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27 September 2016

Hunters Drop Guns For Wildlife Conservation In Mak-Betchou

Posted in News, Views 1041

Hunters Drop Guns For Wildlife Conservation In Mak-Betchou

Some 13 hunters from villages around the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary have promised to drop their guns and collaborate with the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in conserving wildlife in this biodiversity hotspot.

They made the promise at the end of a two day capacity building training workshop, which took place at the ERuDeF’s Western Cameroon Regional Office in Menji, 15th to 16th of September 2016.

Aimed at building the capacity of hunters to become local rangers, these wildlife predators were trained on wildlife data collection, writing of field reports and the use of forest surveillance equipments such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and compasses.

At the end of the workshop, participants expressed satisfaction with the skills acquired while committing themselves to conserve the biodiversity of the area.

“I am satisfied with the training and the lessons I have learnt. There are some animals in our forest that we need to protect and the reason that I am here is to acquire the skills to enable me contribute to the conservation of these wildlife species,” said Mr. Marcelust Lepasha, a hunter from Fonki Village.

Mr. Marcelus, just like the other hunters, promised to report all illegal activities in their area to the Lebialem Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for appropriate actions.

All 13 hunters at the workshop, promised to stop hunting, pledging to sensitise other hunting colleagues on the need to protect wildlife species in the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Six of the participants were selected, after a post-workshop evaluation test, to serve as biomonitors in the proposed Wildlife Sanctuary.

The workshop was organised by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with support from Rainforest Trust-USA as a step towards limiting human pressure on the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, which is host to over 300 Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees (Pantroglodytes ellioti), still unknown population of Cross River Gorillas and Drills and over 100 endangered African Forest Elephants (Loxondata cyclotis).

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi

27 September 2016

Nkongho-Mbo People See ‘Light’ In Mak-Betchou Rainforest Community Conservation Programme

Posted in News, Views 597

Nkongho-Mbo People See ‘Light’ In Mak-Betchou Rainforest Community Conservation Programme

The people of Nkongho-Mbo in Southwest Cameroon have greeted the newly established Mak-Betchou Rainforest Community Conservation Programme with lots of joy giving the developmental prospects, which the project has for their communities.

They overly expressed their joy during the ERuDeF Inception Workshop on the Nkongho-Mbo Integrated Conservation and Development Programme organised recently at the Southwest Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) in Buea

After getting a panoramic description of the project from ERuDeF President/CEO, the Nkongho-Mbo people expressed total interest, promising to collaborate with ERuDeF in the execution of the Project.

The traditional ruler of Dinte Village, Chief Fotabong, said that the new project is only coming to corroborate other livelihood supports which ERuDeF has been providing to his community over the years.

“ERuDeF has offered us livelihood supports via pig donations, bee hives and lot more. So we are certain that this new project will bring more developmental activities in this area”.

Just like Chief Fotabong, Mr. Julius Fonje, opined that the Rainforest Project is a wonderful opportunity with the propensity to bring about development, education and job creation for the people of this area.

In her address, the Vice President of the Upper Nkongho Development Association (UNDA), Mrs Martina Fomelack Forsac, explained that the new project will ensure the sustainable exploitation and management of their rich natural resources.

“I am aware of developmental activities, which ERuDeF has carried out in other parts of the country via wildlife conservation and environmental protection. So I am in full support of this project” she pledged.

On his part, the representative of the National President of the Nkongho-mbeng Cultural and Development Association, Atabong Joseph, called on the Nkongho-Mbo people to unite behind ERuDeF for the realization of this project.

“Unity is strength and this project would have a double impact; progress and development if we all are supportive of it” he insisted.

Reacting to these, the ERuDeF boss reiterated the commitment of his organization to the project, promising to give mobilise resources and to improve on the livelihood of the people.

The ERuDeF Inception Workshop on the Nkongho-Mbo Integrated Conservation and Development is part of the Mak-Betchou Rainforest Community Programme aimed at providing alternative livelihood supports to communities adjacent to the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, which harbours over 300 chimpanzees, unknown population of gorillas, over 100 elephants as well as other endangered wildlife and plants. It is sponsored by Rainforest Trust USA.

By Queen Achingale

27 September 2016

Community Forest Institutions To Manage Community Forests In Upper Bayang

Posted in News, Views 617

Community Forest Institutions To Manage Community Forests In Upper Bayang

Communities in Upper Bayang of Manyu Division, Southwest Cameroon have agreed that Community Forest Institution be created to oversee the management of community forests in this part of country.

This is one of the outcomes of the information and awareness meeting organised recently by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in Kendem, bringing together some MINFOF officials in Manyu, the Divisional Delegate of Agriculture and Rural Development for Manyu, ERuDeF staff, traditional rulers and community representatives.

Organised under the auspices of the village traditional councils, communities present, unanimously voted that CIGs be created to serve as legal entities that will manage their community forests when they are eventually created.

Community members raised concerns on the ownership and allocation of benefits that will accrue from the creation of these community forests.

Reacting to these concerns, Regional Chief of Service for Forestry, Mr. Bidima Antoine Georges, said benefits will be equitably distributed amongst the villages. As to ownership, he explained that any village that has up to 5000ha of forest land can own its community forest.

Concerning security, the Regional Chief stated that 100% security can never be achieved but community surveillance in groups is encouraged. He advised the communities to set up surveillance teams to track down illegal activities in the forests.

Representing the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Manyu, Mr. Tabi Tabe, thanked all community members present at the occasion and called for maximum collaboration and understanding for the project to be successful. He equally thanked ERuDeF for her commitment in the area.

It should be noted that this awareness meeting is in line with the Tofala-Mone Rainforest Conservation Corridor Project aimed at providing technical and financial support for the creation of 03 community forests within some 08 villages of Upper Bayang. This is part of ERuDeF’s efforts in the conservation of Cross River gorillas, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, and other endangered and threatened wildlife species in the Tofala-Mone East Corridor.

This project is supported by the New England Biolabs Foundation, African Conservation Foundation, Waterloo Foundation, and Global Forest Watch.

By Floribert Asongacap

27 September 2016

Agroforestry Trees Improve Water Quality In Boyo Division

Posted in News, Views 674

Agroforestry Trees Improve Water Quality In Boyo Division

Villagers of Fundong, Boyo Division of the Northwest Region of Cameroon now enjoy potable water. This is thanks to some7000 Acacia, Leucaena and Prunus tree species planted to serve as life fencing around some water sources in this area.

In March 2016, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) received complaint from some local communities that their water sources were being depleted by human activities like farming and deforestation.

With support from Trees for the Future USA, the Organisation provided over 16000 seeds of Acacia, Leucaena and Prunus to the local community for nursing. After monitoring of the nurseries, over 8000 seeds germinated and 7000 established trees were planted around the water sources as life fencing.

According to the President of the Water Catchment Committee, Mr. Ngoh Ezecheal, the community now has access to portable water. He said the trees planted around the catchment have improved on water quality, reducing the rate of water born diseases in the area.

According to the ERuDeF Field Technician to the area, Mr. Nsembii Anthony, this has helped reduce the stress which community members use to go through; trekking long distances to access portable water.

Mr. Nsembii Anthony said measures have been put in place to ensure the sustainable management of this water catchment.

“Each household will pay to the Water Management Committee 2000 to 5000frs annually for its maintenance” he said.

Meanwhile, members of the Water Management Committee appealed that 180000 tree seeds be donated so that they can complete the life fencing around more watersheds in this Division by the end of 2017.

It should be noted that this project is supported by Trees for the Future, USA

By Payong Marquise

27 September 2016

Trees Planted To Protect GBPS Fonjometow’s Water Catchment In Lebialem

Posted in News, Views 688

Trees Planted To Protect GBPS Fonjometow’s Water Catchment In Lebialem

Over 600 seedlings of Agroforestry species have been planted around the water catchment of Government Bilingual Primary School (GBPS) Fonjometow in Lebialem Division, Southwest Region to improve on the water quality and protect it from drying off.

The tree species, Acacia angustissima and Leucaena leucocephala were planted September 07, 2016, by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). This was in response to the continuous complaints from the school administration about lack of quality water in the school and the epileptic flow of water from the catchment.

“We have noticed a gradual reduction of water pressure in the water catchment near this school. This source is the major and lone water supply for our pupils and risks drying-off in the future if nothing is done to address the situation. This means that our pupils will have to trek several kilometres in search of clean water,” one of the School administrators lamented.

While planting the trees, ERuDeF Agroforestry Technician for Lebialem, Mr. Jean Fotso, underscored the importance of trees in water catchment protection.

“There are lots of environmental benefits from planting these trees. The trees will improve water quality and quantity, and also moderate atmospheric conditions” he explained.

Mr. Fotso used the tree planting occasion to educate the pupils on how to take care of a water source. He sensitised them on the disadvantages of farming around the catchment.

“To protect and ensure quality water supply by this catchment, you must avoid carrying out farming activities around the water catchment. This is because such activities will clear off vegetation and exposed the water to excess sunlight, which will cause it to dry-off” he told the pupils adding that “Fertilizers from the farms will infiltrate and pollute the water source”.

Mr. Jean Fotso called on the school administration and pupils to closely monitor the water catchment, plant more trees around it and also avoid disposing waste into the catchment.

This Project is under the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development of ERuDeF with supports from Trees for the Future, USA

By Ntungwa Elong Bwang


27 September 2016

Revamping LeWoCoS: New Executives Elected

Posted in News, Views 670

Revamping LeWoCoS: New Executives Elected

Nine new executive members have been elected to revamp the Lewoh Women Cooperative Society (LeWoCoS), which has been dormant for the last five years.

The elections, organised by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in Lewoh, August 2016, came up on the heels of protracted problems that have been plaguing the Cooperative.

There was thus the need for fresh elections to revitalize LeWoCoS and use the Cooperative in implementing the Mondia whitei project as well as enhance the development of the Lewoh village through promotion of income generating activities.

As such, nine women were elected with Mrs. Helen Fotaw as President. The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Project Coordinator for ERuDeF, Mrs. Lea Kemnene called on the new executives to be committed in bringing together more women, revamping the Cooperative and in ensuring transparency and accountability for the growth of LeWoCoS in particular and Lewoh community in general.

The executives promised to make development their main priority and to work in solidarity for the common interest of the group.

LeWoCoS was created about two decades ago to improve on the living standards of its members. But for the last five years, it has not been active. After many consultation meetings, ERuDeF realised some irregularities with the management style. There were high level of unaccountability, lack of communication and transparency. The members unanimously accepted that elections be conducted.

With the new executives in place, it is hoped that things will change for the better.

It is worth mentioning that revamping LeWoCos is in line with the project supported by Rainforest Trust, USA

By Lea Kemnene

27 September 2016

Near-Matured Trees Stop Encroachment Into Bakingili Community Forest

Posted in News, Views 595

Near-Matured Trees Stop Encroachment Into Bakingili Community Forest

Inhabitants of the Mount Cameroon Borders and its peripheral communities say the agro-industrial company, Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) has stopped parading the areas planted with threatened trees in the Bakingili Community Forest. This is thanks to the sapling stages attained by trees planted by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2014/2015 to restore the critically threatened trees of the area.

This observation was made during an evaluation exercise carried out by the Community Forest Assistants of Woteva and Bakingili and a team of experts from ERuDeF in August 2016. The aim was to assess growth stages of seedlings which were planted in the 2 community forests between 2014 and 2015. The trees included African Zebrawood (Microberlinia bisulcata), Mahogany (Entandrophragma angolensis), Country onion (Afrostyraxlepidophyllus) Drypetes staudttii, (Iroko) (Milicea excels), Azobe (Lophira alata), Pygeum (Prunus africana) and Drummar stick (Cordia platithystera).

During the evaluation exercise, it was realized that trees were already at sapling stages. The growth stage had stopped encroachment by CDC. Because of the situation, the Community Forest Assistant, Genesis Shifuh, appreciated ERuDeF’s efforts in making their dream come true.

“No doubt CDC does not longer invade this part of the Community Forest. Even when trees were just planted in the forest, the Company was still invading with their oil palms. Now the trees have attained sapling stages and trespassing into this particular part has completely stopped” he gladly expressed.

He explained that before the coming of ERuDeF to their community, the Community Forest Management team used to have futile battles with CDC for several years on land recovery.

“I now see that we couldn’t succeed because our forest was still empty. Before ERuDeF came in with her efforts in 2014, no tangible solution was observed. Now, they (CDC) have completely stopped encroachment to this area because most of the planted seedlings are already at sapling/visible stages”, the Community Forest Assistant said.

Mr. Genesis Shifuh however opined that more still have to be done to completely stop further encroachment. He called on ERuDeF to support their efforts by extending the tree planting exercise to the other parts of the forest.

“We are raising a nursery of threatened trees to complete tree planting in the other half of the forest. If this is not done in the nearest future, the community risks losing that part of the forest. This is because, out of the 907hac of the Bakingili Community Forest land, only about 20% has been planted with trees and the remaining 80% is gradually being taken by the Company to plant oil palm seedlings” he lamented.

Another member of the Bakingili Community Management team, Ngotto John, appealed to ERuDeF and her partner to renew the just ended project.

“We are doing a lot on our own to complete planting in this forest and continue with management efforts to the already planted trees but ERuDeF’s support is still very welcome” he said.

The Conservation of Threatened Trees of the Mt. Cameroon Area project was conceived in 2011 to ensure that threatened trees in the MCNP and the surrounding community forests are re-established through local institutions’ independent actions. In collaboration with MINFOF and the MCNP service, the project has succeeded in regenerating the MCNP and its peripheries with over 30000 of these trees.

The project is supported by the UK based partner Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund of the United Arab Emirates.

By Adeline Tengem

27 September 2016

Agroforestry Technologies Pay Off In Northwest Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 706

Agroforestry Technologies Pay Off In Northwest Cameroon

Some farmers who implemented Agroforestery systems in their farms, in Boyo Division of North West Region Cameroon, have begun reaping some benefits.

During a recent visit paid the Division by a team of experts from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), it was discovered that the farmers who adopted the agroforesrty techniques earlier demonstrated to them have witnessed significant improvement in their farm yields.

One of the farmers, Mr Jonhson of Fondong village, who planted the Neem seeds in his homeland experienced tremendous improvement in his apiary. This is because of the few Neem seeds given to the farmer, 5 years ago, 10 Neem trees survived and are now serving as a seed bank to both ERuDeF and local farmers in the Division.

The farmer testified that these Neem trees have helped him raise money to meet his daily demands. Based on this, he has planted 100 more Neem trees in this garden.

He attributed his success to the skills he gathered during a training workshop on agroforestry techniques organized last year by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)

“The idea of using agroforestry trees in my apiary came from the presentations of success stories in other Regions. I watched a video showing colonies of bee hives on Acacia trees in Batcham, Bamboutos Division in the West Region. I told myself I must follow suit” the farmer said.

Mr Johnson added that he has also planted over 7000 Calliandra and 28 Prunus, together with trees like mangoes, Eucalyptus, Cacia and food crops like cocoyam and plantain in his 0.8ha piece of land. He is also excelling in apiculture.

“I have 8 bee hives in my land and planning to increase them if given the available resources. This is the second time the hives have colonized. Each hive produces 3 to 6 litter of honey, which I sell and use the money to support my children’s education and sustain my family” he explained.

The Boyo based farmer recommended that ERuDeF alternates her annual review meetings with field based technicians in the different Regions so that each technician can see and experience the success stories of other farmers and emulate their examples.

The agroforestry technologies are introduced by the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development of ERuDeF with supports from Trees for the Future, USA

By Payong Marquise

27 September 2016

Water Management Committee Installed To Resolve Menji Water Crisis

Posted in News, Views 567

Water Management Committee Installed To Resolve Menji Water Crisis

A Water Management Committee has been put in place in Menji, Chief Town of the Lebialem Division to ensure the proper maintenance and management of water schemes in this area.

The Committee, which has as Chairman, Fogap Ivo was installed during an enlarged water management forum organized last August 29, 2016 at the Women Empowerment Center in Menji to seek lasting solutions to water crisis that has been plaguing the area for some time now.

The newly elected Water Management Committee was to work in collaboration with the Menji Council for the maintenance and management of the Azi-Menji-Ndasoa Water Scheme. Meanwhile, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) was to oversee tree planting activities around water catchments and sensitise the population on sustainable practices around such catchments.

Speaking during the forum, the Lord Mayor of Menji Council, Chief Barrister Atabong, thanked all present. He remarked that the massive turnout was an indication of how much commitment they accorded to solving the crisis.

The Mayor pledged his Council’s total collaboration in the execution of its own quota of the scheme’s demand. He added that in the days ahead, a municipal decision empowering the Committee to officially commence work will be signed.

Meanwhile, the newly elected Chairman, Mr. Fogap Ivo, said the first plan of action for the Committee will be to carry out diagnosis of the whole water scheme, create a data base of all water users and open an office where water users can acquire information and pay their bills.

Over the years, access to portable water in this area has been very difficult. The inhabitants often trek several kilometres in search of clean water. The deplorable situation warranted prompt actions. Thus, the Menji Council, the Water Management Committee and ERuDeF are expected to collaborate amongst themselves such that the existing water sources are sustainably managed.

By Ngueping Samuel

26 September 2016

Enhancing Local Stakeholders’ Participation in the Implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade – Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA) in Western Cameroon

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 Enhancing Local Stakeholders’ Participation in the Implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade – Voluntary Partnership Agreement (FLEGT-VPA) in Western Cameroon

High demand for cheap timber and growing pressure on forests for conversion to agricultural use, amidst weak legislations, has led to illegal practices within the forest sector. Faced with these, the European Union (EU) embarked on the FLEGT process in 2007. In 2012, Cameroon government finalised negotiations for a VPA with the EU, demonstrating her willingness to trade in legal timber both at the domestic and international markets. The negotiations of the FLEGT/VPA process also took into account, community forests. Therefore, timber and other derived products coming from community forests must show proof of its legal origin. Hence local stakeholders need to collaborate and actively participate in the implementation process of the VPA, by ensuring compliance with policies and legal frameworks.

However, a number of constraints which are crucial to the smooth and effective implementation of the agreement are being faced by local communities. ERuDeF’s findings show that the challenges are more intense in the Western part of Cameroon. These challenges include, amongst others, the lack of required information about FLEGT-VPA process, lack of technical skills, knowledge and finance for the implementation of the process. Also, lack of appropriate grounds to discuss sustainable forest management issues, take concrete decisions and implement agreements still poses a problem in the successful implementation of the FLEGT-VPA process. Moreover, lack of qualitative communication strategies which can help local stakeholders with potentials to enhance the implementation process is a big challenge.

The global objectives of the project is therefore, to enhance local stakeholders’ participation in the implementation process through sensitization, establishment of successful dialogue platforms and strengthening of communication systems and modalities.

In order to achieve the overall objective, the project seeks to:

- organise 4 sensitisation and awareness workshops at the level of local communities on the implication and exigencies of FLEGT-VPA;

- establish and facilitate 4 dialogue platforms at local levels, each made up of 25 participants who shall be transparently selected, to foster information sharing and decision making;

- organise 4 capacity building workshops to train platform participants on key topics in order to facilitate their involvement;

- produce and distribute brochures, roll-ups, posters, calendars and T-shirts carrying key issues concerning FLEGT-VPA, policies and legal frameworks, aimed at strengthening communication;

- produce and implant 60 sign boards carrying key information about users’ rights and land tenure, at the level of local communities, so as to increase awareness;

- publish and distribute monthly community newsletters (4 pages each) targeting issues about FLEGT/VPA, sustainable forest management and illegalities, in order to increase transparency and accountability.

It is expected that with all these put in place, about 70 % of the local stakeholders are actively involved in the implementation process, level of transparency in the sector and accountability have increased to appreciable levels, illegal practices and conflicts are reduced to near zero, and there is good coordination in the sector.

The project shall cost the sum of US$110 000, broken down into the following main headings:

- Sensitization campaigns – 16 000 US$

- Establishment and facilitation of platforms - 38 000 US$

- Capacity building workshop for platform participants - 24 000 US$

- Production of brochures, roll ups, posters, calendars and T-shirts - 13 000 US$

- Production of monthly community newsletters - 10 000 US$

- Production and implantation of awareness boards - 9 000 US$

The project which shall last for a period of 15 months shall be executed by a team of experts within ERuDeF and co-partners. With ERuDeF’s long term commitment in the project area, it will continue to work with its partners to ensure sustainability of the project. ERuDeF is currently embarking on the DRYAD project with support from DFID UK, to provide training, technical and financial assistance to sustainable community forest enterprises in South West Cameroon. This proves the organisation’s commitment in community forestry in the area.

More information can be gotten on the ERuDeF’s website at

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