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27 June 2016

Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM to collaborate With ERuDeF in Tofala-Mone East Corridor Project

Posted in News, Views 1548

Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM to collaborate With ERuDeF in Tofala-Mone East Corridor Project

The logging company, Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM, managing the Forest Management Unit (FMU) 11002 within the Tofala-Mone corridor has agreed to collaborate with ERuDeF in the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Conservation Project.

This agreement was made, May 2016 at the SEFECCAM/SIENCAM head quarters in Douala during a meeting which brought together the Director of Management and Certification, Mr. Tchokomeni Arnaud, the South West Regional Chief of Service for Forestry, Mr. Bidima Antione and ERuDeF’s Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Conservation Project Coordinator Ms. Limbi Blessing.

During this meeting, Ms Limbi Blessing presented the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Project. She implored the Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM to collaborate with ERuDeF in carrying out sensitization campaigns, surveys, reforestation programmes etc within the Tofala Mone East Corridor.

This presentation and request for collaboration received positive feedbacks from Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM.

“Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM is open to initiatives that foster the sustainable management of natural resources” Mr. Tchokomeni Arnaud said.

He stated that his organization is ready to go out of the management plan of FMU 11002 to other areas of collaboration so long as it reinforces sustainable management of natural resources.

“We have a long term commitment to the FMU 11002 and so we are ready to undertake any activity that will foster the sustainable management of the forest block” he added.

This response from Groupe SEFECCAM/SIENCAM was commended by the South West Regional Chief of Forestry, Mr. Bidima Antione.

“‘It is about time environmental NGOs form synergies with logging companies; they are all involved in the sustainable management of natural resources. Sustainable management does not mean that natural resources should not be used, rather they should be used in such a way that the next generation will also benefit” he said.

Tofala-Mone East Corridor Project is aimed at linking the Cross River Gorillas and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary to those of the Takamanda National Park through community forests and Forest Management Units. The Project was launched, May 2016 by ERuDeF in collaboration with African Conservation Foundation (ACF) and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife with funding from the Waterloo Foundation, Global Forest Watch and Tusk Trust

Limbi Blessing Tata

27 June 2016

Trees Cameroon Extension to Northern Cameroon; Farming Groups Pledge Total Support

Posted in News, Views 543

Trees Cameroon Extension to Northern Cameroon; Farming Groups Pledge Total Support

Some farming groups in the Banyo, Tibati and Ngaoundal subdivisions in the Adamawa Region of Cameroon have said they are “impatiently waiting” for the extension of Trees Cameroon Agroforestry Systems to their region.

This expression was made during a survey/feasibility study trip made recently by the Trees Cameroon Team to the region.

Aimed at introducing Trees Cameroon Projects and discussing possibility of extension to Northern Cameroon, the Trees Cameroon staff visited the Sub Divisional Delegations of Agriculture and Rural Development of Banyo, Tibati and Ngaoundal. In each of these Sub Divisional Delegations, they held talks with the different Sub Divisional Delegates and some farming groups.

The Sub Divisional Delegates and different farming groups were enlightened on the importance of this project in their region.

“With the rapid conversion of forest to agricultural land and urban development in this area, there is need forthe introduction of the Agroforestry System of Farming” the Trees Cameroon Team said.

This extension move by Trees Cameroon was greeted with lots of joy by both the farming groups and Sub Divisional Delegates

Representing the Banyo Sub Divisional Delegate of Agriculture, Mr. Dewa, who is the Chief of Post for Agriculture in Banyo, said he is very excited that his Sub Division will also soon be part of the project.

“We are impatiently for the start of this project” he added. The same form of excitement was expressed in Tibati and Ngaoundal.

The Sub Divisional Delegate of Tibati, just like some of the farming groups, was sceptical about the possibility of initiating the project by 2017 as indicated by the Trees Cameroon Team. This fear disappeared when he learnt that the project was already running successfully in the Northwest, Southwest, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon.

The Sub Divisional Delegates and farming groups alike hoped that the project “will not start today and disappear tomorrow” as has been the case with most NGO projects in the Region.

Trees Cameroon with the support of Trees for the Future, USA, was introduced in Cameroon in 2011 and has imparted over 1000 households in the North West, South West, West and Littoral Regions. Through the planting of soil improvement agroforestry species as well as economic trees, farmers in these regions have witnessed an increase in their yields and nutritional resilience.

With rapid increase in forest destruction by the Muslim population of the Adamawa Region in search for land for agriculture and urban development, the extension of Trees Cameroon’s Forest Garden Program and other Agroforestry Systems becomes very crucial

Blaise Jumbam

27 June 2016

ERuDeF Pass-on-Gift Initiative, Widening Livelihood Supports in Tofala

Posted in News, Views 562

ERuDeF Pass-on-Gift Initiative, Widening Livelihood Supports in Tofala

Ten new households in Fossungu, one of the adjacent villages to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, have benefited from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Pass-on-gifts Initiative.

These households received over 37 piglets and 10 mother pigs during a Pass-on-gift Ceremony organized, June 7, 2016 by the Fossungu unit of the Tofala Alou Cooperative Society.

The Pass-on-gifts Initiative is part of ERuDeF’s Livelihood and Economic Development Programme instituted in 2014 to ensure long term livelihood support in Fossungu. This was also to reduce human pressure on the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary host to the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee amongst others.

Through this initiative, ERuDeF introduced apiculture, and livestock farming to adjacent villages to Tofala. Training and start-up capital was also provided for the production of laundry soap, bathing soap, medicated soap and detergents. The organization also donated 10 piglets to some selected 10 households in each of the adjacent communities to Tofala with beneficiaries schooled on the basics of piggery management.

In order to ensure the long term sustainability of the projects, the organization introduced the ‘Pass-on-gifts’ Initiative such that each beneficiary had as obligation to pass-on what they benefited after two years to another set of beneficiaries. This meant that each household will rear these piglets and after two years, give back the mother pigs and provide one piglet each to be passed on to the next set of beneficiaries.

Two years after, the number of beneficiaries has doubled from 10 to 20. Community members testified that the livelihood support has greatly impacted their lives.

One of the former beneficiaries, Mr. Ndunyi Peter, who is also the President of the Fossungu Cooperative, said the livelihood support has been of great help to him and his household.

“This initiative has not only given me employment, it has also been a source of income generation. Proceeds from sales of piglets have helped me sponsor children in school as well as meet the needs of my household” he testified.

Mr. Ndunyi, just like other former beneficiary at the Pass-on-gift ceremony, promised to work harder to sustain his piggeries so that by 2020, he can boast of a piggery of over 1,000 pigs. This, according to him, would be the only way to show appreciation to ERuDeF and her partners.

The President of the Fossungu Cooperative cautioned his cooperative members and pass-on-gift beneficiaries to take the initiative seriously and promised to follow up all beneficiaries against any default.

The new beneficiaries on their part, promised to work harder and make optimum use of available resources and opportunities so that they can pass-on what they have received to the next beneficiary in just one year and not two years as stipulated.

27 June 2016

Restoring Degraded Mt Bamboutos; Over 5000 Trees Planted

Posted in News, Views 532

Restoring Degraded Mt Bamboutos; Over 5000 Trees Planted

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in collaboration with the UNDP GEF Small grants Program are intensifying efforts towards restoring the southern slope of Mount Bamboutos, which has undergone severe degradation due uncontrolled agricultural practices.

Over 5000 Acacia angustissima seedlings were recently transplanted to farms within the degraded landscape of Magha-Bamumbu.

This exercise according to ERuDeF Agroforestry Coordinator for Lebialem Division, Mr Ntungwa Elong, will not only restore the severely degraded landscape, but all also boost water flow and reduce soil contamination that has been caused by the heavy use of pesticides by the local farmers.

Given the role of these trees in restoring this landscape, the farmers were sensitized on the importance of the agroforestry trees in their farms.

“These trees will not only restored your landscape; they will also fertilize the soil and increase farm yield. These trees fertilize the soil in two ways; the leave of the tree are used for mulching and the same time, the roots release nitrogen which plays an important role in soil fertilization” Mr Elong said.

After the sensitization exercise, farmers were taken to the nurseries for demonstration on how the remaining trees in the nurseries will be transplanted.

 Kenmene Lea Alida

27 June 2016

Agroforestry System Boosts Crop Production in Bamboutos

Posted in News, Views 428

Agroforestry System Boosts Crop Production in Bamboutos

Some farmers in Bamboutos Division in the Western Region of Cameroon, who adopted Trees Cameroon Agroforestery Farming System, have started experiencing an increase in their farm yields.

Mr. Douanla Pierre is one of those farmers in the Bamboutos Division adopting the Trees Cameroon Agroforestry Farming System. He says the leaves of the nitrogen fixing trees (acacia, luceana and calliandra), which he nursed and transplanted to his farm thanks to support and training from Trees Cameroon has increased soil fertility of his maize farm. “These trees are performing miracles in my farm. Maize in this farm has always been brownish because of low soil fertility but now, the farm is green with healthy maize. Very soon I will be harvesting” Mr. Douanla added.

The maize farmer said his maize is even healthier than that of those applying chemical fertilizers.

Mr Douanla is just one of the many farmers in the Bamboutos Division that is experiencing an improvement in his soil fertility as result of integrating the Agroforestry technique.

This Agroforestry System of farming was introduced in the Western Region of Cameroon some five years ago with the goal of improving soil fertility, increasing farm yield and restoring degraded landscapes in the region.

It is evident that this goal is gradually being achieved as many more farmers are now adopting the system. Meanwhile, those who adopted it earlier on are already reaping the benefits.

Junnie Chamdjou

27 June 2016

ERuDeF Partners with Menji Community Radio for Wildlife Conservation in Lebialem

Posted in News, Views 421

ERuDeF Partners with Menji Community Radio for Wildlife Conservation in Lebialem

In a bid tointensify education and sensitization campaign for wildlife conservation in the Lebialem Division, South West Cameroon the Environment and Rural development Foundation (ERuDeF) has gone into partnership with Menji Community Radio

The partnership deal was concluded early June 2016 between the Station Manager of Menji Community Radio, Mr. George Atabong and ERuDeF Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator, Mr. Samuel Ngueping. Both parties agreed to work hand in hand to save the last threatened wildlife species remaining in Lebialem.

Lebialem Division is known for its rich biodiversity. It is host two important protected areas; the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Proposed Mack-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. These Protected Areas are home to endangered wildlife species like the Forest Elephants, Drills, Cross River Gorilla, and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee amongst other, hence the need for continuous sensitization via diverse media

This collaboration according to Mr. Samuel, also gives ERuDeF and her conservation partners the opportunity to talk about their activities every Wednesday from 7 to 8 Am in Menji Community Radio.

Mr. Atabong on his part, said the collaboration will enable the radio station pay more attention to issues on wildlife conservation and climate change.

Meanwhile, ERuDeF was to increase the frequency of its programme’s on the Radio Station from weekly to bi-weekly as well as involve the station’s journalists in key ERuDeF field activities for live reporting.

The Menji Community Radio is the lone radio station in the Lebialem Division with signals ranging from the Tinto Area Council, Ayang, Mouckbine, Esangong, Efong, Efieh, Ndungatet, Bangang, Besali, to Batibo in the North West Region. It broadcasts in Pidgin English, English and Bangwa Languages.

27 June 2016

Illegal Logging Activities on the Decline in the Mokoko Area

Posted in News, Views 496

Illegal Logging Activities on the Decline in the Mokoko Area

Continuous anti logging patrol trips by MINFOF staff and Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) members have induced a decline in illegal logging activities in the Mokoko River Forest Reserve.

The revelation was made by Wildlife Control Post of Illoani, Mr. Osang Johnson at the end of a recent anti logging patrol trip in the Ekombe-Mofako, Illoani, Dikome, Bonjare and Bonja villages of the Mokoko Area. This trip was motivated by the felling of some four Microberlinia bislcata seed trees last 2015.

Carried out within the framework of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Save Microberlinia bislcata Project, Mr. Osang said there were very limited traces of illegal forest exploitation activities in this area that has hitherto suffered wanton illegal exploitation.

He attributed this to increasing sensitization by ERuDeF and a more consistent patrol that has been carried out in recent time thanks to funding from the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund

“This general decline of illegal exploitation of Zingana could be associated to the fact that the local population are now aware of the conservation status of this species; our continuous presence in the field during the past three months in accordance with ERuDeF/MINFOF specifications has also scared them away” Mr. Osang ssaid.

MINFOF TOU Focal Point Mr. Biakaiy Norbert, on his part said increasing patrol frequency is very crucial in saving Micoberlinia bisulcata.

This anti logging patrol trips came as a follow up of a training workshop that took place in September 2015 during which the VFMCs were drilled on the Cameroon 1994 Forestry Code and how to carry out patrols.

The Mokoko River Forest Reserve is one of the largest and most consistent habitats of critically endangered Zingana (Microberlinia bisulcata), which has been under continuous threat due to agricultural expansion and illegal timber exploitation

Limbi Blessing Tata

27 June 2016

ERuDeF Re-Enforces Her Communication Division

Posted in News, Views 547

ERuDeF Re-Enforces Her Communication Division

Some three young, talented, bilingual and dynamic journalists have been recruited into the Communication Division of Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). This is to enhance the Division which now covers the Central Africa sub-region.

These journalists include Yanick Fonki Ndeley, recruited as a Reporter, to also be in charge of fundraising, institutional partnerships, online management and the Partners’ e-newsletter. He is the former English Desk Editor of LTM TV in Douala with over 6 years experience in reporting. Queen Achingale, on her part, is coming into the Division as Coordinator and Reporter of Corporate Social Responsibility and the Programme e-newsletter. She has served as Commercial Manager at Njiconres PLC with experience in corporate management. Meanwhile, Sidonice Ndaka , is in Charge Charge of Marketing, Corporate and Emerging markets. She has 3 years of experience in Corporate Business.

They were officially presented to the staff of ERuDeF last June 13, 2016 by the President/CEO Louis Nkembi.

The ERuDeF boss promised to ‘drive’ the new recruits safely through their ‘ride’ at ERuDeF.

The Head of Communication Division, Mr Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh, said the coming of these young journalists will make work within the Division lighter

“Many hands make work light. A new force always comes with a new steam. With the coming of this new force, our media presence will increase and our objectives realised with ease.” He added.

The new recruits on their part expressed gratitude and promised to do their best in branding and up scaling ERuDeF in the world.

“I know this is a demanding task which requires full commitment and hard work. It’s challenging but we are sure to reach our goal,” Ms Ndaka said.

ERuDeF is Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organisation created in 1999 to conserve wildlife and protect fragile environments. The organization has a wide range of media productions including the Partners’ E-newsletter, Programme E-newsletter, The Green Vision Newspaper, Silver Back E-newsletter, ERuDeF Institute Newsletter and ERuDeF Impact Magazine amongst others. The organization was recently selected to coordinate the production of a Sub-Regional Great Apes Conservation Newsletter, the GSAC News. This production will cover the works of conservation NGOs within the Central African Sub region.

By Sidonice Ndaka

15 June 2016

ERuDeF Unveils First 3D Model for Conservation and Development in Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 709

ERuDeF Unveils First 3D Model for Conservation and Development in Cameroon

Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organization, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)in collaboration with her UK based partner, the African Conservation Foundation (ACF), has launched the first Participatory 3Dimensional Mapping (P3DM)project to support community forestry development in the Southwest region of Cameroon.

This model was launched, May 30, 2016 at the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) as part of the Tofala-M one East Community Conservation Corridor Project.

Bringing together staff of MINFOF Southwest, staff ofERuDeF, ACF’s Director of Conservation and traditional authorities from Upper Bayang in the Manyu Division, the launching ceremony was a culmination of the pilot implementation of the P3DM in the Upper Bayang Subdivision of Manyu Division, Southwest Cameroon.

Speaking during the launching workshop, the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINFOF, FrançoisIssola Dipanda, who was also Chair of the event, pledged the support of his ministry to ERuDeF in the Tofala-Mone East Community Conservation Corridor Project. He called on traditional rulers to rally their subjects and work with ERuDeF to ensure the success of this project.

The Regional Delegate thanked ERuDeF for her collaboration with MINFOF in conserving endangered wildlife species in Cameroon over the years and for introducing a new conservation and development tool, P3DM, in to the conservation landscape of Cameroon.

The P3DM according to ACF Director, Arend De Haas, functions as an important communication and engagement tool, facilitating information exchange between various stakeholders, project planning and management.

“It is a community based mapping method integrating conservation data with information provided by local stakeholders. It facilitates information collection for biodiversity conservation, the development of an effective community-based forest monitoring system, land use planning and sustainable forest management”Arend de Haas added.

Coming some close to two years after the gazetting of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the President/CEO of ERuDeF said the P3DM has a great role to play in the Tofala-Mone East Conservation Corridor Project, which is aimed at providing genetic connectivity between the Cross River Gorillas and other species in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and that of the Takamanda National Park

“In our Tofala-Mone Rainforest Conservation Project, P3DM facilitates the gathering of qualitative and quantitative information about local communities in the area, their livelihoods and land use patterns, including the specific locations where the people conduct various activities” Louis Nkembi testified.

According to him, the survey and monitoring is carried out with the active involvement of the local communities, in order to understand the local perspectives, issues, concerns and priorities, while information gathered related to traditional boundaries, land and resource use and other geographic information, are represented on the 3D model for improved spatial understanding.

.The Chiefs/traditional authorities of Kendem, Bokwa, Egbemo, Chinda, Bakumba, in the Upper Bayang Subdivision, where the pilot implementation of the P3DM had just taking place corroborated this.

As to what the community stands to gain from such a project, the Tofala-Mone East Community Conservation Corridor Project Coordinator, Ms Limbi Blessing Tata, disclosed that the project will support the development of environmentally friendly economic opportunities as well as introduce cottage industries in and around these communities forest.

Louis Nkembi added that besides serving as a great touristic destination, the process of creating and managing a conservation corridor will no longer be from the perspective of total protection, but from the perspective of integral community participation and development.

With the launch of the 3D model, conducting P3DM projects and giving this tool a central role in the sustainable management of forest resources, ERuDeF and African Conservation Foundation are looking forward to extending this novelty to other forest areas and communities in Cameroon. This project is funded by the Waterloo Foundation, Global Forest Watch and Tusk Trust.

By Bertrand Ndimuh

15 June 2016

“I am very impressed With ERuDeF’s Conservation Efforts” –Dr Sally Laahm

Posted in News, Views 609

“I am very impressed With ERuDeF’s Conservation Efforts” –Dr Sally Laahm

The African Conservation Officer of Rainforest Trust Dr. Sally Laahm, recently undertook a trip to the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) to evaluate the organization and her conservation areas. The Rainforest Trust African Conservation Officer spent 10 days with the organization both in the office and her project areas notably the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, Muanengouba Mountain, and Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. At the end of her 10 day expedition, she granted an interview to the ERuDeF Programme E-newsletter (EPE) during which she gave an appraisal of the organization and her conservation areas. Read on!

EPE: Who is Sally?

Sally : I am the African Conservation Officer of Rainforest Trust. My Background is wildlife ecology and biological anthropology. I am also a research scientist working in African countries since 1982.

 EPE: This is your first encounter with ERuDeF. After spending 10 days with her what do you think about the organization?

Dr. Sally : ERuDeF has a lot of activities on the ground already for many years, especially a lot of great projects with communities adjacent to existing and proposed protected areas. So I am very impressed

EPE: One of the areas you visited is the beautiful caldera of the Muanengouba Mountain which is host to some endangered amphibians. What is your appreciation of this area?

Sally : Well!, I think the area in question is of high conservation value but there are livestock herders and farmers living and working next to it, which is an issue that needs to be addressed as the population expands. I definitely think that it is a high conservation project to strive to achieve.

EPE: You also visited the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. What is your take on this area?

Dr. Sally : It is a biologically reach area, we weren’t there for very long, but we saw many signs of the presence of Gorillas and Chimpanzees, very close to the camp that is used regularly by the ERuDeF team. I did not have the opportunity to travel farther into the sanctuary, but again it is of very high conservation value. It is surrounded by villages in which ERuDeF already has some good number of livelihood projects. I think that the Tofala Hill Wildlife sanctuary is a project which definitely needs funding to proceed further to achieve the legislative processes that are needed for these projects.

EPE: You just came back from the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, where you camped for two nights. Do you think it is worth the protection?

Dr. Sally : Oh! Most definitely, it is. As a wildlife biologist, I saw so many signs of other wildlife including antelopes and other larger mammals indicating that human pressure is very low. Again, I regret for not being able to have an extended visit, but I appreciate from a biological conservation view point. I think it needs protection as soon as possible especially with human communities living around it and the pressure that they have for land and resources.

EPE: After ascending and descending so many very difficult trails in the dense rainforests do think your discovery is worth the stress?

Dr. Sally : I did not see it as being stressful but I regret that I did not have enough time to spend more days in the forest as to fully appreciate the area. I am always happy to go up mountains, and through swamps to see areas that are important for the conservation of wildlife and the environment.

EPE: You visited CWCS in Douala and ERuDeF in Buea, what do you take back to Rainforest from Cameroon?

Dr. Sally : Am very impressed with both NGOs and I hope to find more national NGOs in Cameroon. Cameroon has a very biological and ethically diverse culture. To receive the attention that it should have. I found some very dedicated people in Cameroon and hope to find more to hopefully fund some more projects in this country.

EPE: ERuDeF sent you proposal for the conservation of these areas you have visited, what do you think about that proposal especially after being to these areas yourself?

Dr. Sally : I cannot say much at this juncture, but the reason I am here is because we were already impressed with the initial proposal. So that is why I was asked to come here and evaluate ERuDeF as an organization and also do a quick evaluation of the conservation areas.

EPE: What can you say about the expedition team, the staff, the field guides and the porters who spent time with during your trip?

Dr. Sally : It was excellent! Everybody was very kind and very knowledgeable and I enjoyed all the exchanges that we had out there in the camps in the forests. The guides showed how much knowledge they had about the forest and wildlife. It’s all very good.

EPE: I admire your strength because at 66 you are able to do all these; journeying to Muanengouba, Tofala and Mak-Betchou. Where do you get this strength?

Dr. Sally : I get my strength from my ancestors just like the Africans do.

EPE: Any last words for ERuDeF?

Dr. Sally : Courage! That is what I can say. I know it is difficult to get funding. You have a lot of good projects on the ground already. I hope that we will be able to provide all the funding that you need for Tofala Hills and Mak-Betchou projects…it’s been a great pleasure to be here and I expect to be back some time next year to see the progress you have made on the projects.

Conducted By Ngwa Elvis Suh A.

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