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27 July 2016

Banfeko Chief Integrates Agroforestry System Into Aquaculture

Posted in News, Views 567

Banfeko Chief Integrates Agroforestry System Into Aquaculture

The Traditional Ruler of Banfeko Village in the Haut-kam Division, Chief Wotcheu Guy, has incorporated the Agroforestry System into his fish farms in the Village.

This was disclosed during a Tree Transplanting Workshop organized recently by Trees Cameroon in this Division.

Chief Wotcheu said he has planted over 2000 acacia around his fish pond, which he will eventually use to feed the fish and other animals in his compound. The Traditional Ruler said the trees will also serve as a hedge (life fence) against strayed animals.

He said other species like Luceana have been planted around his compound to fight soil erosion and inundation. The Chief was particularly grateful to Trees Cameroon for introducing the project in his community

” I give a big thank to you for bringing the project to this area. I have learned a lot through your training programmes. For instance, I have knowledge of different farming systems like alley copping, life fence, contour faming and farm optimization, which would have forever remained a dream if you did not come to our area. All these will help me generate income for my family” Chief Wotcheu added.

Trees Cameroon Programme Coordinator for Littoral and West, Junie Chamdjou, appreciated the Chief’s initiative. She said more training programmes will be conceived for the communities. As far as tree planting in Littoral and West is concerned, the Project Coordinator indicated that over 40700 seedlings of Acacia and Lucean have been transplanted into 13 farms with more to be planted in the weeks ahead.

27 July 2016

Over 3000 Trees To Be Planted At Bomboko

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Over 3000 Trees To Be Planted At Bomboko

Plans are underway to plant over 3000 seedlings of threatened trees species at the Bomoko Cluster of the Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP) by The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). The tree species include Zebrawood (Microberlinia bisulcata) Azobe ( Prunus africana) and Mahogany (Entandrophragma angolensis),

This revelation was made during a meeting, which took place at the conference room of the Park Service.

Aimed at establishing a plan for tree planting at the Bomboko cluster of the Park, the Conservator, Bessong Simon, expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partner, Fauna and Flora International (FFI) for their enormous supports to the management of MCNP.

“I am grateful for the support ERuDeF and FFI have offered to the management of the park and its peripheral zones. I am particularly grateful for your efforts in planting threatened trees at the borders of the park and the surrounding community forests” the Park Conservator stated.

For ERuDeF to successfully carry out this activity, Mr. Besong recommended that feasibility studies be carried out before planting begins.

“For these trees to be properly planted, it is important to set aside some days to coordinate boundary opening activity in the adjacent communities. The boundaries should be opened 2km apart to facilitate monitoring and avoid fire incidences in the future. Without that, efforts will have been wasted” he advised.

The Conservator was particularly happy with the inclusion of the Pygeum tree at the Buea cluster during the last planting exercise. This is because of its economic benefits to the Park and the adjacent communities. He instructed that the trees be planted 1.5m apart so a hedge could be established in the future. He therefore solicited for financial support for the sustainable management of the trees planted.

The meeting was attended by the Project Coordinator, the Conservator, Bessong Simon and the Head of Monitoring and Research Unit at MCNP, Mbeng Henderson.

By Adeline Tengem

27 July 2016

ERuDeF Departmental Meeting: CEO Hails Directors

Posted in News, Views 562

ERuDeF Departmental Meeting: CEO Hails Directors

Directors of different departments of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have been encouraged to keep up their enormous efforts in contributing to the overall success of the organization. The call was made by ERuDeF President/CEO Louis Nkembi, at the end a two day meeting at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non- Profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute), July12 to 13, 2016.

The meeting was aimed at reviewing the activities of last semester of each department of the organisation and making projections for the future. Each Head of Department presented a semester reports containing a review of last semester and a preview for the next five years.

According to the CEO, ERuDeF is undergoing real transformation in meeting with international standards. While thanking the directors for their shared efforts this far, he encouraged each Departmental Head to coordinate activities at their respective departments so collectively greater achievements will be made.

Louis Nkembi thanked the directors for contributing towards the success of the organization. He told them since the Organization is undergoing transformation, polices will keep changing. He explained that the changes were imperative to upscale the organization to expected heights.

“These changes are not to punish staff but to make the NGO more effective, accountable, efficient and visible to all” Mr. Nkembi added.

During the meeting, each Departmental Head took turns to present work covered for the last six months. They focused on the objectives of the programmes, activities earmarked and successes recorded.

“Over 8million seeds of agroforestry and medicinal species have been distributed. 80 bread fruit seedlings have been distributed in Meme. In Fako, 120 sachets of vegetable seeds were distributed to farmers” Payong Tionou Marquise Prudence, Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development (DAgfAD), stated.

The presentations indicated that ERuDeF is steadily breaking grounds in its vision of protecting the environment, conserving biodiversity and bringing about sustainable development to local communities.

However, some of the activities envisaged at the beginning of the year were not achieved because of challenges in the field like poor climatic conditions and little or no collaboration from some farmers amongst many others

Reacting to the challenges, the CEO insisted that realistic solutions be suggested to solve the problems and forge ahead. He called on directors to stay on top of challenges.

“The Organization has key initiatives to push through so it is time to re-strategize to move forward. It is challenging yet possible. Periods of tribulations do not mean give up but rather focus attention and make an everlasting construction. Every experience gives us an opportunity to learn and move forward,” Louis Nkembi said.

On his part, the Senior Director of Operations, Charles Tangie emphasized the importance of a collaborative work force to build a better ERuDeF, which will continuously play the role of a leading conservation NGO.

“The tempo is high and much is needed to reach that standard. We all are a chain; one missing link can be disastrous”, Charles Tangie said.

The Director of Wildlife, Allen Enokenwa Tabi on his part underscored the need for collaboration amongst staff.

“Working in isolation will slow the realization of the organisation’s mission. All must work collaboratively” he stressed.

At the end of the meeting, the Louis Nkembi said the organization is a performance-based NGO and so there is the need for staff to top-up their degrees/qualifications.

The ERuDeF Boss opined that rising to the top and appearing in the spotlight entails a lot hence, refining skills and methods is very essential.

By Queen Achingale

27 July 2016

Southwest Farmers See Gains in Agricultural Value Chain

Posted in News, Views 477

Southwest Farmers See Gains in Agricultural Value Chain

Some farmers of Meme, Fako and Kupe Muanenguba Divisions of the Southwest Region have said modern agricultural value chains, introduced to them early this year by Trees Cameroon is better than traditional agriculture.

They testified recently during a routine monitoring and sensitization campaign to their various farming groups by the Southwest Trees Cameroon Programme Coordinator Ngome Ebang

According to one of the farmers representing a farming group in Kupe Muanenguba, Sumelong Mathias, adopting the system of modern agricultural value chains has greatly improved his economic situation.

“It is a source of employment to many offering better pay and working conditions than our traditional agriculture system” he added.

Another farmer at Mile 14, Fako Division, Mr. Ayuk Rudolf, said the value chain will make a great meaning in their agricultural production.

“With my cassava production, I can produce ‘garri’, ‘water fufu’, and starch for good texture of clothes, rather than just selling the cassava tuber” Mr. Ayuk said.

In Meme division, a seasoned farmer in Ngolobolo village, Etoka Vincent, has also adopted the value chain to cocoa production.

“I use cocoa grains to produce cocoa oil, which is more valuable than just the cocoa beans. I also produce local chocolate for my family, hence, cutting cost for purchasing beverages.” Mr. Etoka said.

This farmer has also begun benefiting from the farm optimization model of Trees Cameroon.

“I planted more than 2000 seedlings of Leucaena and Acacia in my cocoa farm early this year following the training we received from Trees Cameroon on farm optimisation. The changes are so glaring that by 2018, my cocoa yield would have increased over 3 times the present production.”

The monitoring and sensitization meeting according to Project Coordinator, Mr. Ngome Ebang, was aimed at assessing what farmers have been doing since the start of the year and enlightening them on alternative farming techniques which are economically sustainable and respect environmental norms.

“Farmers produce a lot but much of their products are enjoyed by a second party. Introducing this new approach, these farmers will benefit more through the different values added to the chain of their produce,” Mr. Ngome said. He added that this system will also go a long way to fight against climate change.

The farmers were also drilled on the farm optimization model, where they can arrange their farms based on the crops that are of high economic value. They also learned how to transplant agroforestry trees using the alley croping and the life fencing methods.

By Emmanuel Ebang

27 July 2016

Batcham Farmers Adopt New Strategies Of Regenerating Agroforestry Tree Species

Posted in News, Views 404

Batcham Farmers Adopt New Strategies Of Regenerating Agroforestry Tree Species

Famers in Batcham village of the Bamboutos Division have adopted a new measure of regenerating agrofrestry tree species like Acacia and Luceana in their farms other than nursing and transplanting.

This initiative involves cutting stems of some mature Luceana and Acacia trees to about 5 to 10 Centimeter and planting them in their farms.

The adoption of this species during this year’s planting season, according to most farming groups, was due to limited supply of the agroforestry seedlings relative to their farm sizes. The farmers have also come to understand the importance of these species to livestock and in increasing soil fertility.

“When Trees Cameroon Technician told us about the benefits of these trees a few years ago, we saw it as a joke but today, the difference is clear. They have not only improved our soil fertility but have also served as natural pesticides in the soil and food for our goats and pigs” the farmers confessed.

Trees Cameroon Coordinator for Littoral and West was very motivated by the initiatives taken by the farmers. She confirmed that there was shortage in the supply of agroforestry species in her regions of operation.

“The target number of trees that we were supposed to plant with the farmers this year was 3.5 millions. West and Littoral Regions had just about 1 million trees, which was indeed insufficient for the 17 farming groups and their members in these two regions” Trees Cameroon Coordinated attested.

She disclosed that Trees Cameroon, beside the distribution of the agroforestry tree species, has also engaged the farmers in the establishment of forest gardens using grafted fruit trees and medicinal plants.

By Chamdjou Junie

27 July 2016

Over 500 Trees Planted at GNPS Kongamah-Mmouckmbie Border

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Over 500 Trees Planted at GNPS Kongamah-Mmouckmbie Border

Over 500 Agro-forestry seedlings have been transplanted in Government Nursery and Primary School (GNPS) Kongamah-Mmouckmbie in the Lebialem Division. The trees species include Acacia angustissima, and Leucaena leucocephala. This exercise was carried out recently under the supervision of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

300 seedlings were planted at the boundaries of the school to avoid any trespassing on the school property especially during vacation periods. Meanwhile 200 others were planted on the school campus to serve as shades.

These trees have both short and long term benefits to the school and the community.

“There are lots of environmental benefits from these; they improve water quality and quantity, and moderate atmospheric conditions” said Fotso Jean, ERuDeF Agroforestry Technician for Lebialem.

Mr. Fotso added that these species would help increase soil fertility in school farms. He encouraged pupils and staff to spend time around trees and nature. This according to him, will make them healthier and improve on their academic performances

The Department of Agro-forestry and Agricultural Development in ERuDeF in collaboration with Trees for the Future, work annually with communities, and schools in the Lebialem Division building their capacity on Agroforestry techniques.

 By Ntungwa Smith Elong

27 July 2016

Plans Underway To Produce Neem Oil In NW Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 497

Plans Underway To Produce Neem Oil In NW Cameroon

Trees Cameroon Technician for Boyo Division, North West Cameroon, Johnson Chobwain, says he is planning to engage in the production and marketing of Neem oil in Cameroon. Neem oil is produced from the seeds of the neem plant and has been used for thousands of years in pest control, and the production of cosmetics like soap, shampoo, balms, creams and toothpaste. The oil is also used as an insect repellant and medicine.

In an interview with him recently, Mr. Chobwain disclosed that he has planted 100 neem seedlings in his farm besides over 20 others that have fruiting for two years now. The Field Technician said in the next few years, when most of the newly planted neem trees would have been fruiting, he will get engaged in transforming the seeds of this plant into neem oil.

He said this oil will be distributed throughout Cameroon and the proceeds will be used to improve on the living standard of his family.

Trees Cameroon Programme Coordinator opined that the realization of this dream will only add to the number of successes recorded since the inception of the Trees Cameroon Programme in 2007.

“Over these years, Trees have improved on the livelihood of many poor peasant farmers through the planting of soil health improvement trees and some medicinal trees. In 2015 and 2016, Trees Cameroon came in with Forest Garden and Farm Optimization Model to add value to the lives of the peasant farmers. Some value chain trees like Moringa, Neem, Prunus, Bitter Collar, Red Collar, Njansanga were also identified in the various communities and introduced to farmers” she said.

The Programme Coordinator disclosed that the essence of these novelties is to change life and put smile on people’s faces.

Payong Tionou Marquise Prudence

27 June 2016

Rainforest Trust Approves 3-Year Funding for Tofala and Mak-Betchou Great Apes conservation

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Rainforest Trust Approves 3-Year Funding for Tofala and Mak-Betchou Great Apes conservation

One of the world’s leaders in the protection of tropical ecosystems and wildlife, Rainforest Trust-USA, has approved a 3-year funding for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

The funding, which is to the tune of over 700 000 USD will between 2016 to 2019 support the final completion of the creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. It will also help in the development and implementation of the Management Plan for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

This gesture has been greeted with lots of ecstasy by the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi

“This is a historic success for ERuDeF and I heartily thank the CEO of Rainforest Trust for this wonderful support. ERuDeF remains indebted to Rainforest Trust for this generous donation” Mr. Louis said.

The President/CEO said this funding is a bold step towards providing a safe haven to some over 300 chimpanzees, unknown population of gorillas, over 100 elephants as well as other endangered wildlife and plants in the Proposed Mak-betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

The funding will equally support the effective management of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary host to close to 40 Cross River Gorillas, 150 Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, unknown populations of Drills, Preuss Guenon, amphibians and Bushman Potto.

 Ndimuh Bertrand Shancho

27 June 2016

UNDP/GEF SGP commends ERuDeF’s Efforts in Echinops giganteus Valorisation

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UNDP/GEF SGP commends ERuDeF’s Efforts in Echinops giganteus Valorisation

UNDP GEF Small Grants Program Assistant, Mr. Kamga, has expressed satisfaction at the level of professionalism, which the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has exercised in the valorisation of the ABS Echinops giganteus Project in Mount Bamboutos.

He was speaking during end of project evaluation meeting, which took place, June 23, 2016 at ERuDeF Head Office in Buea. The aim of this Working Session was to assess the level of achievement, identify gaps and reinforce the capacity of the implementing organization as to improve on the work done.

Speaking during the Working Session, the President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi welcomed the UNDP GEF SGP team thanking them for taking time off their busy schedule to visit his organization.

The ERuDeF boss said the visit will help reinforce the capacity of ERuDeF , identify the gaps and improve on them.

Mr. Kamga on his part said the meeting was necessary to assess the effectiveness of the project as well as ensure effective communication so that both partners can work together for the closure of the project.

In her presentation, the Echinops Project Coordinator Mrs. Lea Kenmene spelt out the project goal, objectives and achievements and lessons learned from the project.

Some key achievements of the project according to Mrs Lea Kenmene include a series of trainings to local institutions in Magha-Bamumbu and the validation and signing of the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) for the commercialization phase of the project.

Meanwhile 15 leaders of 15 local groups with over 225 persons received training on financial management and record keeping with participants testifying that such training will help them cut down on reckless spending.

Mrs Lea said over 5000 seedlings have been transplanted to restore the degraded Mount Bamboutos Landscape, and some 15 local groups drilled on agroforestry techniques and seedlings transplanting.

The Project Coordinator disclosed that besides restoring the degraded landscape of Mount Bamboutos, the newly planted agroforestry trees will increase the soil fertility of this area whose soil nutrient have been depleted by chemical fertilizers.

She said over 80% of activities earmarked for the project have been realised.

Mrs. Lea also revealed that through this project, some 8 micro project ideas have been identified together with the local community. These include the creation of a training centre for drop-outs and orphans, supply of equipment to hospitals and schools in Magha-Bamumbu, poultry farming project, and piggery project amongst others.

She regretted the fact that the publishing of the final report and case study, the production of project documentary and the inclusion of documents from the students were still pending. She however promised that these will be made available in the nearest future.

Reacting to her presentation, Mr. Kamga appreciated ERuDeF for such achievements “ERuDeF is not one of those ‘mushroom NGOs’ operating with disguised motives to maximize profit” he quipped.

The CEO/President of ERuDeF on his part, expressed gratitude to the GEF SGP partner for his official visit to ERuDeF. He hoped for more support beyond the Echinops giganteus valorization project.

27 June 2016

ERuDeF, Progressing in Her Consolidation and Expansion Vision

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 ERuDeF, Progressing in Her Consolidation and Expansion Vision

The President/CEO of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Louis Nkembi, has said the organization is making remarkable strides in its consolidation and expansion vision.

He made this revelation while presenting his 2015 annual report to the ERuDeF Board of Trustees in their 17th Annual General Meeting, June 25, 2016 at the ERuDeF Head Office in Buea.

The meeting was aimed at assessing the successes and failures of the organization and board members as to map out better strategies of realizing the organization’s 2025 vision.

Louis Nkembi said ERuDeF is leaving its footprints and stamping its authority as a leading indigenous conservation organization in the country.

“Thanks to funding from some partners ERuDeF can boost of major conservation and development programmes in the Lebialem Highlands, Mt Cameroon and the East. It has also established Agroforestry programmes in the North West, South West, Littoral and the West” the ERuDeF boss disclosed.

Mr. Nkembi said through her reforestation and Agroforestry Programmes, some degraded landscapes have been restored as the communities were trained on agro-forestry techniques. Meanwhile, some communities have been economically empowered through the Gift Back to the Community Initiative.

The CEO however frowned at the “near zero participation rate of trustees and members in defining and shaping the growth of ERuDeF”.

“This lukewarm attitude coupled with government bureaucracy has only slowed down efforts in reaching anticipated targets and objectives” he added.

Mr. Nkembi said the organisation has launched the ERuDeF Junior Professional Programme at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity through which stronger, emotionally strong and visionary persons could be groomed to help lead the organization.

He called on all trustees and members of ERuDeF to join hands to build and position the organization on the international scene. He also insisted that members must fit into the different programmes of the organization so as to contribute to their successes.

Opening the session, the Board Chair, Akemnda Eric Achankeng, congratulated Louis Nkembi on the enormous successes recorded by ERuDeF. He saluted the efforts of the management team in leading ERuDeF to the international scene.

The Board Chair formally announced the passing on to glory of one of their trustees, Joseph Atabong otherwise known as Ndi Nkemnjinya. Mr. Ndi Nkemnjinya held the position of Treasurer in ERuDeF before being transferred to the NW several years ago where he met his demise after a protracted illness.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all of ERuDeF Family, the Chair, extended his heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family.

Mr. Akemnda Eric Achankeng implored new committed and competent members to join the organisation so that “together, efforts and expertise would help build a leading international NGO in the field of conservation”

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