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29 April 2016

Lewoh Throws Weight behind V. Mane Fils in ABS Mondia Project

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 1282

Lewoh Throws Weight behind V. Mane Fils in ABS Mondia Project

The people of the Lewoh Community in the Lebialem Division-Southwest Cameroon have pledged total collaboration with Mane Foundation  , in the research and development of a local plant located in their community, Mondia Whitei known localy Ndrah Li`.

“We the Lewoh people are very happy about this Mondia Project and will like this project to continue. Mr. Mane is a very kind and good man and we are pledging our full support and collaboration to ensure the success of this project because the more his company progresses in this project, the more we, our council and country will also progress” said Fuafueleka the chief of Atetem.

This commitment was made at the end of the Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) Negotiation for Research and Development workshop, which took place last April 5, 2016  in Lewoh village  under the auspices of the representative of the Minister of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Mr. Lemnyuy William, who is also the ABS National Focal Point.

Bringing together local community members & traditional authorities, the Southwest Regional Delegate of MINEPDED, Mayor of Alou Subdivision, the Executive Director of V. Mane Fils ,who is also  the president of Mane Foundation, the President CEO of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) amongst others, Mr. Shey said the workshop is in consonance with the adhesion of Cameroon to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and theBenefits Sharing arising from the utilization of genetic resources.

The President of the Mane Foundation on his part, thanked the community for their hospitality and collaboration this far. He also thanked ERuDeF for diligently ensuring the sustainable management and implementation of projects on behalf of the Foundation.

The President of Mane Foundation  said the project will bring additional revenue to the community via root purchase, improve livelihood, social and environmental aspects of the community.

Discussions and negotiations were made with the Lewoh community on different aspects of the MAT for Research and Development document. Principal amongst these was the fact that the community members will cultivate and sell 1kg of dry Mondia Whitei roots at 5000frs.

In order to ensure the sustainable exploitation and regeneration of the plant, Michel Mane promised an additional 50frs payment to the local community per Mondia plant planted and another 50frs for each Mondia young Plant growth up to a certain level.

The Lewoh people greeted this with lots of ecstasy

“We did not know that this plant could be of any benefit to us. The price has encouraged many of us and we will go home today and start planting tomorrow especially giving that this is a rainy season. Mr Mane has made us to understand that every plant growing in the bush is of value and should not be neglected” said Amingo Walters, a Lewoh Indigene.

One of the Queens of Lewoh Madam Cecilia Nkengafac Atabong corroborated this: “I just need to lay hands on the seeds and you will see what I will do, I will cultivate on large scale and even recruit labour for its cultivation that I can gain something to take care of my children”.

Chief Fuatulah, Representing the Fon of Lewoh see the project as a lucrative source of livelihood to his people.

“This project will reduce Rural Exodus. Cocoa is the only crop sustaining the people of this community and harvested once a year. But with this plant, within the cocoa harvesting, my community will still have something to sustain themselves. It is not difficult to cultivate and is less expensive compared to Cocoa. After planting, up to 3 meters, that is all. You don’t need to spray or spend money on fertilizers. I have told my people to concentrate on this because I belief it will better their life” the cheif of Fuatulah  said.

He thanked Louis Nkembi and ERuDeF liaising with Mr Mane to give meaning to the Mondia in his community wishing him and the organization God’s blessing in all their endeavours.

The Lewoh people said they are eagerly waiting ERuDeF and Mr Mane to give them Mondia seeds and training on the cultivation of the plant.

Meanwhile the ABS Focal Point cautioned the Lewoh people to report any case of a clandestine collection of plants specimen in their community to MINEPDED.

 

29 April 2016

Tofala Eco-guards Trained To Cyber Track Great Apes

Posted in News, Views 640

Tofala Eco-guards Trained To Cyber Track Great Apes

 Five eco-guards have been trained to use geo-referencing skills and cyber trackers to monitor the behaviour of great apes of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Lebialem, Southwest Region of Cameroon. The eco-guards received the practical training, March 21-25, 2015, carried out by ERuDeF’s junior biologist Gwendoline Angwah.

The training featured amongst other sessions geo-referencing of camera traps planted 1km2 with cyber trackers and the processing of information obtained using the camera traps. 

“A cyber tracker is software which is basically a mobile data captured solution that can be used by non-technical people. It can be used in GPS-enabled devices such as smart phones, handheld computers for recording and observing animal movement quickly and easily,” explained Angwah.

“First we remove the SD cards from the camera traps and download the footages into a computer; we examine the footages recorded by the traps and then we can analyse the information on human activities, mammals and other apes in the various sequences of the cyber tracker.”

At the end of the training, the eco-guards were unanimous that the knowledge they acquired would greatly help them to patrol and monitor wildlife more effectively in the sanctuary and anywhere else they may be called upon to work.

“Rest assured of our best in the implementation of this technology in our day to day activities of great apes monitoring within the sanctuary,” said Elebe Bessala Adalbert, one of the eco-guards.

By Enowkenwa Allen Tabi

 

27 April 2016

Upper Bayang Pledges Cooperation For Creation Of Community Forests

Posted in News, Views 713

ERuDeF with technical support from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) has started the process that will lead to the creation of four community forests in Upper Bayang Subdivision, Manyu Division in the Southwest Region. A feasibility study and a sensitization trip have already been made to Upper Bayang by ERuDeF staff and those of MINFOF to ascertain the level of degradation of the forests and the preparedness of the people.

The community forests will be created under ERuDeF’s Community Forest Initiative with two main parallel objectives; to form part of the genetic corridor between the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and Forest Management Unit 11009 (former Mone River Forest Reserve) linking the critically endangered Cross River gorilla and the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and sustainable timber exploitation for community development.

This will be achieved thanks to technical support from the African Conservation Foundation and financial support from the Waterloo Foundation and Global Forest Watch.

All the nine villages to be involved in the community forestry project were visited.  At Ebangabi, the secretary of the traditional council, Pr. Tambe John Ashu, on behalf of the Chief, promised that they would do all in their power to make the process smooth.

In the same spirit, the Youth President of Chinda, Eli Benedict, promised to mobilize the entire village whenever need arises.

The Youth President assured ERuDeF of the commitment of the youths of his village.

The oldest man in Ayukaba village, Tabe Paul Tambe, said a community forest will be a dream come true. He added that their forests are extremely rich in plant and animal species including gorillas, chimpanzees, monkeys and other large mammals.

In Bakumba, Etoko, Bokwa, Kendem and Numba villages, the ERuDeF and MINFOF team met the same enthusiasm.

According to Chief Tarh Frankline of Egbemo, his community had longed for a community forest but did not know how to go about it.

Chief Tarh said the last ‘vente de coupe’ that was hosted by his community did not do much in terms of development.

“They [timber companies that exploited 11-05-24 and 11-04-01 vente de coupes] exploited our forests but we have nothing to show for, so we prefer to manage our forest resources ourselves,’’ Tarh said.

Manyu Division is host to six forest management units for industrial timber exploitation. It covers a total surface area of 263,537 hectares, a national park, sections of two wildlife sanctuaries and a forest production reserve with surface area of about 130,006 hectares and just one community forest of 4000 hectares.

It also hosts two mining concessions covering a surface area of about 180,000 hectares. Thus, communities in the Division have limited rights to their natural resources and the creation of additional community forests will be an advantage to the surrounding communities.

It should be noted that this is a continuation of the work that ERuDeF and the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife started in 2012 following a decree signed by the Government of Cameroon advertising three forest blocks 11-04-05, 11-04-06 (Ayukaba, Bakumba Chinda and Ebangbi) and 11-04-07 (Egbemo, Etoko, Bokwa, Kendem and Numba) for the sale of standing volume (vente de coupe).

Vente de coupes are large volumes of standing forest advertised by the government for sale to private individuals or timber companies for exploitation. These companies pay taxes to the government from which certain percentages are given to the councils concerned for the development of their areas.

The villages directly concerned do not really benefit from these taxes; these exploiting companies do not employ the locals, among others. On the other hand, the creation of community forests will empower the villages to sustainably manage their natural resources as it fosters the sense of ownership.

According to the Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife for Manyu, Kouamedjo Thomas, community forestry is a laudable initiative because it ensures sustainable management of forest resources, while generating revenue for adjacent communities.

He, therefore, pledged his full support to the process.

The team that went to the field included the Project Manager, Ms Limbi Blessing Tata, Assongacap Floribert, the Community Forest Assistant and Tchobe Leon, Chief of Forestry and Wildlife Post of Numba.

By Limbi Blessing Tata

 

 

 

27 April 2016

Trees Cameroon, Nkambe Council Partner To Improve Water Quality

Posted in News, Views 573

Trees Cameroon, Nkambe Council Partner To Improve Water Quality

 Nkambe Council in the Northwest Region and Trees for the Future Cameroon have signed a partnership that seeks to improve on the quality and quantity of drinking water in the Nkambe municipality. The memorandum of understanding was signed between Nkambe Council, Trees for the Future Cameroon (TFTF) Program and Sustainable Run for Development (SURUDEV).                                              

According to the memorandum, Trees Cameroon provided Nkambe Council with over 500,000 seeds of different species; Acacia, Leucaena and Prunus, while Nkambe Council would be responsible for planting of the seeds around water catchments under the supervision of SURUDEV and Trees Cameroon.

Other tree species to be donated to Nkambe Council include Grevillia and Guatemala.

After an assessment trip to the catchment areas and identifying the site for the establishment of the nursery, both parties agreed on the long-term goal of the project.

According to the CEO of SURUDEV, their goal is to resolve the perennial water problem that has plagued Nkambe municipality in the recent past.

“It is our fervent wish that at the end of this project, kids will no longer have to trek long distances to join queues in front of lazy taps in this municipality,” he said.

Lauding the effort of both institutions, the Nkambe Council personnel in charge of the environment, Langi David, sounded optimistic that the water problem in his municipality would be outdated.

Langi pledged the commitment of his council to take proper care of the trees through the construction of a good nursery and regular follow-up of the trees upon transplanting.

“You can be rest assured that your effort and concern for our community will not be wasted,” Langi said.

Trees for the Future Cameroon understands that without water, crops would not do well. The program, therefore, encourages the improvement of soil health and the protection of water catchment points through regular technical support.

By Blaise Jumbam 

27 April 2016

Cattle Graziers Upset Forest Garden System in Bongom

Posted in News, Views 980

Cattle Graziers Upset Forest Garden System in Bongom

Huge technical inputs have been invested to implant the Forest Garden System in the Northwest Region, yet cattle graziers seem to be bent on upsetting the technique that could easily increase agricultural productivity in rural communities. Kiloce Ivo says he has lost huge amounts of his farm produce to cattle intentionally driven to feed on his crops.

“We have been to our chief several times requesting for permission to kill these animals whenever they encroach into our farmland, but he keeps refusing,” Kiloce laments.

This was one of the several grievances presented to the team of technicians of Trees for the Future Cameroon during a trip aimed at evaluating the success rate of the Forest Garden System introduced in all seven Divisions of the Northwest Region in 2015.

Bongom village is located in Nkambe, Donga-Matung Division. It is one of the several communities that has benefitted from the training offered by Trees for the Future Cameroon. Just like several other communities in Menchum Division, the general cry of farmers borders on stray animals and pets that destroy farm produce.

Kiloce, a beneficiary of the Forest Garden System training, says despite the great effort they put in their farms yearly, their productivity is often compromised by the wanton destruction of their crops by cattle left uncontrolled by Fulani herders living in the community.

He decries the lukewarm attitude of their community leaders in addressing the problem, saying the herders have corrupted their chief.

“Our chief should have been able to give us the authorisation if he has not been corrupted by these wealthy cattle owners. Last year, I lost a big portion of my farm produce to these animals that are deliberately directed into our farms by their owners,” says Kiloce.

Despite the growing farmer/grazier conflict, members of the Bongom Farming group have embraced the Forest Garden concept, hoping it will go a long way to improve on their agricultural productivity.

The model forest garden concept entails establishing a forest garden which serves as reference for all members of a farming group. Through the concept, farmers have access to resources like seeds, training, samples and success stories in several farming practices and why other practices tend to fail. 

They also undergo training in the various stages of setting up a forest garden.

An evaluation of the forest garden model implemented in previous years revealed a remarkable success rate in all seven Divisions, under very challenging circumstances.

By Blaise Jumbam

 

27 April 2016

Curious Chimpanzee Attacks Trail Camera in Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted in News, Views 575

Curious Chimpanzee Attacks Trail Camera in Wildlife Sanctuary

A Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee that came face to face with a trail camera in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Lebialem Division turned violent and started throwing stones at the gadget. 

Footage caught on the camera shows the chimpanzee first wondering at the sight of the strange object attached to a tree branch in the heart of the jungle. Gripped by curiosity, the chimp then moves towards the camera, stares into the lens and touches the tree stem possibly to see if the camera would move.

Apparently disappointed by the stillness of the camera, the chimp picks a rock and hurls it at the camera. More disappointment, the chimpanzee moves away.

Throwing rocks and other objects is habitual practice amongst great apes usually to restore order in their groups, scare away enemies. Other signs used by apes for communication include the famous chest beating ritual and loud vocalisation.

In the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, it has been observed that chimpanzees use stones to crack open hard shells. They also use twigs to ‘fish’ out for termites.

It has been documented that tool use is an important behaviour of chimpanzees, which is passed from one generation to the next through observational learning and has become an example of chimpanzee culture.

Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary currently hosts about 90 Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees, 40 Cross River gorillas and unknown number of other mammals and great apes.

ERuDeF in collaboration with its international partners, notably the French conservation charity Man & Nature, Tusk Trust USA and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and collaboration from adjacent communities has for the past sixteen years been working on conserving these great apes, all of which are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list.

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi

 

29 March 2016

Conservation Education: LEEA Promise to Intensify Conservation Efforts

Posted in News, Views 704

Conservation Education: LEEA Promise to Intensify Conservation Efforts

 Members of the Lebialem Environmental Education Association (LEEA) have promised to be more enthusiastic in conservation campaigns in their respective communities

By Samuel Ngueping

This new passion was stirred up during a three day workshop on “Empowering Environmental Club Coordinators for the Sustainable Management of School Clubs’’, organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), March 15th to 17th, 2016 at the Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife in Menji. 

Aimed at equipping environmental educators with basic agroforestory knowledge and reviewing LEEA’s strategic plan, the workshop which brought together LEEA’s members from all three subdivisions of the Lebialem Division instilled in participants knowledge in nursery establishment, environmental education, article writing and grant writing.

The environmental club president of GBHS Fontem Ms. Atebebang Stephanie, like most of her peers and club coordinators, was particularly thrilled with the skills she gained on nursery establishment

” we have learned a lot on nursery establishment and our next plan of action now is to set up sweet bitter leaf and pepper nurseries in our school garden’’ she said.

She added that crops grown in GBHS school garden will be sold to teacher and community members to generate more income and sustain the environmental club and her activities. 

GBHS Fontem Environmental Club Coordinator, Njilegac Demian, was happy knowing what it takes to develop a news article for publication

I have learned a lot especially about article writing; that a good article should be emotional, short and should have a good background story with many action verbs” he said

The President of LEEA Mr. Ketunze James Chama on his part reaffirmed the commitment of LEEA members to intensify environmental conservation sensitization campaigns in their respective schools and localities.

“This workshop has taught me a lot and I think I will be more efficient in teaching my pupils the importance of conservation” said  Mr. Edison Chu of G.S. Bechati, who is also a member of LEA

The representatives of the Lebialem Divisional Delegates of Basic Education and Secondary Education on their part thanked ERuDeF and partners for their environmental education efforts in schools beseeching them to ensure that many schools in the Division are covered.

Just like his primary and secondary education counterparts, the Lebialem Divisional Delegate of Environment, Protection Nature and Sustainable called on all to take proactive majors to minimize environmental depredation.

He urged more women to join the environmental protection team in schools.

The workshop ended with the review and adoption of Lebialem Environmental Education Association’s three year strategic plan.

All the participants expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partners (Man & Nature and Tusk Trust) for their continuous support to environmental protection activities in Lebialem.

 

 

29 March 2016

School garden, generating Income for GBHS Fontem Environmental Club

Posted in News, Views 696

School garden, generating Income for GBHS Fontem Environmental Club

 Huckle-berry, sweet herbs and cabbage vegetables are some of the outputs from the school garden, which are sold for the financing of GBHS Fontem Environmental Club activities.

Speaking at the end of a two day workshop on ‘’ Empowering Environmental Club coordinators for the Sustainable Management of School Clubs’’, which took place recently at the Menji Conference hall, the GBHS Fontem Club Coordinator Njilegac Demian and other members of the Lebialem Environmental Education Association (LEEA) attributed the success of the school garden to constant training and coaching from Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

By Samuel Ngueping

The Club coordinator explained how income generated from the school garden is used.

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

He added that some of the farm produce are equally stocked at the school cooperative and are in course of the year retailed to students at prices far lower than normal market prices.

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.

With the coming of the rainy season, the Environmental Club of GBHS Fontem, just like others, are setting up new nurseries

The Club Coordinator explained that vegetables takes about 2weeks after nursing to be transplanted to the garden while tree species take about 2 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 March 2016

Buea Farming Groups See ‘Gains’ in Agro forestry Farming Systems

Posted in News, Views 771

Buea Farming Groups See ‘Gains’ in Agro forestry Farming Systems

 Some Mile 14-Buea farming groups have expressed interest in integrating the agro forestry farming system into their farmlands for better yields at the end of the farming season.

By Chamdjou Junie

This motivation came at the end of a one week training workshop on the concept of agro forestry, agro forestry nursery establishment, seed types and pre-treatment techniques and the farm optimization model amongst others.  

The farmers expressed gratitude to Trees Cameroon for such a thrilling exercise promising to put what they have learnt into practice by setting up agro forestry nurseries in their individual farms and practicing the farm optimization model for increased yields.

These farmers said their major challenge has been soil infertility and ignorance of agro forestry techniques and thus saw this training as a timely answer to these challenges.

'' I have ​​a hectare of maize, yam and cassava farm but the soil has become so infertile that my output for the past years have been so low I end up just covering the cost of farm inputs with no extra gain to meet family needs. I am however certain that when I finish implementing what I have learned from this training, my life will not be the same again” said Mrs. Formutu Magdaline of NebouNebou Farming Group Mile 14 Buea.

Mrs Formutu just like the rest of the farmers beseeched Trees Cameroon Agro forestry Technician to avail herself for continuous coaching and guidance through the entire process of seed treatment, nursery establishment and transplanting.

Reacting to these farmers, the Trees Cameroon Agro forestry Coordinator for Fako Division promised working closely with the farmers; monitoring and evaluating to ensure that they are doing the right thing per the training.

 

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29 March 2016

GOD FORGIVES MAN BUT NATURE DOESN’T

Posted in News, Views 679

GOD FORGIVES MAN BUT NATURE DOESN’T

God created everything good and beautiful and handed over to man including a wife; the “Natural Environment”.

Man has decided to mal-handle this lovely wife of his; battering and destroying her beauty but God being so merciful, has always forgiven man, giving him the chances to repent that is change his attitude towards his wife, the “Natural Environment”

By Samuel Ngueping

He (God) still gives man water to water crops and drink, seeds to nurse and transplant and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to educate Man on environmental protection, despite man’s wickedness.

Nature on her part does not forgive man for the bad treatment. She responds to man’s pollution of water sources that is  throwing waste, urinating and excreting therein, and  destruction of the forest by giving him deserts, drying up the water and increasing soil erosion.

Also, since man has also become “Boko Haram” to the Gorillas, Monkeys, Chimpanzees, etc due to constant killing of these animals, his wife, “Natural Environment”, is punishing him by sending some of these animals in to extinctions.

NGOs, the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development  and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife are therefore calling on man to change his attitude towards this beautiful wife “Natural Environment”.

 

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