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15 June 2016

MBZ, regenerating Microberlina bisulcata in the Mt Cameroon Area

Posted in News, Views 552

MBZ, regenerating Microberlina bisulcata in the Mt Cameroon Area

Over 1600 seedlings of Microberlinia bisulcata locally called Zingana have been planted into the Meme River and Southern Bakundu Forest Reserves as a way of regenerating this threatened species which has suffered wanton exploitation from community members and illegal exploiters over the years. The seedlings planted by the Kumba Council, were raised by the Chief of Forestry and Wildlife Post (CP) of Mbonge Mr. Amba Ndongo Cyprian.

“After attending a series of onsite trainings organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) on the identification of the tree species, seed collection and nursery management, I decided to set up a nursery besides my house” Mr. Amba said

Launched in 2015 to save one of the last viable populations of Microberlinia bisulcata (in the Mokoko Forest Reserve), the ‘Save Microberlinia bisulcata project’ funded by the Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund has had a lot of impact on both the Microberlinia plant species and the community of the Mokoko area.

The project was conceived on the basis of lack of knowledge on the conservation status of the species by the local population, the inability of local Chiefs of Forestry Posts to identify the tree species and the fact that past attempts to prevent the wanton logging of the species were not entirely successful. The project thus explored a new strategy; the collaboration of Village Forest Management Committees (VFMCs) and local Chiefs of Forestry Posts and Wildlife in the Mokoko area to guarantee success.

According to the Project Coordinator Ms Tengem Adeline, the role of local communities in the fight against the illegal exploitation of the species cannot be over looked. “We wanted to form a synergy between the VFMCs and CPs to support this fight on the ground. This entailed lots of sensitization and workshops at community and village levels’’ she explains.

Workshops aimed at empowering local authorities to take up the struggle to save Zingana were organized in the Mokoko Area.

“Barely eight months after heeding to ERuDeF’s advice I am already reaping…. I was encouraged and set up a Zingana nursery after the September 2015 meeting. Just last month (May 2016), I sold 1600 seedlings of Zingana to the Kumba Council that fetched me some cool 800,000francs”’ Mr. Amba, the CP of Mbonge testified.

“I saved money for my children’s education and I am hoping to sell the rest for further expansion of the nursery”, he added.

The fight has not however been limited to nursery development; VFMCs have joined CPs in conducting patrols at the Mokoko area in order to scare illegal exploiters.

According to the CP of Illoani Mr. Osang Johnson Ekwale who heads the patrol team, illegal forest exploitation activities are on a decline in the area.

‘This decline in illegal exploitation of Zingana is being attributed to the constant presence of the patrol teams in the forest and possibly the decrease in the price of Zingana’ he said.

According to ERuDeF’s Director of Forestry, Ms Limbi Blessing, there is hope for the critically endangered Microberlinia bisulcata.

The President/CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi , on his part says a lot has been achieved within the one year life span of the project.

“Within one year of the project, we have been able to bring the principal stakeholders of the project who are supposed to be the custodians of the area, the Village Forest Management committee and staff of MINFOF to recognize the importance of this tree. This has led to Regional Delegate of MINFOF placing a temporary ban on the exploitation of this species” Mr. Louis said.

He also disclosed that a technical report has been sent to MINFOF recommending total ban on the exploitation of this species as it was done with Bobinga in East Cameroon.

The ERuDeF boss said achieving the goal of the project was mingling with a number challenges including limited funding, administrative bottle necks and no collaboration from a logging concession in the Mokoko area.

With the ‘Save Microberlinia bisulcata project’ officially coming to an end, the ERuDeF President/CEO called on the international community to join force with ERuDeF and support the organization to obtain a total ban on the exploitation of this tree species that is endemic to the Mount Cameroon Area.

He expressed gratitude to the Cameroon government through MINFOF, the VFMCs and the local communities for their collaboration in this project. Mr. Louis was particularly grateful to Mohamed Bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for her financial support hoping that funding could be extended.

15 June 2016

AFRICAN NGOs UNITE FOR GREAT APE CONSERVATION IN CENTRAL AFRICA SUB REGION

Posted in News, Views 592

AFRICAN NGOs UNITE FOR GREAT APE CONSERVATION IN CENTRAL AFRICA SUB REGION

Some 6 NGOs in the Central African Sub Region have agreed to join forces in fighting against Great Ape Extinction in the Central African Sub region.

These NGOs include MBOU MON TOUR of D.R Congo, The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the Tropical Forest and Rural Development (TF-RD) from Cameroon, the Association Protectrice des Grands Senges De la Moukalaba from Gabon, Endangered Species International from Republic of Congo, and the Groupe d’Appui a la Conservation des Ecosystemes de Basankusu et Bolomba (GACEBB) from D.R Congo.

Meeting in Nkala, Democratic Republic of Congo from 18th to 23rd of April 2016, these NGOs came up with new strategies against forest degradation, habitat fragmentation, poaching and illegal wildlife trade that have placed Africa’s great ape species at the risk of extinction within the past century

Some of these strategies included the need to strengthen members of the network, promote good governance and best managerial practices and most importantly mobilise funds for research, development and valorisation of work and research results of the networks’ members.

The workshop culminated in the adoption of a six month roadmap for the network with emphasis on key thematic areas like biodiversity conservation, climate change, landscape restoration and sustainable development.

According to the IUCN PPI Manager for Central Africa Sub Region, Mr. Thomas Bacha, the workshop was organised against the backdrop of growing conservation challenges in Africa.

“The general situation of biodiversity conservation in Central Africa region has degraded over the years despite successes made in some specific areas.......the political and socio-economic situations in the countries in the Central African region has further compounded the situation making concerted effort against wildlife poaching an urgent necessity”Mr. Bacha said.

Participants said the workshop came at the opportuned moment

“The workshop helped me in understanding conservation challenges faced by other NGOs in the Central African Sub Region and how they are managing their challenges”said ERuDeF’s Director of Wildlife, Mr. Tabi Allen

The workshop was organised with financial and technical support from the French Committee and PPI

15 June 2016

Over 4000 Trees Planted for Threatened Trees Conservation at MCNP

Posted in News, Views 509

Over 4000 Trees Planted for Threatened Trees Conservation at MCNP

“These trees planted at the Mount Cameroon National Park (MCNP) border will aid reduce adjacent communities’ dependence on the park’s resources given that they will have to harvest these trees at the peripheries for sustenance in times to come” says the Conservator of MCNP.

He was speaking at the end of a tree planting exercise undertaking May, 2016 at the peripheral zones of the park by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation in collaboration with the Park Authorities and Village Forest Management Committees (VFMC) some adjacent villages.

Over 4000 seedlings of threatened trees species including Prunus africana (pygeum), Entandrophragma angolensis (mahogany) and (Azobe) Lophira alata were along beacons I to J of the Park line covering a distance of 5.96km with a 1.6m spacing to ensure effective hedge formation between the Park and the communities.

The tree planting exercise according to Mr Besong Simon, falls in line with the Park’s objective of tracing the peripheral zones of the park with trees that are economically beneficial to the both the park management and the communities.

“We wanted to use trees that are adapted to the ecosystem of the Mt Cameroon and also trees that have an economic value to both the park and the communities. This vision which is shared both by ERuDeF and the park service led to the establishment of a nursery by ERuDeF which they are this day transplanting to the park border” Mr Besong said.

He also disclosed that the Park Service is also raising over 5000 seedlings of prunus to continue with the planting exercise.

Village Forest Management Communities and community members, who took part in the tree planting exercise, were impressed with the initiative

“This is a great step which ERuDeF and the Park have taken; regenerating Prunus and other timber and NTFP species is going to provide a steady source of timber and NTFPs to our communities at the same time conserving the biodiversity of the park” said Emmanuel Matute, Councilor of Bonakanda village.

He was very contented with the type of species chosen for the exercise

“Mahogany will serve as timber for community development projects such as construction of community halls, bridges etc. Meanwhile pygeum will serve both as timber and NTFP to communities due to its medicinal value” Mr. Matute added.

It is hoped that wind and insects will also assist in dispersing seeds in the future from the mother into the National Park for natural regeneration.

The tree planting exercise is in line with ERuDeF’s objective of conserving globally threatened trees found in the MCNP and other degraded landscapes. Since the inception of the project, close to 17000 seedlings of threatened trees have been planted into two secured Community Forests: Bakingili and Woteva.

The tree planting exercise was carried out with the support of Fauna and Flora international UK and the Mohamed bin Zed Foundation.

By Tengem Adeline

15 June 2016

Littoral Farmers ‘See gains’ in Trees for the Future’s Agroforestry System

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Littoral Farmers ‘See gains’ in Trees for the Future’s Agroforestry System

Farmers in the Littoral Region of Cameroon have expressed deep satisfaction and appreciation with the agro-forestry system of agricultural production initiated by Trees for the future Cameroon as a way of boosting their farm productivity.

The farmers who were initially very hesitant to adopt the system for fear of the unknown later marveled with the changes they began witnessing in their farms after adopting the system

With the effect of climate change, land degradation, destruction of forest and its content, low level of agricultural productivity, high cost of fertilizer and seeds, and an upsurge in rate of diseases, the introduction of the farming practices like contour ploughing, life fencing and alley cropping are the way forward to increasing agricultural productivity.

Some farmers in the Littoral Region however resisted this approach under the pretext that a farming practice like life fencing for example was going to reduce farming space. They have however been proven wrong by the same farming practice.

“At first we were skeptical because, we thought these life fences were going to reduce the spaces meant for our crops. But after trying the establishment of these fences notably with trees like Acacia, Luceana, and Calliandra, we realized a visible increase in our farm productivity as compared to previous years” admits Mr. Youmsi Justin, a farmer in The Littoral Region, Cameroon.

Mr. Younsi added that since they finally adopted the agroforestry system of farming, there have been improvements in soil fertility.

“We now have natural fertilizers from these trees and even use them as wind breaks besides the other advantages like wood, stakes for climbing crops and seeds for sale. “ he testified.

Given the current rate of global warming, land over exploitation and soil erosion, the ideal approach in boosting agriculture especially in sub Saharan Africa lies in the adoption of modern farming practices that conserve biomass like the planting of environmentally friendly trees (acacia, luceana, calliandra)

By Junie Chamdjou

15 June 2016

Sustainable Management Measures Instituted For Mondia Plant In Lewoh

Posted in News, Views 548

Sustainable Management Measures Instituted For Mondia Plant In Lewoh

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and her international partners, Man and Nature and V. Mane Fils Company in France are embarking on agronomic studies to ensure the long term exploitation of Mondia whitei plant in Lewoh, Lebialem Division-Southwest Cameroon.

Commonly known as White ginger, Mondia whitei is a plant of the Apocynaceae family used locally for treating sexual weakness, gastro-intestinal problems, stomach-ache and indigestion, urinary infections, headache, preventing premature ejaculation and increasing sperm production amongst others.

The plant was recently identified as been of potential value to flavor and food industries by V. Mane Fils Company.

Last April 2016, the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) was signed permitting ERuDeF and its partners to carry out research on the plant. While researching on the potentials of the roots of this plant species to the flavor and food industries, ERuDeF last May, 2016 embarked on agronomic studies in the project site in Lewoh to understand best sustainable domestication methods for the plant.

The Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Project Coordinator, Ms.Kenmene Alida explains how the agronomic studies are being carried out:

“Three experimental plots were set involving the roots cuttings, vine cuttings and the seeds of the said plant. Some 2500 seeds of Mondia have been nursed and some 30 stems and roots cutting planted in each of these experimental plots”

Besides the agronomic studies, regeneration measures are being undertaking by ERuDeF.

“We are also trying to regenerate the plant in order to restore its abundance onsite. Some 20 Lewoh farmers have developed an agroforests of about 3500 cuttings stems and seeds of Mondia whitei. This is of utmost importance considering the fact that the species is almost going extinct due to human pressure on the resource for multiple purposes”Madam Alida said

She noted that the results of the agronomic studies will be communicated at the end of the studies and the people of Lewoh trained on the best regeneration method.

Mondia whitei is the second plant of interest to V Mane Fils Company in the Lebialem Division. The first was the Echinops giganteus, with help of ERuDeF and French Charity, Man and Nature; the plant was located in Magha-Bamumbu in the Wabane Subdivision in 2012. This plant, which has passed through the same process like Mondia, is now at the commercial stage.

15 June 2016

Modern Oil Mills, Improving Living Standards in the Lebialem Highlands

Posted in News, Views 571

Modern Oil Mills, Improving Living Standards in the Lebialem Highlands

Communities within the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex have been testifying the goodness of industrial oil mills installed by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and partners between2011 and 2013.

In the Besali community in Tofala, the life of the people has not been the same since the installation of a 1.8 tons daily processing oil mill in December 2011.

“The livelihood of Besali inhabitants isgreatly improving. If you conduct a survey in this community, you will discover that many households now have small solar lighting systems thanks to income generated from oil production “said Tankoh Sedoine a student of GHS Besali.

She revealed that since the installation of the oil mill, the stress and time usually wasted in carrying water to the traditional oil mill, smashing of palm nuts etc have reduced and they now have enough time to read and prepare for class exams.

Meanwhile the attention of her community members is gradually drifting away from the forest to the community.

“My father is no longer interested in hunting. My friends, Community members and I diverted to raising young palms and harvesting palm nuts for the mill than going to the forest to harvest other stuff” Ms.Tankoh added

She professed her desire to see the biodiversity of the area conserved.

“I know that if Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the Tofala forest are conserved, volunteers and eco-tourists will chose Tofala as their new tourist destination and my people will get jobs as potters and guides” Ms.Tankoh said.

The people of Bechati are also reaping the benefits of 2 tons capacity oil mill installed in their community in 2013

“The coming of this oil mill has freed my community from head load…, carrying nuts from Abai to the local mill behind our house is now history. My father is capable of paying our school fees, buying books for us; and taking care of us when we are sick thanks to proceeds from oil production.” Jong Cecilia, a Bechati inhabitant testified.

Income generated from oil production has also helped in increasing the number of modern houses in this community.

“Many people have constructed good homes in Bechati; well cemented with quality chairs and musical instruments. All these are dominantly possible thanks to the palm oil project. What a change!” Miss Jong exclaimed.

It is a similar story on the lips of communities in the Mak-Betchou area.

Forchap Aiphue and indigene of Essoh-Attah, where a 2.0 tons daily processing oil mill was installed in 2013, said many hunters in his community have dropped their farms and have set up palm farms thanks to the oil mill.

“With the installation of the oil mill in this area and the provision of ready market by ERuDeF, palm farming has proven to be more lucrative than hunting and trapping. For instance, many youths engaged in palm oil production, have used their proceeds to set up small scale businesses for themselves and their family thanks to this oil mill in my area” Mr.Forchap said

ERuDeF’s Director of Livelihood and Economic Development, Mr. Njom Ignatius, revealed many palm oil supply chain and Non Timber Forest Products including Kernel oil, soap processing, and Njansang, bitter cola and bush mango respectively,
have been envisaged to further improve on the living standards of people adjacent to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuaries and the Proposed Mak-Bechtou Wildlife Sanctuary.

“The oil mill support project has greatly reduced human impact on key biodiversity hotspots in this area and the introduction of NTFPs and palm oil supply chain, will further reduce it to the barest minimum” Mr. Njom said

The Palm Oil Support Project for Cross River Gorilla conservation in the Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex, is part of ERuDeF’s Livelihood and Economic Development Project.This project is aimed at improving on the economic and social status of indigenous communities of Tofala, Mak-Betchou and the Mone East areas in order to enable them effectively support the long term conservation of biodiversity in these areas. The project was carried out with the support of Tusk Trust, Man and Nature, and Trans-petrol Foundation.

By Ndimuh Bertrand &Tendongzi Peter

15 June 2016

Nursery Establishment Training Improves Agroforestry Tree Survival in Lebialem

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Nursery Establishment Training Improves Agroforestry Tree Survival in Lebialem

Statistics indicate that over 85 %, 75% and 50% of Acacia, Leucaena and PrunusAfricana seeds nursed in communities in the Lebialem Division in March 2016 have survived. The average survival rate stands at 70% for all three species up from the 65 % rate of last year

This statistics was revealed recently by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Agroforestry Programme Assistant for Lebialem, Mr. NtungwaElong following an evaluation tour to communities in the Lebielem Division last May, 2016.

ERuDeF Agroforestry Field Technician for Alou Subdivision, Mr. Fotso Jean, attributed this improvement in survival rate to a training workshop on nursery management organized at the beginning of the year by ERuDeF in Buea.

“Last February, ERuDeF trained us on marcotting and grafting, project reporting, nursery management and other farm optimization models. I came back to my area of operation and have been putting this training into practice. I think that’s why many more seedlings survived this year than last year” Mr. Fotso said.

Mr.Elong congratulated the technicians for their assiduity imploring them not to relent efforts. He called on the technicians to ensure effective follow up and monitoring of farming groups and individuals nurseries as they prepare to transplant the seedlings into their respective farms.

29 April 2016

Man & Nature Extols ERuDeF Interventions In Tofala

Posted in News, Views 755

Man & Nature Extols ERuDeF Interventions In Tofala

 Exciting news has emerged at ERuDeF; its partner, Man & Nature, has deeply appreciated the organisation for its consistent development and conservation efforts in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and its adjacent communities. Man & Nature Executive Director, Cecile Lachaux, expressed such satisfaction during her visit to assess the impact of the Net Positive Impact (NPI) project on April 4, 2016.

Lachuax said despite the few challenges that characterised the project at the initiation stage three years ago, it successfully impacted the lives of Tofala adjacent communities while ensuring the long-term conservation of natural resources and great apes in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

“I am quite impressed by the work you are doing, with staff strength of about sixty people and still growing. I think the organisation is doing a lot and really has many beautiful projects. I challenge you to strengthen what you have and to improve on the business structure of the organisation,” Lachuax said, before heading off to ERuDeF project sites in the Lebialem Highlands.

Lachuax got first hand information from communities adjacent to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

“’ERuDeF supported me with five modern bee hives and three months later, I harvested 11 litres of honey that fetched me 27,500 francs CFA. I think bee farming is much more lucrative than the traditional market gardening that we used to practise here,” said Apabelou Frederick, Vice President of the Mmock-Leteh Highland Bee Farmers Cooperative Society created by NPI.

Lachaux visited the Bangang Bee Farmers’ Common Initiative Group, the Besali palm oil mill, pigpens in Nwangong and GHS Besali that benefited from NPI-initiated book donation. According to the President of the Tofala Women’s Association, Ms. Voluntary, the project has greatly alleviated poverty among the association’s members.

“We now produce and market medicated soap, thanks to the training we received as part of the project,” Voluntary told Lachuax after demonstrating the various stages of the production of the soap.

At Government School Banti, Lachaux was amazed by the hilarious welcome she received from the community that turned out to thanked her organisation for the gift of their first-ever modern six-chamber toilet. She received the same warm welcome at GS Mmockmbie where a toilet was donated in 2014.

‘When you work in a development sector, there are always a lot of speed bumps on the way but thanks to ERuDeF and other national NGOs we have been able to develop long-term programmes that conserve biodiversity and also empower adjacent communities. We look forward to a more fluid working relationship and to source for more funding to support projects in and around the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. We also have the Mondia Whitei and Echinops projects,” Lachuax said at the end of her trip.

She suggested some possible areas for improvement to include the development of a more comprehensive business plan that incorporates the marketing of livelihood products and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the livelihood projects to guarantee the wellbeing of Tofala adjacent communities.

The ERuDeF/Man & nature partnership dates as far back as 2010 and is centred around developing projects that conserve biodiversity and improve the livelihood of communities adjacent to protected areas.

The most remarkable outcome of this partnership was the signing of a decree in 2014 gazetting the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

By Limbi Blessing Tata

 

29 April 2016

GBHS Fontem Environmental Club Reaps From School Garden

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 1330

GBHS Fontem Environmental Club Reaps From School Garden

The Environmental Club of GBHS Fontem has begun reaping from its school garden. The club now harvests huckleberry, sweet herbs and cabbages, which are sold to finance its activities. The Coordinator of GBHS Fontem Environmental Club, Njilegac Damian, and other members of the Lebialem Environmental Education Association (LEEA) attribute the success of the school garden to constant training and coaching from ERuDeF.

“Income generated from the sale of the garden’s output is used to purchase school needs such as pens, pencils, rulers and exercise books for needy students in the club,” Njilegac said.

Njilegac said some of the garden produce are stocked at the school’s cooperative and retailed to students at prices far lower than normal market prices.

The Environmental Club Coordinator explained that vegetables take about two weeks after nursing to be transplanted to the garden while tree species take about two months.

He said the Environmental Club initiated the school garden in line with second generation agriculture (sustainable agriculture) for sustainable development that is being promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Tree species donated by ERuDeF are also planted at the school garden to serve as organic and green manure, given that the excessive application of chemical fertilizer is detrimental to the environment.

By Samuel Ngueping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 April 2016

Mutually Agreed Terms for Second ABS Project Signed in Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 778

Mutually Agreed Terms for Second ABS Project Signed in Cameroon

The second Mutually Agreed (MAT) in the Central African region was signed in Cameroon last April 8, 2016 between a French company, V. Mane Fils S.A and the people of the Lewoh Community in Lebialem Division under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED). 

The MAT agreement was signed at the Conference Hall of MINEPDED in Yaounde with Michel Mane (the Executive Director of V. Mane Fils Company/President of Mane Foundation) representing V. Mane Fils, HRM Fon Fotabong representing the Lewoh Community and the Minister Delegate, Dr. Nana Aboubakar representing the Minister of MINEPDED. The agreement was facilitated by ERuDeF.

Aimed at laying down modalities for collaboration between the Lewoh Community and the the  Mane Foundation in utilization of the genetic material from the roots of the Mondia Whitei plant, the MAT agreement permits the  French company to extraction metabolites from the roots of Mondia for research in  food and flavours industries while the Lewoh people in return will receive both monetary  and non-monetary benefits during this phase of the project.

Representing the Minister, Dr. Nana Aboubakar Djallo thanked Michel Mane for his love and confident in Cameroon encouraging the traditional rulers present and the people of Lewoh to collaborate with the V. Mane Fils company for the success of this phase of the project. He hoped other companies will follow the example of the V. Mane Fils Company.

Fon Fotabong on his part thanked the Minister for the team of expert delegated to assist the drawing up the MAT Research and Development document expressing complete understanding of the process

“When one of my Sons, the CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, spoke to me about this, I was a little sceptical because I felt part of my fondom was going to be chopped off and handed to the Mane Company but after carrying out research, I realised that it is in line with the Nagoya Protocol and will be of benefit not only to the Company but to my community as well” he said

While hoping that the research is successful, His Royal Majesty the Fon of Lewoh pledged his community’s collaboration throughout this phase of the project.

“We are a law abiding people; I will want my people to respect the terms of the MAT because it is going to be a win-win process.” Fon  Fotabong said hoping that the research goes through successful so that they can sign the MAT Commercialization

Meanwhile Michel Mane promised to ensure the effective sharing of information and the result that will be obtained during this phase of the project. He highlighted the importance of the local community to the project

“ It is also a way to get more involve with the local community; to get to know them, and to understand their needs because if the project doesn’t make sense to them, then there is no sense of pursuing it” He said.

Michel Mane thanked the local communities, the Cameroon government and ERuDeF for their collaboration hoping to be back next year with ‘more good news’.

 

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