fcfa 10000 per share to generate initial capital for the Cooperation with all 24 founding members buying at least a share. Meanwhile, the articles of association were reviewed and adopted pending the deposition of the initial capital receipt at the bank so as to compile the final documents.

At the end of the GA, ERuDeF’s Junior Economist, Mr. Njang Quddus, assured cooperative members that the cooperative will go operational in no distant time, and the local communities will benefit from all its services.

This news was greeted with joy by the founding members.

“I am very happy with ERuDeF’s efforts in facilitating the creation of our Cooperative. We are very happy to know that our long awaited cooperative will soon open its doors” ATCaFCoS President, Mr Ngunyi Peter said promising to ensure the effective management of the cooperative when it eventually goes operational.

The meeting brought together ERuDeF and MINADER representative, 24 founding members of the cooperative and the Chief of Section in charge of Cooperative in Lebialem Division.

The creation of cooperative enterprises is in line with ERuDeF’s 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.

By Njang Quddus

29 November 2016

Over 400 Trees Planted To Protect Fragile Lebialem Highlands

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Over 400 Trees Planted To Protect Fragile Lebialem Highlands

Over 400 seedlings of agroforestry tree species have been planted in schools, farms and around water catchments in communities within the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, South West Cameroon to protect the already depleting landscape, increase soil fertility, mitigate the effects of climate change as well as protect major water sources in the area.

The tree species, including Acacia and Leucaena, were planted early November 2016 by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and a visiting Irish volunteer, Tony Malone.

During the tree planting exercise, the volunteer schooled students on the importance of the tree planting exercise.

“It is a privilege for you to plant trees at this age. This is something I missed as a student. This exercise is very significant because in no distant time, it would be a pride for you (students) to see that the trees you are setting up today are actually protecting your environment from natural disasters” the volunteer said.

Mr. Malone urged the students to ensure the effective management of the trees planted.

“It does not only suffice to plant trees; you must take proper care of them by pegging them and watering them even twice a week especially during dry season until they are matured to survive on their own” he advised.

ERuDeF’s Lebialem Forestry Coordinator, Mr. Elong Smith, on his part, noted that the trees planted will help improve on the soil fertility and increase farm yields of community members.

Mr Elong expressed admiration for Tony’s passion for environmental protection as demonstrated through his active involvement in the tree planting exercise.

“I am impressed with Mr. Malone’s attitude towards this exercise. He faced the ordeals of our hilly and dusty roads and has planted trees whose impacts will be felt in no distant time”, Mr Elong said.

This tree planting exercise was carried out with financial support from Trees for the Future, USA.

By Ntungwa Smith

29 November 2016

‘Ecological Restoration Needed At Mount Bamboutos’

Posted in News, Views 537

‘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

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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

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 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.

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