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27 August 2016

Fruit Tree Value Chain Project Underway In Lewoh

Posted in News, Views 545

Fruit Tree Value Chain Project Underway In Lewoh

A fruit tree value chain project has been initiated in the Lewoh Community in Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon.

This project, expected to add value to fruits produced in this part of the country, was initiated recently by Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

During the project initiation meeting which took place at Government Technical High School Lewoh, the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, encouraged members of the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society (LeWoCoS) to nurse over 2000 to 3000 seedlings of fruit trees.

“The first stage of this project is to nurse the fruit trees. After the nursing, ERuDeF would provide the necessary expertise for their cultivation” Mr. Nkembi said.

The ERuDeF CEO however promised donating some 3 machines that will aid in the transformation of fruits cultivated in the area.

“Pear for example can be transformed to oil and the list goes on. A company or an institution would also be set up to market the products” he explained.

The project was greeted with lots of joy by members of the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society.

“This project would bring us some money and I am happy ERuDeF is improving on our livelihoods,” one of the women overtly expressed.

The Women Cooperative members gave their preferences of fruit trees to be cultivated for the project. They were Plum, Avocado, Orange and Apple fruit trees.

The value added chain project is expected to create more sources of employment as well as increase the income of the farmers when it fully goes operational.

The project initiation meeting was also used by the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society members as an avenue to express some problems plaguing the Cooperative. The problems include, but not limited to discriminatory management of donations, mismanagement of funds, unavailability of membership cards and intra conflicts in the Cooperative.

Reacting to these concerns, the President/CEO of ERuDeF encouraged members not to focus on their failures but use these failures to make positive progress. He assured them that membership cards would be made available in no distant time for all those who have duly registered. Mr. Nkembi called on those indebted to the Cooperative to promptly pay their debts so as to contribute towards ensuring the smooth functioning of the Cooperative.

By Quddus Njang

27 August 2016

3500 Prunus Seedlings Due Planting In Kupe

Posted in News, Views 491

3500 Prunus Seedlings Due Planting In Kupe

Over 3500 seeds of Prunus africana are ready for planting in Kupe Muaneguba Division of the Southwest Region of Cameroon. Farmers are expected to plant these seedlings to promote diversification in their farms and improve on their livelihood

Prunus africana were donated to the community by ERuDeF because of the medicinal importance of the tree

ERuDeF Field Technician for Kupe, Mr. Somelong Simon, said 5000 seeds of Prunus africana were nursed but only 3500 have survived.

Farmers on their part are ready to start planting. “I have to start the planting exercise immediately. Prunus africana will not only help us in treating malaria, it will also generate income for our basic needs.” Said Mr Enogene, President of Mbat young farmers,

ERuDeF Agroforestry Technician thanked the farmers for their collaboration and gave some guidelines on how they will carry out the transplanting exercise.

By Emmanuel Ngome

27 August 2016

Snare Wires, ‘Threatening’ Wildlife Species In Tofala

Posted in News, Views 409

Chimp with Amputated Arm Captured on Camera

Snare wires are posing a serious threat to wildlife species in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

Videos downloaded recently from Camera traps planted in the Sanctuary to monitor wildlife species portray a number of wildlife species with injuries inflicted by wires planted in the park by adjacent communities.

The snare wire used in hunting in this area is a near-perfect killing machine; simple, cheap, lightweight, easy to make, easy to set up and almost impossible to escape! The typical snare used in the Tofala area is a long wire with a loop formed by a slip knot. The highly tensed loop is fastened to a flexible tree. The loop is left opened and placed in the path of animals.

This common hunting practice has caused severe impacts on the wildlife species of the area. The non-selectivity and frequent incidents of severe wounding of animals has made most wildlife species in the area even more threatened.

According to the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Director of Conservation, Allen Tabi, so long as local people are hungry and poor, snaring will continue to prevail and inflict severe injuries to and cause the death of curious young chimps, monkeys, civets and other wildlife species indiscriminately.

Meanwhile, the wires in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary seen in the camera trap videos, were identified and destroyed by local eco-guards, volunteers and field staff.

Tofala Hill wildlife Sanctuary of the Lebialem Division, Southwest Region of Cameroon is a rich biodiversity hotspot with the wildlife species; Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla delhi), the most endangered subspecies of the African chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes ellioti) and several species of monkeys. These species are possible victims of snares wire, if steps are not taken to identify and destroy all the wires in the Sanctuary.

By Allen Tabi

27 August 2016

20 Bags of Improved Maize Seeds Donated to LeWoCoS

Posted in News, Views 491

Bags of Maize Donated to Cooperative Members

Some 20 bags of improved maize seeds have been handed over to members of the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society (LeWoCoS) to boost maize production as a way of solving the problem of food insecurity and improving on the livelihood of farmers in the Lewoh community.

These improved maize seeds were donated recently in Lewoh by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with support from the Southwest Regional Delegation of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER).

The type of maize seeds donated according to ERuDeF Agroforestry Coordinator in Lebialem, Elong Smith, is a special variety that produces high yields within a short period of time.

“The improved maize seeds have high yielding capacity and are ripe for harvesting within a period of 3 months depending on the soil type” he said.

Speaking during the seed donation ceremony, ERuDeF’s President/CEO, Louis Nkembi, cautioned the women cooperative members not to eat the maize, but to plant them immediately.

“These seeds are not to be eaten because they have applied preservative chemicals in order to boost their yields. The seeds are for planting. Take only the quantity that can be planted for this year. If you keep for next year, the maize will not do well because of the chemical applied on them,” Louis Nkembi advised.

The Cooperative members were each asked to take the donated maize seeds to their respective zones for proper distribution. These zones include, zone 1: Nzenata and Efong, zone 2: Njieh, Tamo and Mbin, zone 3: Ngong, Nchenellah, Ntenchou and Atoh, zone 4: Anyah and Lap and zone 5: Menky, Afor, Ndung, Nwehbiseh and Upper Lewoh.

The Cooperative Society members thanked ERuDeF and MINADER for the gesture, promising to work as a team for the development of their community.

The seed donation ceremony also served as an avenue to identify the problems of LeWoCoS so as to propose solutions that would improve on the livelihood of its members.

By Ntungwa Elong

27 August 2016

Silverback Company Joins Network for NTFPs Valorization In Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 469

Cross Section of NGOs Representatives During the Meeting

The Silver Back Company (SBC) Ltd of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has joined the Platform of NGOs involve in the valorization of Non Timber Forestry Products (NTFPs) in Cameroon. These NTFPs include Mondia whitei plant, Echinops giganteus roots, Palm oil, Kernel oil, Honey wax, Propolis, Njangsang oil, Moabi oil, Mbalaka oil, Allanblackia butter, Karite butter, Coprah oil, Moringa oil, Baobab oil, Souchette oil amongst others. The company joined the platform during a two day workshop organised in Yaounde recently to train some Cameroonian NGOs involve in the sustainable extraction and valorization of NTFPs. Organised by French NGO ‘le Groupe ECOCERT, the Silverback Company was to work with Bio Natural Cameroon (BIONATCAM) in marketing NTFPs from cooperatives working with NGOs within the platform. Meanwhile, BIONATCAM was called upon to ensure that all NTFPs from the different cooperatives are certified. A number of guiding principles were put in place by the platform for product certification. “The products must be bio organic and naturally good for consumption; be fair trade ensuring accountability, equitability, transparency, good relationship, more revenue, solidarity and sustainable management of the environment. Lastly, there must be fair wild (environmental protection, conservation incentives, certification of community forest etc)” the NGOs agreed. The raison d’être behind the certification is to increase farmers’ income, maintain products originality, ensure environmental protection and quality control to increase market share and market size. Meanwhile, plans are underway to form a national network for certified NTFPs, to build the capacity of stakeholders and to restructure producers’ networks through community enterprises and cooperative management. 

By Ignatius NJOM

24 August 2016

Managing Biodiversity Population Through Creation of Conservation in Eastern Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 387

Managing Biodiversity Population Through Creation of Conservation in Eastern Cameroon

In Cameroon, natural resource allocation is largely the domain of only a few government institutions. Access to comprehensive information on land use allocation across sectors can facilitate improved coordination and analysis of how evenly resource rights are being distributed. Public knowledge of who has the rights to access which natural resources and according to what guidelines increases the degree to which all actors are held accountable (WRI, 2014).

Human pressure on forests is increasingly coming from areas outside of the traditional forest sector. Rising global commodity prices have led to an increased focus on expanding mineral extraction and industrial agricultural plantations. Rapidly developing urban areas need more land to meet their needs. Much of this expansion has, and will, come at the expense of historically forested land (WRI, 2014).

Protected areas in the East and South Regions of Cameroon are very rich in biodiversity. These protected areas harbours critical plants and animals species of global importance. In fact the South-East of Cameroon is one of the hotspots of biodiversity richness in the world. There are constant anthropogenic threats to species habitat and distribution. Habitat fragmentation and increased forest destruction and deterioration have resulted in species isolation. With increasing threats to these resources resulting from poaching and overhunting; lumbering, shifting cultivation and large forest clearance for the establishment of huge agro-industrial plantations, it is likely that these resources would be on a nose-dive decline if nothing is done.

Genetic connectivity among species will be of utmost importance if all the corridors linking these protected areas are securely protected. This will allow for genetic connectivity, easy migration of species and their  long term survival.

The East Region of Cameroon habours the Deng Deng National Park, with several forest blocks, which include: Communal Forest of Belabo, and a large logging concession, Unité Foret d’Amenagement ( UFA) 10065, Unité Technique d”Operations (UTOs) among others. From the Deng Deng National Park to Dja Faunal Reserve, there are five communal forests linking both National parks. These communal forests include Doume, Doumaintang, Angossas, Messamena and Mindourou.

These areas (Dja and Deng Deng) harbour endangered and critically endangered wildlife species which include the Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ), the forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), the Drill ( Mandrillus leucophaeus), the Buffalo (Syncerus nanus), Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), Leopard (Panthera pardus)etc and a lot of endangered endemic birds (Francolin sp), reptiles,  and many amphibians species.

It is based on this that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) wants to secure the Eastern  corridors of  Cameroon.

 Securing the Survival of Wildlife species through Protection of corridors of the Eastern Conservation Complex will ensure genetic connectivity (gene flow) and migratory patterns of wildlife species in the Conservation Complex.

The main objective of this project is to ensure genetic connectivity of wildlife species between Protected Areas (P As) through the management of National Parks and Communal Forests in the East and South Regions of Cameroon.

The genetic linking of the Deng Deng National Park biological populations to those of the Dja Biosphere Reserve is considered very critical at this time when extractive industries are on the rapid rise in the East Region of Cameroon. This project will also involve the management of the community and council forests found along this corridor.

To implement this project, over  US$800,000 will be require  for the next 3 years. US$4,200 will sponsor the identification, determination and migration patterns of wildlife population of one of the five  communal forest corridors linking the Deng Deng National Park and the Dja Reserve. Some US$2,600 will promote alternatives Income Generating Activities (IGA) to unsustainable natural resource use. Also, some US$3,000 will be used to Increase engagement with traditional authorities, elites, NGOs and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

The project that will span for three years, will be carryout by a team of experts from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with long years of experience in conservation, Agronomy, Biomonitoring, and forest management. More information can be got on www.erudef.org

24 August 2016

Understanding Population Status of Gorilla and Chimpanzees in Newly Created Tofala and Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary in South-West Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 454

Understanding Population Status of Gorilla and Chimpanzees in Newly Created Tofala and Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife sanctuary in South-West Cameroon

The Lebialem Highland Conservation Complex in the South West of Cameroon is a biodiversity hotspot in Africa.  It is host to a number of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) endangered (EN) and critically endangered (CR) species, including the Cross River Gorilla, the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee, and lots of other IUCN red listed mammals, amphibians, birds and trees species. In a strive to protect these species ERuDeF facilitated the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and are currently processing the creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary which hosts the dwindling African elephants.

In order to document the state of the protected wildlife species in these sanctuaries there is the great need for constant monitoring and data collection as they are continuously  being threatened with anthropogenic activities. The Biodiversity and Conservation Research Group of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies, with more than 5 years of experience in wildlife monitoring in these sanctuaries, are limited in reporting the accurate state of the animals in these areas due to lack of sufficient monitoring equipment. With just 8 camera traps and no camping equipment, the protected species cannot be effectively monitored in over 61,750 acres of protected area.

With one camera trap per 20 acres of protected area, proper camping equipment and accessories to support the monitoring team in the field, accurate data would be collected to better understand the population trend and the well-being of the protected species. The data collected would serve both locally and internationally as a reliable tool and contribute to the understanding of global population trend of wildlife. The ERuDeF Institute appeals for financial support from individuals and organisations around the world with the passion to protect nature and conserve biodiversity.

There exist 20 poorly constructed camp-sheds in the protected areas. With US$800 a moderate camp-shed can be constructed with wood and US$500 would buy 1 camera traps for each 20 acre. Ten field tents and 10 GPS units are essential needs for data collection and camping with unit costs of US$500 and US$700 respectively. Ten laptop computers at unit cost of US$700 are essential data entry tools for the biomonitors.

With a support of US$1,564,350, the monitoring potential of the team would be upgraded and accurate data would be collected on real time situation of the protected species which will foster conservation activities for the next 6 years.  Publishing the data collected on the actual state of the protected wildlife species in these Sanctuaries will attract volunteers and tourist all over the world. Thus, more people will visit these protected area thereby promoting the ecotourism industry in Cameroon and the economic situation of the local communities around these protected areas who will benefit through trading with the visitors.

More about our activities can be found on www.erudef.org www.erudefinstitute.org and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . With so many years of experience in wildlife monitoring, any support to this team will be contributing to the protection of the world’s critically endangered species, thus, reducing the risk of extinction.

24 August 2016

Mainstreaming Capacity Building for Livelihood into Agro-biodiversity Management in the South West, North West, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 925

Mainstreaming Capacity Building for Livelihood into Agro-biodiversity Management in the South West, North West, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon

The agricultural sector in Cameroon occupies an important place in her economy. It employs 70% of active population and contributes to 30% of gross domestic product (Momo 2011).Today, at least 55% of peasant farmers live in the rural community by practicing subsistence agriculture (MINADER, 2008). They use archaic tools; destroy soil substrate by abusively using chemical products, wrong soil tillage, and faster stubble burning (Önder, Ceyhan, & Kahraman, 2011) . According to Sikod 1985, farmers have little knowledge on soil degradation, conservation, biodiversity and crop rotation process. The major causes of biodiversity loss are fragmentation, degradation and habitat loss, the over exploitation of natural resources, air and water pollution, traditional slash and burn agriculture, introduction of non-native species and climate change (Slingenberg et al., 2009). Sustainable use of biodiversity is an important tool for facilitating conservation by reconciling it with the needs and expectation of poor farmers (Williamson cited by IUCN, 2002).

In the West, Littoral, Southwest and Northwest Regions of Cameroon, the problem of food insecurity is a major course for concern. According to MINADER 2008, the rate of food production does not match with the population growth rate. At least 40% of Cameroonians live below the poverty margin, hence, they are unable to afford the basic necessities (nutrition, health, education and accommodation).

To solve these problems, this project seeks to improve on  food security and income of resource poor farmers while ensuring sustainable environmental protection. This will be done by creating protective and healthy farm through agro-forestry and agriculture development in Cameroon.

5000 Farmers in 75 communities will increase their yield on crop production by 200%.

The Farmers’ productivity will increase from 0.5 to 2 tons per hectare.

Increase productivity of rural landscape.

 

 

For this to be realised, the following earmarked activities will be carried out:

Build capacity for Farmers on Agroforestry technique: Farmers yield will increase on crop production by 200%, thus, solving the problem of food insecurity and improving on the nutrition.

Support farmers to alleviate poverty through value added chain and farm optimization techniques: Farmers will be able to increase on their agricultural productivity from 0.5 tons of crops per hectare to 2 tons per hectare. More job opportunities will be created for especially youths and women. Non-timber forests products (NTFP) are characterised by their non-perishable nature. Therefore, farmers can sell the surpluses to manage the lean season. During the lean season, the unit cost of NTFPs can vary from US$20/kg up to US$24/kg.

 

Ensure the sustainable management of farmland: farmers will increase productivity of rural landscape by establishing a responsible agricultural system.

In conclusion, the project  "Mainstreaming capacity building for livelihood into agro-biodiversity management"  will go a long way to change the lives of poor farmers by improving on their economic well-being through the value added chain development and farm optimization model. This project can also be of benefit to our ecosystem through tree planting into farms and water catchment.

In other to realise this project, some US$79 will be needed to sponsor one poor resource farmer to plant 200 trees in his/her farm per year. Five thousand farmers in Seventy Five Communities are engaged in this project. Therefore, a total of US$391,928 will be needed to carryout this activities in the next 5 years

To achieve these, a team of agroforestry technicians from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) who have been working in this location for the past 10 years will implement the project. For more information, visit www.erudef.org

27 July 2016

Community Forests in the South West Benefit From DRYAD Project

Posted in News, Views 640

Community Forests in the South West Benefit From DRYAD Project

Some community forests in 4 Divisions of the Southwest Region have been selected for the DRYAD Project. DRYAD is a funding mechanism that channels public investment into Community Forestry Enterprises (CFEs) in developing countries.

Launching the project recently at the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), Buea, the Delegate, Mr Dipanda Issolla François, said the sustainable management of community forests by the communities themselves is a very important strategy.

According to him, a community that fully masters her forests can better manage them with the proceeds ploughed back for the development of the community.

The Delegate lauded Implementing Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), for her timely efforts in conserving biodiversity through sustainable management programmes. He said these efforts have gone a long way to solve many environmental problems in the Southwest Region.

The launching ceremony grouped MINFOF officials from Fako, Kupe-Muanengumba, Manyu and Ndian Divisons; forestry experts and staff of ERuDeF.

The Director of Forestry at ERuDeF, Blessing Limbi Tata, revealed that community forestry is a vital tool for decentralisation. She added that, it is an efficient strategy to achieving sustainable resource management and poverty alleviation.

The ERuDeF Forestry boss said the project will meet the needs of the communities while conserving the biodiversity of the area.

“ERuDeF will protect over 25000ha of forests, ensure long term conservation of wildlife/habitats, create employment for at least 1000 youths, build the capacities of at least 5000 community members, and build a near-real-time system to monitor deforestation and illegal logging” Madam Limbi expounded.

The selected community forest for the first phase of the Dryad Project include: Bakingili, Woteva, and the Bimbia –Bonadikombo in Fako Division; NlORMAC, REPA CIG, MBACOF, Ndissi-Ekep, and the NKONTEH in Kupe Muanenguba; Christain Philantropic/ Itali, and the Mosongisele in Ndian Division, Tinto and Akwen in Manyu Division.

According to the DRYAD Project Coordinator, Sheron Endah, these communities were selected based on the fact that they have signed management conventions.

Community forest management is a concept in forestry where the local community plays a significant role in forest management and land use decision. The sustainable management of forests found in a community is a major tool used by environment stakeholders in conserving the forest hence, preventing illegal and unstainable forest activities.

A financial, economic and environmental cost-benefit analysis of two active community forests carried out in Cameroon by (Beauchamp & Ingram in 2011) revealed that community forests are economically and environmentally profitable.

The project expected to run for five years, is sponsored by the UK Department for International Development with the TMP Systems and the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) as partners.

 

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27 July 2016

National Focal Point Lauds ERuDeF’s Implementation of ABS Initiative

Posted in News, Views 601

National Focal Point Lauds ERuDeF’s Implementation of ABS Initiative

Cameroon Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) National Focal Point at the Ministry of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Lemnyuy William, has hailed the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s efforts in the implementation of pilot ABS projects in Cameroon.

He made this declaration during an ERuDeF- ABS Technical Meeting, July 06, 2016, at the ERuDeF Head Office in Buea.

Aimed at assessing ERuDeF’s progress in ABS implementation since 2012, Lemnyuy said ERuDeF’s achievements have greatly contributed to Cameroon’s success in implementing the Nagoya Protocol on ABS.

“Thanks to ERuDeF’s success in co-financing the bottom-up approach to ABS in her project with UNDP-GEF Small Grant Project, Cameroon now enjoys international recognition” he said.

On her part, the ABS Initiative Coordinator at ERuDeF, Kenmene Lea Alida, disclosed that ERuDeF has achieved a lot since the introduction of the ABS initiative.

“Since ERuDeF’s involvement in the ABS Initiative, 2 pilot projects have emerged; the valorisation of the ABS Echinops giganteus Project in Mount Bamboutos, which is at its final stage, and the launching of the ABS Mondia whitei project in Lewoh-Alou Subdivision, Southwest Cameroon” the Project Coordinator expounded.

These successes according to the CEO/President of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, have not been without challenges. “Since the initiation of the ABS initiative in 2012, tribal differences and lack of knowledge from communities have hindered the implementation of some projects. Local authorities sometimes denied ERuDeF access to project sites because they thought the Organisation was enriching itself at the expense of the local communities” Mr. Nkembi added.

Reacting to this, the Regional Delegate of MINEDEP, Set Ekwadi Songue, encouraged ERuDeF to keep pushing ahead with her projects and not to back off. He reassured government’s support to the organisation.

“When you face all these challenges, come back to the government”, the Regional Delagate recommended.

Presenting the ERuDeF ABS Strategy, Ms Kenmene, explained that the global objective of the project is to complement and re-enforce the National ABS Strategy in Cameroun through research, training, and promotion of value chains and traditional knowledge of genetic resources.

She said the project seeks to build local and institutional capacity as well as create awareness on ABS at all levels. This according to her will be carried out through screening and sensitization campaigns on biodiversity and related traditional knowledge in and around protected area and biodiversity hotspots, while promoting value chains of selected genetic resources identified at national and international markets.

Meanwhile participants during the meeting unanimously agreed that there was need to make the initiative more visible. The Divisional Delegate of MINEPED, Kanyimi Ihimbru, proposed research done on the initiative be published on international journals to give it international visibility.

For national visibility, Louis Nkembi suggested workshops be organized to engage local constituencies.

ERuDeF CEO promised the organization was putting in place different measures to control and ensure single use of ABS species. He added that the organization was working to produce a data base of all ABS species and ERuDeF will spear head the need for the creation of national protocols of the ABS Initiative.

Meanwhile, the Focal Point called on ERuDeF to collaborate with the government in carrying out a survey on Non Timber Forest Products exportation and research on the traditional use of all ABS species.

By Queen Achingale

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