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11 October 2017

Two Viable Business Models Developed For MBAAH Community Forest

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 Two Viable Business Models Developed For MBAAH Community Forest

Some two business proposals have been developed on forest and Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) for the MBAAH Community Forest (CF). These business proposals were developed recently by community members with under the mentorship of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation. Meanwhile,charcoal and bush mango productions werealso earmarked for business.

This choice was made based on results from a resource mapping exercise which says, there are over 7000 stands of bush Mango in the MBAAH CF. It was also based on the fact that there are lots of off cuts from Timber which is being exploited from the forest. With these, the community has chosen to produce charcoal as a means to raise additional funds for identified developmental projects in this area.Some of these projects include the construction of community halls in all 4 villages, scholarships to students, support to schools within the locality distribution of inputs to farmers and maintenance of farm to market roads.

According to the Forest Management Officer of the MBAAH CF, Mr. Mbongaya Patrick, this business development process is an eye opener to the community. “The process makes you understand clearly the different steps involved in the different models, the investments and potential profit smart persons can use this process with their individual businesses,” Mr.Mbongaya said.

In addition, other community members expressed their readiness to engage in the various businesses.

“The community is very ready to lend their support and useful contributions towards the success of this enterprise,”MrOsoh Scott added.

The MBAAHCF is found in the Nguti sub division and made up of 4 villages which are; Ekenke, Mboka, Afrikpabiand Ediengoh.

11 October 2017

Four Landmark Biodiversity Conservation MSc. Theses Defended At ERuDeF Institute

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 Four Landmark Biodiversity Conservation MSc. Theses Defended At ERuDeF Institute

Some four landmark Masters of Science (MSc) theses have been defended in the area of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies.

The defence took place last September 8, 2018 at the Institute’s campus, Mile 18, Muea Road-Buea. The first thesis, defended by Angwa Gwendoline , was based on “Gastrointestinal parasites of Drills in the Korup National Park.

Motivated by hands on training acquired during her course work, this young researcher made some startling revelations from her investigation

“It was discovered that the drills of the Korup National Park have high protozoan nematodes and trimatodes infections. These diseases are said to have caused the death of Drills in other parts of the world” She disclosed.

Ms Angwa recommended that Parasites surveillance be incorporated in the biomonitoring of great apes to monitor parasite rates of species in the wild. Though already recruited as a biologist with the Environment and Rural Development Foundation, the ERuDeF Institute Conservation ambassador hopes to continue researching on the parasites affecting apes in the Korup National Park on a seasonal basis

Grace Niba, is another candidate, who also defended on this day. Overwhelmed by limited information about amphibians in Cameroon, this young researcher conducted a Survey on Amphibians of Mount Nlonako, Littoral Region of Cameroon: with focus on Goliath Frog. Her research induced some interesting discoveries.

“It was discovered that the distribution of Goliath frogs on Mt Nlonako is not uniform. They are located in most large streams at elevations of 200m and 1000m above sea level. Key threats to this frog species remains habitat loss and over harvesting. For example It was discovered that an estimated 19,440 frogs are harvested every peak season” she hinted.

The amphibians researcher recommended amongst others that awareness campaigns be carried out to sensitize communities around Mt Nlonako on the ecological importance of amphibians and the need for amphibian conservation.

Cont. from pge 1. On her part, Ntui Ebob Ojong Michelin, observing the increasing urbanization in Buea and a constant water crisis decided to focus her Masters thesis on the Assessment of Water Quality of Some Catchments in Buea, South-West Region, Cameroon. At the end of this research work, she is very happy contributing to science and development.

“I feel happy because this is a daunting issue plaguing everyone in the world today. Doing research on this topic and bringing science to life, makes me happy. I discovered that farming around water catchments, houses, animal dung and agricultural activities have effected the water making it microbially unfit for drinking. Houses located around this area have their safety tank around the catchment, which contaminates it” Ms Ntui explained.

The ERuDeF Institute graduate called on the Buea Council to carry out water quality assessment and develop policies that protect water catchments within the municipality.

. In the area of Environmental Education, Mr. Njume William Moto, explains that acquiring so much knowledge on the concepts governing the environment and the need for protection using education as a principal tool, he had to get into the minds of community members around protected areas to find out how much they appreciate biodiversity conservation. Thus, his research work is focussed on the Assessment of Community Awareness on Biodiversity Conservation in Tofala Hill and proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuaries in Lebialem Highlands.

At the end of the defence, one of the Examiners Dr. Fokam Eric could not hide his feelings about the quality of the thesis defended. “I am extremely pleased by the quality of research which the students have come up with. What we have been telling them and are sure they will implement is that they should be able to translate the results of their research into wealth, and to influence policy for the betterment of their communities” he said.

The Chair Man of the Defence Council, Professsor Chuyong George, on his part congratulated the candidates on their success. He appreciated them for daring in areas, which many young researchers in the country shy away from. The Chair Man also urged students to use their research results to influence government policy towards biodiversity conservation.

Created by Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2012, the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) is dedicated to the holistic study of biodiversity and philanthropy in Africa.

It trains both national and international students and researchers in the area of Biodiversity, Agroforestry, Environmental Journalism, Non-profit and Fundraising Management and Environmental Education. The school has graduated over 33 young leaders in conservation

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

11 October 2017

Over 2Million Agroforestry Trees Planted Littoral, West Northwest, Southwest Cameroon

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Over 2Million Agroforestry Trees Planted Littoral, West Northwest, Southwest Cameroon

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Trees for the Future-USA, has transplanted 2,188,000 Acacia, Leucaena, and Prunus tree species in over 80 communities in the 15 Divisions in the Southwest, Northwest, West and Littoral Regions.

This inventory was recorded after visit paid to project sites by ERuDeF Agroforestry Coordinators last September 2017. This statistics according to ERuDeF’s Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development Director, Prudence Payong, constitute 73% of the organisation’s tree planting target for 2017. This target was to plant all together 3million trees in farms, water catchments and schools across the regions before the end of the year.

The Director said these trees (Acacia and Leucaena) are planted for the improvement of soil fertility, to serve as life fences, fodder for animals, pegs for beans and yams, nectar for bees, fuel wood and to secure water catchments while Prunus is to be used for medicinal purposes.

The planting of these over 2million trees, is a culmination of a number of activities

“We started by organising seventy one transplanting workshops across the regions. During these workshops, demonstration sites were put in place, with farmers and water catchment committees trained on the different technologies of agroforestry. Nurseries were also set up in all the communities and continuous monitoring trips paid to the sites. Few months after, the seedlings were ready for transplanting and that’s what we are doing now,” Ms Payong explained.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Trees for the Future (TFTF), have been making great strides in the restoration of degraded agricultural landscape in four Regions of Cameroon. Since 2007, the agroforestry development programme has improved the soil quality of several hectares on land in the Southwest, Northwest, West, and Littoral Regions.

 

11 October 2017

ERuDeF Institute’s IVP Programme, Contributing To Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

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ERuDeF Institute’s IVP Programme, Contributing To Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

Created in 2008 to improve and build the capacity of Cameroonian graduate students known as the International Volunteering Programme {IVP}, it has within a period of nine years grown from a small national initiative to an international program. The number of participants in the program has greatly increased from a few per year in 2008 to over 50 students and enthusiasts in 2017.

The internationalisation of the program has brought huge benefits to Cameroon and Lebialem Highlands specifically. Previous volunteers have been able to take by new roles of liaison to build new fences and partnerships.

B. Shancho Ndimuh

These partnerships have been able to mobilize substantial resources that have enabled ERuDeF to support the creation and management of key biodiversity sites like Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Such contributions urged the ERuDeF Board in a meeting recently, to confer on these volunteers the title “Conservation Ambassadors.” Dr. John Daniels has been instrumental in the creation of the ERuDeF UK while Chris Jerkinson supported the cost of one staff etc.

Within the last nine years, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has received hundreds of volunteers from Canada, United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Netherlands, France, South Africa and Asia. They come to support research, raise awareness and contribute towards the protection of Cross River Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Cameroon

The volunteers during this period, also plant trees to regenerate and protect degraded landscapes. This part of the volunteering is usually very consoling especially when one looks at the indispensable role of trees in global warming mitigation today.

“Being a banker for many years, this expedition gave me the opportunity to express my love for nature and to do something that will impact lives. So I felt I will leave a better legacy by helping people to preserve an environment which is under attack from pollution, global warming, poaching, logging and many others” Irish volunteer, Tony Malone remarked after planting trees in the Lebialem and Fako Divisions, Southwest Cameroon.

These volunteers, who are ERuDeF’s ambassadors of this initiative in their respective countries, have gone beyond contributing physical and voluntary donations to becoming global ambassadors of the program by raising the international profile of the program and major international funding. Their international drive has led to the funding of more-on-the- ground projects like the construction of two semi-giant palm oil hydrant mills, amphibians research at Mount Nlonako which culminated in the establishment of a distribution map of the Goliath frog in this area, the creation of UK branch of Cross River Gorilla Project, school children support in Tofala and international board of Trustees amongst others.

The International Volunteering Programme receives volunteers between the ages of 18 and 70 from all over the globe. They spend several weeks and months supporting the conservation of wildlife and other forms of biodiversity in Cameroon.

For more on this, visit: https://volunteeringwitherudef.wordpress.com/. Also contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

There are increasing number of returns and volunteers joining the ambassadors’ program.

As we celebrate the 10th year of this program in 2018, the international volunteering program has been renamed as “The International Biodiversity Expedition” and will henceforth be managed by the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and non-profit studies. The core support for this programme is coming from the African Conservation Foundation (ACF).

11 October 2017

ERuDeF Menji Staff Renew Commitments

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ERuDeF Menji Staff Renew Commitments

Staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF’s) Western Regional Office, based in Menji, have echoed their renewed commitment to push forward the Organisation’s Conservation vision by carrying out their work diligently and on time. They made the commitment during an enlarged staff meeting that took place recently in the conference room of the Menji office.

Emmanuel Nkeng

According to the staff, given the growth in strengthat the Menji office compounded by increase of activities around the Lebialem highlands, there was a need for a come together so staff commitments could be boosted.

“We are now counting up to 12 ERuDeF staff at the Menji. Our workloads have been increased as well. Therefore, we needed this kind of meeting so we understand how to execute our various tasks at the shortest possible time. We also needed a forum like this to discuss how to collaborate effectively with one another,” said Nkeng Emmanuel, Administrative, and Logistics Officer.The staff used the occasion to boost staff relationship and seek possible ways of implementing collaborative management techniques.

“The meeting was timely, especially in ironing out any challenges we faced in carrying out our activities. Some staff used the platform to err and mend broken relationships for the betterment of the Organisation. I strongly believe that our activities will greatly be improved after the meeting,” said Njom Ignatius, Manager of Silver Back Company.

Meantime, the Manager of ERuDeF Menji Field Office, Allen Tabi, called on every staff to put in their efforts so that earmarked timelines can be attained. He beckoned on managers and coordinators of various projects to translate all the recommendations taken in the meeting to concrete actions.

“We all concur to the proverbial phrase that says coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. It is going to be on that basis that we shall all achieve our various tasks,” Allen Tabi added.

Some of the pending activities on course for execution include bio monitoring/surveys in Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS), and the proposed Mark-Bectchou Wildlife Sanctuary (MBWS), sensitisation on environmental protection through the preparation and proper coordination of live radio coverage in the Lebialem community radio. In addition, there will be carrying out of trainings for cooperative members around Lebialem by ERuDeF staff on cassava cultivation, bee and pigs farming techniques among others.

11 October 2017

ERuDeF, CAMHERP-CBF Conduct Biodiversity Inventory At Mt Muanenguba

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ERuDeF, CAMHERP-CBF Conduct Biodiversity Inventory At Mt Muanenguba

Wildlife Biologists from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) andthe Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) have reappraised the biodiversity abundance in Mt. Muanenguba. This was after a two week inventory conducted on the mountain to keep abreast with the various fauna and flora present in the mountain.

Stanely Acham

From August 20 to 31,2017ateam, made of ERuDeF’s Amphibians coordinator, Grace Neba, alongside ornithologists (bird specialists) and chiropterologists (bat specialists) from the University of Maroua, Congo Basin Institute and Dja Reserve respectively, were engaged in identifying birds and bat species at this emblematic mountain. Two mist nets for birds were set up every morning. This according to Jean Michel Takuo from Congo

Basin Institute was because most birds are active early in the morning. For bats, mist nets were setup every evening. The birds were also identified via point count.

Some bird species captured during the survey, included but not limited to the Bannerman weaver (Ploceusbannermani) and Cameroon Blue-headed sunbird (Cyanomitraoritis).

The inventory also served as an opportunity for ERuDeF’s Amphibians Coordinator to gain new knowledge in bird and bat survey

“After this survey I now know how to set up mist net for birds, conduct point counts for birds and also how to collect and record data for birds and bats in the field. As a wildlife biologist in ERuDeF having broad knowledge on several wildlife species survey method is paramount. From now on if ERuDeF is planning any bird survey then I think I can successfully conduct the survey. Also I will be glad to teach my other colleague what I learnt in the field” She testified

Jointly organized by ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF, the expedition was conducted as part of activities for the Mt Manenguba project aimed at establishing a data base of all wildlife species within the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve.

11 October 2017

SBC, Contributing To Collaborative Protected Area Management In Cameroon

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SBC, Contributing To Collaborative Protected Area Management In Cameroon

The Silver Back Company Ltd (SBC) is a social business company created by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2013. It aimed at assisting the communities in which ERuDeF is working, commercialise the products produced by the cooperatives.

Ignatius Njom

The SBC Ltd constitutes the principal source of funding to two endowments namely the ERuDeF Endowment Fund (EEF) the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF). It is currently involved in the commercialisation of palm oil, honey, Mondia and Echinops roots from the Lebialem Highlands.

Proceeds generated from the sales of the Silver Back Company go towards the capitalization of the Forest Protection Fund (FoProF), a community-based conservation trust fund and the ERuDeF Endowment Fund, designed to support the charitable activities of ERuDeF.

SBC Ltd buys her products from the community enterprises, processes the products and markets them. The cooperatives in return, invest proceeds from the sales into its activities.

The Company also re-invests 40% of the profits into SBC Ltd operations. Then 30% of the profits generated by SBC Ltd goes into the ERuDeF Endowment Fund another 30% into the Forest Protection Fund. This fund will carry out operations without depending entirely on the external funding.

The Forest Protection Fund seeks to support activities of protected area management like law enforcement, forest surveillance, biological monitoring and wildlife education in schools and communities. FoProF is a community-based conservation trust fund established by ERuDeF to support village level conservation initiatives of Village Forest Management Committees (VFMCs) and traditional councils.

In the next five years, with an estimated investment of $1.000, 000(FCFA 550,000,000) , the SBC Ltd will stand out as the main funder for these two endowments whose mission is to fund the charitable programmes of ERuDeF with focus on biodiversity and protected area management as well as other components of sustainable development.

SBC Ltd’s key investment will be in the domain of biodiversity business. SBC will continue to focus its trade on palm oil, non timber forest products, ABS products and maybe other products entering into the biodiversity realm.

11 October 2017

SBC Contributions To Dev’t Of Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative In Cameroon

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SBC Contributions To Dev’t Of Access & Benefit Sharing Initiative In Cameroon

Throughout history, indigenous peoples and local communities have used traditional knowledge and biological resources to cure illnesses, provide nourishment, and fulfill everyday livelihood needs. More recently, many people have benefitted from the use of some of this knowledge and biodiversity to develop pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, crop varieties and livestock breeds, and other products for personal use. However, communities that have nurtured the genetic diversity over thousands of years of cultivation and wild use often have not benefitted from these developments. Frequently, they are not involved in the research and development process, receive little or no compensation for their knowledge or resources, and have no access to the final products.

Ebenezer Akumbo

In an attempt to address these concerns at international and national levels, the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative was introduced.ABS Initiative refers to the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources and their related traditional knowledge.

Launched in Cameroon in 2012, the concept of ABS is been field-tested in Communities of Magha and Lewoh with Echinops and Mondia. The Mondia and Echinops genetic resources are purchased from the communities by the cooperatives (LeWoCoS and MoBECoS). The products are then exported to V. Mane Fils Company through Silver back company (SBC). The goal of the company is to provide long term financing to ERuDeF’s charity programmes through ploughing back profits generated from the Company’s businesses.

Silver Back Company serves as a link between the cooperatives and the French company. The Mount Bamboutos Echinop Cooperative Society (MoBECoS) is involved in buying the products from local communities, weighing and drying of the roots. The company is also involved in the buying and exporting of Mondia related products.

The benefit sharing scheme according to the Mutually Agreed Terms for the commercialization of Echinopsgiganteus in Cameroon is vital in regulating the relations between all stakeholders involved in the process.

Since the start of 2017, Silver Back Company has assisted in the exportation of 1 ton of Echinops roots to V. Mane Fils Company in France.

The Silver Back Company has contributed greatly in the commercialization of Echinops by linking the French Company in the North South trade relations and facilitating quality and respect of business ethics.

11 October 2017

Liquid Fertilizer Gaining Grounds In West Region

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Liquid Fertilizer Gaining Grounds In West Region

Farmers in the Western part of Cameroon have adopted a new method of fertilising crops. Juice squeezed from agroforestry leaves and other biological materials are applied on crops, yielding equivalent results as other fertilisers. The new technology was discovered by ERuDeF’s field based technician in Bakassa (West Region of Cameroon), Jean Baptiste Nitcheu,

According to Jean Baptiste, planting these trees year in, year out, gave him the new knowledge of creating his own fertiliser from natural and agroforestry plants. With his enthusiasm for the agroforestry project, he began to test different ways of making his life much better and it is from here that since 2010 he began to produce liquid fertilizer

“The liquid fertilizer is made out of water, urine of rabbits, and Acacia or Leucaena leaves. It requires no money. I have been able to make huge gains out of this fertiliser, helping other farmers in their farms. It highly increases soil fertility and thus, greater output from the farm,” Jean Baptite said.

He underscored the advantage of the liquid fertilizer over other fertilizers

“They are applied to plants by watering or spraying thereby reduce watering, it doesn’t require the labour of mixing it into the soil. The best part is, this mixture serve as pesticides as it kills all insects destroying crops,” Jean Baptiste added.

This new discovery has greatly helped many famers in the West Region. With the ease with which the fertiliser is applied, many farmers around Noun and Menoua Division of the West Region are investing in the use of the Liquid fertiliser.

“It’s a miraculous fertiliser. We apply on our cabbage and Irish potatoes farms, and honestly, our crops are really fresh. It’s so natural and it readily fertilises the soil,” Michelle Ngakam affirmed.

Hence food production is on the increase in this part of Cameroon. The said man,Nitcheu Jean Baptiste, has been working with Trees for the Future/Trees Cameroon since 2007 and has planted over 1million agroforestry species of trees.

Payong Prudence

03 August 2017

ERuDeF, Rainforest Trust Making Great strides in Managing Tofala

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 ERuDeF, Rainforest Trust Making Great strides in Managing Tofala

The Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is one of Cameroon’s newest protected area created in 2014 by a Prime Ministerial Decree for the conservation of some close to 40 Cross River Gorilla, over 150 Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzees, unknown population Drills and other biodiversity species.

Though a bold step towards conserving this biodiversity hotspot and its emblematic biodiversity species, the protected area was still left at the mercy of some thirteen adjacent communities, who continue to hunt and sell wildlife species, also creating farms within the area in a bid to meet up with daily needs.

By B. Shancho Ndimuh

Haven successfully facilitated the creation of this protected area, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) could not let its dream of ensuring the long term conservation of endangered biodiversity species in the area, most especially the Cross River Gorilla, Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzees and Drills amongst others to be watered down by unsustainable anthropogenic activities.

To avert this plight, the Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit organisation, ERuDeF, last January, 2017 joined forces with Rainforest Trust USA.

Aimed at ensuring the conservation and effective management of this biodiversity hotspot, ERuDeF and partner trained and equipped some nine government Eco-Guards and six community Eco-Guards with the necessary knowledge and tools like global positioning System (GPS), cyber trackers and camera traps, to crack down on deviant behaviours in and around the sanctuary.Few months after, the Conservator of the Tafala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary,Mr Thomas Njimin Amin, in an interview granted The Green Vision recently, testified that a lot has been achieved

“I think our presence and constant patrol of this area has scared away many poachers because poaching has drastically reduced. What remains a great challenge is the opening up of new farms most around the Egumbu flank of the forest. We actually find it difficult to carry out any legal action against the perpetrators because we too are not certain about the park boundary. So the speedier ERuDeF can facilitate the demarcation of the park border the easier our task will be” the Conservator recommended.

He added that their patrol has led to the discovery of a market in Egumbu that operates in the night and is known for the selling the cartridges to hunters mostly from Mamfe and Bamenda. The Tofala boss said he will be meeting the Divisional Officer of that area so that the market can either be dissolved or made to operate during the day.

In the area of research, ERuDeF’s team of biologists alongside some six trained local Eco-guards are carrying additional surveys in and around Tofala extending to areas like Egumbu, Bamumbu and Fossimondi, that have hitherto never been covered due to logistic reasons. Speaking to The Green Vision recently, ERuDeF’s Biologist, Gwendoline Angwa revealed that this additional survey has led to the discovery of a group of the Nigerian Cameroon Chimpanzee and signs of the Cross River Gorilla in Fossimondi and some monkey species in Bamumbu. She indicated that, the research has led to the recording of several signs of wildlife threats like gun shells and new farms with some up to one hectare amongst others.

Miss Angwa said the data collected has been imputed into a database which will be analyzed and published in due course. This, according to her will influence government policy towards the effective management of this protected area.

In order to effectively engage community members in the conservation of this protected area, Miss Angwa disclosed that ERuDeF has re-organised the Village Conservation Committee with members trained and implored to follow up and ensure that protected species are not hunted and new farms are not opened within the protected area.

In a bid to promote ecotourism and research within this biodiversity hotspot, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ERuDeF, Ursula Nkeng, said feasibility studies are being carried out for the construction of an office based camp while contacts are already been made with engineers that will construct the camp. She added that activities geared towards demarkating the park boundaries have already begun. Meanwhile, the putting in place of a technical committee for the elaboration and validation of a Management Plan for the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), is being awaited. A request letter in this regard was transmitted to the Minister last April, 2017.

The COO stated that as soon as the technical committee is put in place by the Minister, a road map for the establishment of the management plan will be established while Sub-Divisional, Divisional and National validation meetings will be organized.

It’s therefore incumbent on the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to speedy the putting in place of the task force to hasten up the establishment of the management plants greatly needed for the proper management of this outstanding biodiversity hotspot with globally threatened and important species.

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