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29 October 2014

450 Pupils and Students in Mak-Betchou Drilled on Environmental Education

Posted in News, Views 1425

Education Officer lecturing primary school pupils

Over 450 pupils, students and teachers in 9 schools around the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary have received lectures on conservation and environmental protection. The lectures were given at the opening of the 2014/2015 new school year by ERuDeF's Education for Sustainable Development Program (ESD) team, AkehNug and Emmanuel Ndip.

The schools notably, Government School(GS) Nzancheng, GS Kitsue, GS Abebue, GS Fonven of Mbetta, GS Njentse, Government Technical College(GTC)Abebue, GS Esso-Attah , GS Njoagwi, and Government High School(GHS) Ngo Esso-Attah received lessons on the threats facing the environment and were educated on how their support as young environmental ambassadors can foster environmental sustainability.

During the sessions, Environmentalist, Emmanuel Ndip asked the pupils and students questions on conservation to trigger their interest and some students already proved to have knowledge about conservation.

The students were told about harmful environmental practices like bush fire, clearing down forest, farming on water catchment areas, the use of chemical fertilizers on farms, illegal hunting etc, as well as the measures that can be taken to reduce or put an end to these harmful practices.

After the sessions, the teachers and students were very happy 'The lectures we have received are priceless. The government of Cameroon is very concerned about wildlife and their habitats and given that our area is blessed with such resources it is important we support ERuDeF to conserve them', a teacher at GHS Essoh-Attah confessed.

The proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary is home to several protected animal and plant species such as the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees, Elephants and drills etc. The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife with the technical support of ERuDeF launched the creation process early 2014.

Ndip Esaka Emmanuel

29 October 2014

Tofala Forest Management Committees Receive Logistical Support

Posted in News, Views 1321

VFMC in Nkong with logistics

Some members of the Village Forest Management Committees(VFMC) in four communities bordering the just declared Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary have received logistical support to permit them collect field data and be more informed to make scientific decisions about the biological population in the forest. The donations were made in a workshop that took place recently.

The VFMCs in, Nkong, Besali, Bechati and Folepireceived books, pens, papers, files, rulers, pencils; amongst others to ease research and data collection, as well as record keeping.

These donations are a follow up to earlier support given to the community based forest governance structures a few weeks back. They were equally trained on data collection and management, use of GPS amongst others in the workshop. Among the participants were the presidents, secretaries and public relations officers of the VFMCs for the Tofala Wildlife Sanctuary.

It would be recalled that the VFMC, according to Cameroon's 1994 Forestry and Wildlife law, is a community forest governance structure formed and strengthened by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife. This body acts as an auxiliary unit to the forestry administration. They form the entry point of forest and forestry related operations at the community level and are supervised closely by the Ministry.

Forbe Hodu

29 October 2014

Water Catchment Sites for Magha-Bamumbu Mapped Out

Posted in News, Views 1303


Access to potable water is one of the biggest challenges rural communities in Cameroon face. Magha-Bamumbu in the Lebialem Division has a long history of water shortages which has often landed inhabitants into serious water related diseases. Water resources in catchment areas in Bamumbu is fast becoming a rare commodity especially in the dry season when supplies dry off and the need for water not only for household purposes but for irrigation and rearing of cattle increases. This sometimes leads to conflict among communities.

In a bid to redress the precarious water situation in this area, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) recently produced a water catchment map of the Magha-Bamumbu area to identify the main water catchments which can be revamped to benefit the different communities.

The restoration process under the Echinops project intends to restore and protect this natural resource by reforestation of the water catchment areas. The process began with the mapping of water points or catchment areas by a Cartographer from ERuDeF.

On August 25, 2014, the Magha-Bamumbu community was brought together for a restitution workshop on the progress of the water catchment protection project. This workshop brought together a total of 34 participants amongst which were the representatives of the Mayor of Wabane, the Fon of Bamumbu, the Chief Forestry Officer for Bamumbu and members of the Mt Bamboutos Echinops Cooperative Society (MoBECoS)

The objective of the meeting was to inform local communities, local authorities and traditional rulers of Bamumbu and Magha-Bamumbu of the on-going water catchment project in Magha-Bamumbu, the restitution of the mapping of water catchment points, carried out by the cartographer and deciding on which catchments to be protected first.

At the end, 10 vital water catchments out of the 37 identified were chosen by the community with the help of the ERuDeF team and work will soon commence on these sites.

The meeting was equally an opportunity to discuss the assessment of progress in relation to the production of a Mutual Agreement Term (MAT) for the commercialization of the second phase of the Echinops project. MoBECoS members, after looking all factors surrounding the production of the plant, resolved that it will be commercialized at 3000frs/kg of dry root.

Both the local authorities and community members were impressed with the turn of events and the fact that they were the key actors at every stage of the project.

ERuDeF is the first local organization in Cameroon to implement the Nagoya Protocol on Access Benefit and Sharing (ABS) with its Echinops giganteus project in the Mount Bamboutos area.

Akeh Nug and Kenmene Lea

29 October 2014

Traditional Dance Groups Pledge Greater Rhino Protection

Posted in News, Views 1383

Dance group pledges support for rhinos

Traditional dance groups and school children in the South West Region of Cameroon renewed their interest in protecting the endangered rhino species, on September 20, 2014.

The groups met at the campus of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies EIBiNS, Mile 18, Buea where they marked the World Rhino Day with various songs and traditional dances. The groups included the Bamumbu Cultural Dance Group,Essoh-Attah Dance Group, the Nganyang Group as well as students of GBHS Muea-Buea.

They decried the plight of rhinos and other wildlife species and pledged their commitment to protect all wildlife species in Cameroon and beyond.

This year's World Rhino Day celebration sought to raise awareness on the five key species of rhinos notably; the Black, White, Greater One Horn, Sumatran and Javan.

The Black Western Rhino used to inhabit the Northern part of Cameroon but succumbed to poaching and other unfriendly human activities.

Eventually, the population of rhinos dropped drastically and in 2011, they were declared extinct by IUCN in Cameroon after research failed to locate any individual.

Rhinos are hunted mostly for their horn demanded largely in the Asian market. It is believed that the horns are a possible treatment for cancer and in some countries; jewelries made from their horns are used as a sign of prestige.

WWF-South Africa in 2010 first announced World Rhino Day in 2010. The following year, World Rhino Day grew into an international success, encompassing both African and Asian rhino species, thanks to the efforts of two determined women; Lisa Jane Campbell and Rhishja. World Rhino Day has since grown to become a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organizations, businesses, and concerned individuals from nearly every corner of the world with one goal-saving the remaining species of rhinos.

With this in mind, the dance groups demonstrated their passion and commitment to protect the endangered apes around them. To express the predicament of the animals, they brought out Jujus and demonstrated dance moves mimicking threatened wildlife species like gorillas and elephants.

Members of the Nganyang dance group were particular about this and the population couldn't stop cheering when they went as far as eating up a plantain stem to demonstrate the eating habits of the animals. According to the leader of that group, the move demonstrates the special connection the Bakweri people share with the great apes.

Meanwhile ERuDeF's President/CEO Louis Nkembi regretted the disappearance of rhinos in Cameroon, but cheered up the public that it is not time to mourn, but time for reflection; to reflect on where we went wrong and what we can do to save other endangered species around us.

He said that the three main cultural groups invited to take part in the dance for rhinos are from villages adjacent to proposed protected and protected areas like the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the proposed Mak-Bechou Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mount Cameroon National Park, for Bamumbu, Essoh.Attah and Nganyang respectively. '

ERuDeF has been working for the last 15 years to save some endangered species such as the cross river gorillas, Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee, elephants etc. While we sing and dance calling for the protection of rhinos in the other parts of Africa and Asia where rhinos are primarily located, today also gives us the opportunity to call for the protection of our flagship species including gorillas and chimpanzees' Nkembi said.

By Immaculate Mkong

21 October 2014

Great News:Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is a Fully Protected Site!!!

Posted in News, Views 2395

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is very delighted to announce to its friends and supporters worldwide that what used to be proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is now a fully protected area-Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. This follows a Prime Ministerial decree signed by His Excellency Philemon Yang, the Prime Minister of Cameroon.


The Prime Ministerial Decree Number 20145212 of September 29, 2014 states that a Sanctuary called Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in Wabane and Alou Subdivisions in the Lebialem Division, SW Region covering a surface area of 8087(Eight thousand and eighty seven) hectares is created and the Administrative Headquarter of the Sanctuary will be in Bechati, in Wabane Sub-division.









The news about Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary being declared a fully protected site was received with a lot of joy the management of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and other stakeholders.


Reaction of ERuDeF's President/CEO- Louis Nkembi


What was your reaction when you first heard that the Prime Minister had signed a decree making Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary a full protected site?

I received the news with a lot of excitement. The decree creating Tofala is a big success for us at ERuDeF and it shows a significant achievement as a real conservation organization and the battle we have been fighting for the last ten years. This is our first major conservation achievement and we are very excited.

One of the main reasons for the creation of this sanctuary was to provide a safe haven for the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla. What does this decision mean for this species?

It is a big excitement for the Cross River Gorillas who live in 11 fragmented landscapes. The creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary comes as the third area in Cameroon where the cross river gorillas live to be uplifted into a protected area. In reality after Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary, Takamanda National Park, now the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, gorillas whose population are dwindling every year can now be said to have a safer place to live in. It is big news not only for us but for the survival of the gorilla in a longer term whose population number less than 300 in the wild.

ERuDeF becomes the first local NGO to have stood at the forefront of the creation of a protected area in Cameroon. This is remarkable. What is the secret and how did ERuDeF pull this off?

It is all about dedication, commitment and perseverance and ability to manage all the conflicts around the creation process. There were a lot of people who did not believe in this dream, but with support from our partners home and abroad and a dedicated team of Researchers, Tofala is today a Sanctuary.

What Role will ERuDeF be playing to ensure the long-term Management of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary?

From the onset, ERuDeF has been a technical partner in facilitating the creation of the sanctuary and thereafter, ERuDeF will continue to act in the same capacity. ERuDeF will mobilize resources nationally and internationally to support government efforts. It is government owned reserve. The government will appoint a Conservator and a team of Rangers while ERuDeF will continue to support in terms of scientific research and other community efforts that will enhance collaborative management.

What Will happen Next after this decree?

After this, the real challenge begins. We have to write a 5-year management plan. We have to also mobilize resources to launch officially the sanctuary and launch the process for the writing of the management plan.

Any Last Words

This achievement is not all about ERuDeF, we want to thank all the individuals who contributed in one way or the other, agencies, our partners, the government of Cameroon, all together we were able to achieve to. A special thanks to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife for their dedication, the administration of Lebialem Division especially the Senior Divisional Officer, and his predecessors who fought relentlessly hard to make sure the sanctuary is a reality, the respective delegates of Forestry and Wildlife and the untiring efforts of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife and not leaving out the staff and board of ERuDeF.


Besides the critically endangered Cross River gorilla, the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to the most endangered African chimpanzee and other endangered wildlife, such as the Drill and elephants.

Interview Conducted by Regina Leke and Mageret Eyong

11 September 2014

ERuDeF To Initiate Research Into the Threatened Amphibians On Mt Nlonako

Posted in News, Views 1794

threatened frog

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has designed a new research project dubbed "Research and Conservation of Threatened Amphibians of Mt Nlonako, Cameroon"

The study seeks to assess and address the conservation issues for the threatened amphibians of Mt Nlonako in Western Cameroon. A comprehensive study of this area has never been done yet it is believed to lodge the largest threatened amphibian and reptile populations in the world. The largest frog is located here. The study will establish the status of amphibian population, its threats, establish the base for a monitoring and conservation program.

Funding is urgently needed to survey and provide urgent conservation measures for Mt Nlonako as this mountain is facing serious human pressure through deforestation, increasing pet trade of amphibians especially the golliath frog (largest frog in the world) and the fact that the government of Cameroon has indicated her intentions to move this mountain forest into a protected area. Furthermore, the advancing urbanisation from Manjo and Nkongsamba towns is an imminent threat added to the migrant influx with the opening of large agricultural estates in the nearby areas. Also the setting up of a toll gate has caused a new town to be emerging near the River Moungo the major habitat for the golliath frog in this area. Consequently given the rising urban population, the increasing human pressure on the habitats and increasing wildlife trade on amphibians especially golliath frog species, and absence of funding, then without this funding, this project will be unable to start.

This project has not received any funding from anywhere and without your support it will be very difficult to launch this project. Funding for this project will be used to pay for field supplies, field guides, local travel costs, tents, GPS, a laptop, communication, publishing of results, support local awareness raising meetings in schools and communities, local lodging, etc

ERuDeF therefore relies on the generous donations of lovers of amphibians in particular and conservation in general in the realization of this project.

09 September 2014

ERuDeF Partners With US University To Produce Short Films for Gorilla Conservation

Posted in News, Views 1928

Shooting of short film 'chop gorilla'

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in collaboration with the University of Colorado USA and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has begun producing a series of short wildlife films that will enhance the conservation of the cross river gorilla and its habitats in Cameroon and Nigeria.

Dubbed Gorilla Folk Films from the Cross River Delta, the short wildlife film series, "made with and for folks in Nigeria and Cameroon" depicts the various threats gorillas and habitats are faced with in Africa, and some pre-colonial and colonial practices that aided the conservation of wildlife and habitats in Cameroon and Nigeria

The first phase of this series, which is shot in and with local communities adjacent to Cross River gorilla habitas in Nigeria and Cameroon, started in Nigeria with the production of the first draft of two short films; Obi and the Juju Forest and Conservation Education.

Meanwhile the second phase of the project which started last August with the objective of producing at least three short films in Cameroon for the series, has just completed the production of the first draft of the first short film in Mamfe; Chop Gorilla.

The production team under auspices of a PhD student from the University of Colorado, Adam P. Hermans is bracing up for the production of the second and third short film in Tofala and Njikwa in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon respectively.

According to the Project Coordinator Adam P. Hermans, upon completion the series will be screened at schools and communities across Cross River, Nigeria and South West, Cameroon as a tool to foster sensitization efforts for the conservation of the Cross River gorilla and their habitat.

Meanwhile plans are underway to continue making such folk films with many other communities for many other animals/wildlife species and conservation situations.

Ndimuh Bertrand Shancho

09 September 2014

ERuDeF Braces Up To Celebrate World Rhino Day

Posted in News, Views 1596

ERuDeF Braces Up To Celebrate World Rhino Day

Cameroon might have lost its Rhino to poaching and other devastating human actions, but that has not stopped conservationists in Cameroon to put their voices together to commemorate the International day for Rhinos come September 22.

This explains why the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) will be joining other nations across the world to call for the protection of all the different species of rhino through a colourful dance presentation come September 20 in Buea, SW Cameroon.

Three dancing groups made up of over 50 persons dressed in t-shirts carrying the pictures of rhino will stage a powerful cultural dance presentation in Buea. These dancers will also sing songs with messages calling for the international community to join forces and safe the remaining species of rhino in the world. They will also brandish flyers carrying messages and pictures of rhinos.

The Bamumbu Cultural Dance, Ndungated Cultural Meeting and the Essoh-Attah Cultural Dance Groups are selected from villages adjacent to some key proposed sites notably the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary. These sites host endangered species such as the Cross River Gorilla, Chimpanzees, Elephants and a host of other threatened species. They are going to raise their voices and dance for the rhinos, while at the same time calling on the government of Cameroon to speed up the creation process of the these proposed sites to provide a safe haven for the endangered species therein.

In order to give this event the pomp in deserves, different print and audiovisual media organs are going to be present to cover and broadcast this event including the country's national media the CRTV, other private media include STV, Canal 2 Televison, Equinox TV, Mt Cameroon FM, The Post Newspaper and The Green Vision Newspaper.

Prior to this day, there is going to be a banner hung at the center of the town on Buea announcing the celebration of this day

Regina Fonjia Leke

09 September 2014

Communities Re-assure Commitment To Assist Gov’t in Creating and Managing Tofala

Posted in News, Views 1316

FFI Program Manager with local people.

Communities bordering the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary notably Nkong, Bechati and Besali have re-echoed their readiness to stand by the government of Cameroon in the creation and management of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. This commitment was made in July 2014 in the respective communities when the West Africa Program Manager for the UK charity, Fauna Flora International (FFI) -Alison Mollon paid a courtesy visit to assess the progress of the project and the commitment of the stakeholders.

In an address by the Ruler of Nkong, His Royal Majesty Chief Eyoung Clement said that they are not against the conservation program as they have declared total support for it. In his words "the people of Nkong have long accepted the project of gazetting Tofala rainforest as a sanctuary and we are ready to support the process all the way"

The Ruler however said their major worry is that they would love the conservation organization to strengthen the sustainability of the alternative livelihood earlier donated such as purchase of vehicle to help transport palm nuts and market the oil amongst others.

In a similar vein, His Royal Majesty Chief Ekwem Tayem Robert of Besali village told FFI's Program Manager that the village was the first to join the conservation train and has also benefited from the fall outs of conservation. He noted that the oil mill has been of utmost importance to his people and has gone a long way in improving living conditions of scores of villagers given the improved quality and quantity. He also called on Ms. Mollon to help raise funds for the marketing phase of the project.

In Bechati, even in the absence of their leader, the population turned out massively to receive Ms. Mollon. They expressed happiness about the creation of the sanctuary and called on government to demarcate the proposed protected area so that development and eco-tourism potentials can be exploited.

They were however worried that the implementation of agricultural alternatives to livelihood may conflict with the gorilla habitat if not demarcated on time.

It would be recalled that the implementation of a sustainable mechanism to cater for the local need of the forest adjacent population is the key to ensuring effectiveness and efficiency. The visit of FFI's Program Manager was a unique opportunity for the team to redefine the alternative livelihood needs of the population and to ensure that any attempt to satisfy these needs were based on current realities on the ground as the basket of goods demanded by society are not always constant.

FFI has been financially and technically supporting the creation process of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary since 2004. Today, the process has made huge progress with the file for the creation of the sanctuary currently at the Presidency waiting final validation.

By Forbe Hodu

09 September 2014

ERuDeF Partners With US Charity To Restore Lebialem Water Catchments

Posted in News, Views 1606

Demontration on tree planting at water catchment.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in partnership with US Charity Trees for the Future has planted 1000 agroforestry tree species around four water catchments in some communities in the Lebialem Highlands SW Region notably Mmouck-Leteh and Mmouckmbie.

The activity was carried out recently by ERuDeF's education team with the technical assistance of Trees for the Future's Field Technician Fotso Jean. The species planted included Caliandra, Acacia and Laecaena

Prior to the planting of these trees, community sensitization meetings on water catchment protection were held in these communities to drill the population about catering for their water catchments.

These meetings saw the participation of over 50 community members who were educated on the importance of protecting water catchments, on some factors that threaten these catchments and how they can protect them for their use and that of future generations. The villagers were also educated on the role trees play in catchment areas and the effects of cutting them down.

ERuDeF then provided the tree seedlings of agroforestry species to the communities and after, demonstrations on how to prepare the seedlings before planting were done and the people actively got involved in planting the trees 2 square meters apart at the catchments.

The community members lauded the efforts of ERuDeF and Trees for the Future in protecting the environment and restoring fragile ecologies. And promised to take good care of the trees.

Akeh Nug

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