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31 March 2014

GREAT NEWS!!!-Cross River Gorilla, Nigeria-Cameroon Chimp and Preuss Monkey Caught in Camera in Tofala Forest

Posted in News, Views 1981

In January 2014, ERuDeF's Biological team received a two-day training on the collection and assembling of great apes data in the Forest from a wildlife Expert from the Virginia Tech University, Michael st Germain. He gave the training during his visit to the Lebialem Highlands SW Cameroon, from January 9th to January 15th 2014. After this training, the team went into the forest and set up camera traps. Less than a month after these cameras were set up in addition to other cameras set up by a PhD Research student from University of Bonn, Sebastian Linnarz, in the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the elusive Cross River Gorilla has been caught in camera alongside other endangered species including the Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzees and Preuss Monkey. Enjoy this picture gallery!

 

gorilla

Cross River Gorilla sitting behind branch of a tree

 

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Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzee carrying young one

 

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Chimpanzee carrying young one

 

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Chimpanzees feeling free in their natural habitat

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Young Chimpanzee climbing a tree

chimp

Chimp carrying young one


EK000065Preuss Monkey in Tofala forest

EK000026Chimps moving in the forest





 

 

26 March 2014

Dead Elephant Found In Proposed Mak-Betchou Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Posted in News, Views 1563

Field Guide examines deag elephant

 

An Elephant has been found dead in the proposed Mak-betchou Chimpanzee Sanctuary SW Cameroon. The elephant was found recently by a Field Guide Njingu James working for the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). Njingu James is reported to have got a foul odour while he was looking for rattan in the forest but did not bother to verify where the odour was coming from. However after spending one week in the forest while he was returning to the community, the smell was so strong that he went to check it out. On his arrival to the scene, he found a carcass of an elephant that was killed in Mak-Betchou Forest Block, with the head chopped off and without any tusk. He immediately reported the incident to the ERuDeF Field Office in Menji-Fontem, Lebialem Division. From the 5th to 7th of March, ERuDeF dispatched a fact finding mission to the scene made up of the Chief of Post of Forestry and Wildlife for Fontem, Ngnitchiba Gah Edrissou, ERuDeF Staff and the Field Guide to Mak-Betchou forest to collect evidence for this incident.

The information gotten was very sad. An adult elephant already in an advanced decomposition state covered with soot and infested by maggots, flies and other insects with the head, cut off without tusks, separated from the rest of the body, lying about 40 centimeters away. The Elephant was killed in the Northwestern part of the proposed Mak-Betchou Chimpanzee Sanctuary, precisely in latitude 604619 and longitude 588056.

According to ERuDeF's Officer in charge of Wildlife and Protected area, Enokenwa Allen Tabi, the killing of this elephant is a very bad sign 'We met the carcass of the elephant without the tusks. This implies the villager or whosoever killed the elephant was not looking for meat to feed his family! This could be the beginning of organized crime to search for tusks in the Mak-Betchou forest and immediate action must be taken to prevent subsequent killings" Allen said.

The Chief of Post for Forestry and Wildlife at the Divisional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife lamented the killing. "The government of Cameroon is totally against the killing of Elephants which play a very important ecological role, particularly in maintaining the diversity of flora and fauna. The Forestry law is very clear. Elephants must not be killed! I strongly condemn this act and if the perpetrator is caught, he shall face the full arm of the law" He was however hopeful that with the recent decision by the Ministry of Forestry with the technical assistance of ERuDeF to gazette the Mak-Betchou forest, this might provide a safer home for the elephants.

Elephants it would be recalled have a profound impact on their environment: they bush over trees creating clearing and grassland, dig for salt and disseminate seeds of many plants, creating a patchwork of many forest types and habitats for many other species, and thus exert an influence over age and structure of the flora and specific composition of fauna in their habitats. The ecological relationships may have economic consequences. For instance, some tree species important to timber industry have large seeds that are disseminated mostly by elephants. If these animals were to disappear, the natural regeneration of these trees could be in jeopardy.

Elephants in Cameroon just like other wildlife species have suffered the effects of poaching which has greatly caused their population to dwindle in the last decade. In 2012, over 200 elephants were killed in the Boubadjida National Park in the North of Cameroon and Elephants continue to be slaughtered in other parts of the country. There is therefore need for a concerted effort to prevent further killing of elephants. In order to further support government action, ERuDeF will in the near future be launching a Southwest Wide project known as "South West Cameroon Elephant Monitoring and Conservation"

By Regina Leke

06 March 2014

St Monica University matriculates second batch of students

Posted in News, Views 1956

In an event that brought together a cream of persons from the academia including the clergy, the St. Monica University has matriculated the first batch of students. This took place at the Liongo Campus on January 25, 2014.

Giving a discourse on behalf of the president, Tsafack Fidelis indicated that the St Monica University is the only one in the area bringing American style of study nearer the Cameroonian population. It is again, he said, the only university that really practices the much talked about BMP system where there is flexibility and ease of movement within fields. Quoting from a speech made by the president on another occasion, he said the students of SMU ‘learn with support’ and ‘graduate with confidence’.

Fr. Andrew Solih Ngah, one of the regents of the university, in a motivational speech drew from his own experience and experiences of his peers to present to students the advantages they have to study in such a place as St Monica. Studying under street lamps and burning the midnight candle was practical for them not metaphorical. He encouraged students to work hard to merit their certificates. Some vices which could deter them from this goal he highlighted were: local heroism, procrastination, sloth etc. He called on students to see where they are as green because he who is inside the fence sees the other side as green forgetting that once outside the fence the other side will now look greener.

A major highlight of the day was the taking of the matriculation oath. With hands raised, the students swore to stand for excellence, truth, moral rectitude and for the integrity of the individual and society. Following the values of the university which seeks to transform the lives of its students and the society through teaching and developing new knowledge through research, the students took the oath.

 Ita Nawom

06 March 2014

News on the Environment & Sustainable Development in Cameroon: A Review of Cameroon’s Pioneer purely Environmental Newspaper-The Green Vision

Posted in News, Views 1819

News on the Environment & Sustainable Development in Cameroon


A Review of Cameroon's Pioneer purely Environmental Newspaper-The Green Vision

GV 6

 

Minister Re-iterates Ban on Plastic Bags

The Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature for Sustainable Development, Hele Pierre has restated that the ban on plastic bags in Cameroon will be effective from April 2014. The Minister made the statement on January 16 in the country's headquarter Yaounde while receiving New Year wishes from staff of central and external services of the Ministry. Hele Pierre reiterated that plastics are dangerous to the soil and the population and their negative effects can live on for generations, so it should be the concern of everyone to make sure it is eliminated to help protect the environment. The Minister called for the cooperation of all stakeholders and the public for effective implementation of the decision.

 

Meanwhile Cameroonians home and abroad have been reacting to the decision to ban the use of plastics in Cameroon. Some of the reactions the Green Vision Newspaper reported include;

 

Vincent Nkafu LekeLet the Minister review his thoughts and provide an alternative to plastic bags. It is important to protect the environment no doubt, but it is equally crucial to propose an alternative for those involved in the plastic sector.

Vincent Nkafu Leke

Barrister at Law, Free Town, SierraLeone

 

Atem MaureenPersonally I don't think this a good idea. But nonetheless, if the government thinks they have a substitute for plastic bags, let the government make sure it is made available as soon as the ban commences. Without this, it will be a terrible situation in this country.


Atem Maureen

University of Buea

 

Etchu RolandTo me, it is a quite a laudable initiative. If you ask me, not only plastics but all non degradable items which are a threat to the environment due to their toxic nature should be banned. But my worry however is if there is a mechanism put in place to replace these plastics.

Roland Etchu

Buea

 

Monde KingsleyCameroon should also device its development plan on a green economy platform and this is what the idea to ban plastic bags is all about. But is Cameroon ready for this? Our growing economy depends so much on plastic bags from petit trading such as mineral water to the sales of tomatoes. Alternative to plastic bags such as bio-degradable plastic bags should already have been in circulation today if the Government wants the April deadline to be respected. If this decision is not well planned, it might just be more trouble to many poor who depend on the use of plastic bags for their livelihood. So any solution in place should take into consideration aspects of convenience, price and quick accessibility to all levels of persons in the society.

Monde Kingsley Nfor

International Development Consulting/Humanitarian Reporter, Yaounde

 

Mahah VladimireThis sounds like a brilliant idea but is it realistic and sustainable? Of-course we all live the reality of environmental degradation, but we are talking here of causing a market failure in plastic bag market, leaving thousands jobless and desperate. If the ban is going to be that strict, are there already alternatives for consumers? It is wise to learn from other nations who have gone through that road before. For example Rwanda, its capital Kigali is one of the cleanest in East Africa because of the ban on plastic bags. It worked there but small Kigali is not Yaounde or Douala. If you stop the plastic from entering the country via air, we will always find ways of bringing it in. Also Rwanda introduced paper bags, do we in Cameroon know what a paper is? From an environmental economics I will say the cost and benefits of implementing such law should be seriously evaluated. I fear the government will spend more resources (time inclusive) in trying to implementing this law without ever realizing their goal. I fear for more ethical, economic, social and even environmental crisis arising from such strict laws. I propose that we begin by introducing and alternative to plastic bags, then limit the use of plastic bags by giving restrictions on producers and increasing the price of plastic bags in the market.

By Mahah Vladimire

Germany

 

Barrister Ndetan VictorPlastic bags should be eradicated at all cost from the environment. The ills of plastics are so many. Their non-biodegradable nature on the environment causes diseases such as cancer and if we must build a cancer free environment, then plastics must be banned. It is a wise decision taken by the Minister. Cameroonians may not see the benefits now but they will certainly in future.

Barister Ndetan Victor

Liberty Law Firm

 

The decision is quite nice but I are not sure whether the local material required for use will not be available for public use. When the Minister first announced the ban, he said that substitutes like the 'ngongo leaf' and 'plantain leaf' can be used to tie food in place of plastics. But the question is can the supply meet the demand? Especially given that these leaves are not found everywhere in Cameroon. The demand for these papers will be too higher than the supply hence causing shortage. It is really proper that before plastics are banned these local materials should be made available. The deadline of April will not be easy for the population given that the decision is too abrupt.

Takang William

Retired Senior Inspector of Police

 

The decision is a good one because if you go to most of our cities, all over, you will find those bags flying all and so I encourage the government to go ahead with the decision because plastic bags are a true menace to a healthy environment

Okie Emmanuel Osung

A Retired P&T Staff

 

 

Other News

200 Fish Farmers To Receive Integrated Aquaculture Training

Some 200 fish farmers in four villages of the South West Region including Yoke, Malende, Teke-Kumba will receive training in integrated aquaculture.

Integrated aquaculture is a system whereby fish is cultivated and integrated with some agricultural products such as rice, pigs and poultry to optimize yields.

The Coordinator of the West and Central African Council for Agriculture Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) project, in Cameroon, Dr. Oben, told The Green Vision in an interview that the farmers will be trained under two separate projects.

The first project will cover sustainable integrated pond-based aquaculture with rice and poultry production and economic, social and environmental assessment.

The second project will deal with poverty eradication and grassroots empowerment through sustainable integrated aquaculture development: fish and rice cum piggery production.

This project is for three countries that have won two projects together Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone and the projects are based in the University of Ibadan, Buea and Njalla University, Sierra Leone.

 

CDC Bananas Rejected Twice Soon After Delmonte Quit

 

CDC now has every reason to pay more attention to bananas. Barely a month after the corporation (Cameroon Development Corporation) took over technical production of bananas from its partner Delmonte, it lost some 10 tons of the fruit to rejection at the Douala Port.

The Green Vision learnt that inside a month CDC lost over 80 pallets of banana equivalent to some 10 tons.

"By the end of December, Fruitcam now purchasing CDC bananas, rejected over 50 pallets of fruits at the port in Douala because they arrived late. Hardly a week after, about 20 pallets from the Benoe farm were rejected at the port. This never used to happen when Delmonte was in charge," Yuh Ignatius, a CDC staff representative en route to the corporation's oldest banana farm, Mafanja I, said.

He said it seems when the bananas are taken to the port, the least complaint is found to reject them.

While some CDC workers see this as a ploy to frustrate the corporation's efforts, others believe that just a month after taking over production, CDC is not giving appropriate care to bananas the way Delmonte would, hence leaving the fruits with complaints.

Delmonte International, a Costa Rica firm, parted ways with CDC on December 31, 2013 after 25 years of partnership.

Delmonte had signed a contract with the government of Cameroon to produce bananas. The terms; Delmonte will provide the capital, technical knowhow, infrastructure and market while CDC will provide the land and cheap labour. In return, CDC gets $1 per box of banana. The contract was supposed to last for 20 years, but after that period, Delmonte renewed the contract six times.

It is alleged that the decision to cut loose Delmonte came when CDC realised that Delmonte was making a lot of money behind its back in a huge market abroad, while CDC which provided land and labour received a trifling amount.

 

Cross-border Insecurity Threatens Cameroon's Tourism

Tourism officials say over 900.000 tourists visited the country last year meaning Cameroon was a major tourist destination. But increasing cross-border insecurity caused by Boko Haram operating from inside Nigeria, as well as armed rebellions and civil wars emanating from neighbouring countries have been impeding factors in tourist destinations that harbour protected wildlife species. The first time Cameroon reached the significant milestone figure of 500.000 tourists per year was in 2010 and has almost doubled the figure in just over three years, demonstrating remarkable growth in the tourism sector.

Eight hundred thousand tourists visited the country in 2012 with an estimated 100.000 more tourists visiting the country last year, 2013; encouraging news for a country often described as Africa in miniature and has what it takes to improve on tourism, especially ecotourism.

Not only is Cameroon blessed with its geography and beauty, but it hosts a wide array of wildlife species and many of Africa's iconic animals: chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, gorillas and hippopotami. This makes eco-tourism attractive business.

Several factors account for the improvement in the tourism sector. Infrastructure and adequate logistics facilitate tourist appeal and movement around the country but the underlying ingredient responsible for the growth in tourism in the country is the stunning beauty of the landscape and the wild.

 

Compiled by Regina F. Leke

06 March 2014

Cameroon Government Convenes 1st National Forum on the Practical Delivery of the ABS Principle through Echinops Project

Posted in News, Views 1556

Project Coordinator Manuella Hugue

The Cameroon government Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), through the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) National Focal Point team in collaboration with Cameroonian Conservation Non-profit, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ), and local stakeholders held the first national stakeholder meeting to review the implementation of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) through the Echinops giganteus pilot project in Magha-Bamumbu, Lebialem Highlands of SW Cameroon.

This was during a Round table Conference that took place, November 22, 2013, at the Chamber of Agriculture in Yaoundé. The conference brought together the Representative of the Minister of Environment Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, the ABS National Focal Point, the CEO/President of ERuDeF, Echinops Project Coordinator, Staff of GIZ, the Mayor of Wabane Council and traditional authorities including Fon Lekunze of Bamumbu and the chief of Magha-Bamumbu, amongst others. In total, more than 55 participants attended from all the Cameroon to discuss about the Echinops project.

In his opening remarks, the Representative of MINEDEP, located Cameroon within the context of the ABS principle into the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) tracing the history of Echinops giganteus project in Cameroon, which according to him, has moved from the identification of the resource to research and development by a French enterprise. The MINEDEP representative said the Cameroon government in August 2012 adopted its National Strategy on ABS and in December 2012, officially launched awareness campaigns and capacity building seminars for ABS in the country.

The ABS National Focal Point, Mr Palouma Joel, expressed total satisfaction with the progress of the pilot project on the ABS principle. He disclosed that the Cameroon Government is the first in the whole of central Africa to have ratified: "this important legal instrument of international concern".

On his part the representative of the ABS initiative to this Round Table Conference, Mr SuhelAl Janabi, in a presentation on the cosmetic and perfumery sector involvement of ABS, said the process of resource identification and use is usually very long and requires a lot of patience. According to him, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutual Agreed Term (MAT) documents are always signed at the beginning of research and development. However, given that the Echinops project is the pilot phase of the ABS principle in Cameroon, only the pre PIC document has been signed between the owners of the resource, the managing organization, ERuDeF, the mediator and the user of the resource in France. But this document is not yet officially recognized by the government.

Echinops project Coordinator Manuella Huque reviewed the project since the official launch of the pilot phase, December 1, 2012, thanking all stakeholders for their collaboration.

The climax of this Roundtable conference was the review of the draft convention the ABS- Echinops agreement for phase research / development for access and use of the plant. The aim was to discuss about the access to the plant Echinopsgiganteus between the French enterprise, the government and the representatives of the local communities of Magha-Bamumbu. A number of amendments were made on the draft most especially regarding the role of different stakeholders. The document would be reviwed by legal experts for final adoption before the signing between the Cameroon Government and the French enterprise.

At the end of the conference, His Royal Majesty, Fon LekunzeNembo-Ngwe III of the Bamumbu First Class Fondom, just like the Chief of Magha-Bamumbu and the Mayor of Wabene, was very elated to have been the Fondom to host the first project on the ABS principle adding it is a clear sign of "developmental activities" coming to their area.

The President/CEO of ERuDeF, Loius Nkembi, on his part said it was a great honour that his organization is the one to start a pioneer project on the ABS focused on the Echinops giganteus plant. He divulged that the project will greatly contribute toward the sustainable management of the Mount Bamboutus Landscape, which falls within the goal of ERuDeF and to contribute to the ABS policy of Cameroon.

By Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh

06 March 2014

Expert Trains ERuDeF Biological Team On Data Collection

Posted in News, Views 1930

Training session

Biological staff from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have received a two-day training on the collection and assembling of great apes data in the Forest from a wildlife Expert from the Virginia Tech University. The Expert, Michael st Germain who is the Biological Project Supervisor of Virginia Polytechnic Institute gave the training during his visit to the Lebialem Highlands SW Cameroon, from January 9th to January 15th 2014.

Michael, passionate about conservation could not withhold anything until he was sure that the biological team of ERuDeF had acquired enough skills that would permit them collect more quality data, summarize it more properly to bring out key indicators that would inform stakeholders and policy makers and also share their findings with the rest of the science world. Michael worked with Allen, Bedwin (staff of ERuDeF) and Grace (a trainee from the Institute of Biodiversity and Nonprofit studies IBiNS). Following an overview of ERuDeF's conservation activities in the Lebialem-Mone landscape presented by Asoh Bedwin, Michael was excited to learn how far ERuDeF has gone even with the limited resources at her disposal.

During the working session with the biological team, Michael taught them on the various methods of data management, setting up of camera traps and data management from the cameras. After this working session, Michael and the team went to the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary where they planted four cameras for a test phase using opportunistic spot added to the field guide's knowledge of frequently used trail. After three days in the field, Michael returned with an increased joy and new ideas of pushing the cooperation between his university and ERuDeF's Institute of Biodiversity and Nonprofit Studies (IBiNS).

Reacting to the training, one of the Biological staff, Asoh Bedwin said "I feel privileged to have been a part of this training and I really want to thank Michael for taking out time to build our capacity. During our regular biomonitoring, we have on several occasions sighted the elusive Cross River Gorillas but have hardly been able to capture them in our cameras. With this training and the installation of the cameras in the forest, I believe we would have more quality data". She said.

It would be noted that it is thanks to increased cooperation ties between US Charity Trees for the Future Cameroon and ERuDeF, that the biological team of ERuDeF benefited from this capacity building. Michael st Germain accompanied The Cameroon Program Desk Coordinator of Trees for the Future and a Professor from Virginia Tech doing research on agroforestry-John Munsell during the last visit to Cameroon in January 2014 to evaluate Trees for the Future's activities in Cameroon.

06 March 2014

ERuDeF's Wildlife Advocacy Week: Over 5000 Reached With Conservation Messages

Posted in News, Views 1454

Environmental club students sensitize Villagers through songs and paintings

Over 5000 persons from Fossimondi, M'mockbie and Nwangong villages bordering the biodiversity-rich Tofala forest in the Lebialem Highlands have been schooled on the need to conserve endangered wildlife species like the Cross River Gorillas, Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzees and many others in the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS). They were also advised to shun poor environmental practices like the slash and burn farming system and indiscriminate cutting down of trees amongst others.

The clarion call was made during a week-long environmental protection and wildlife conservation sensitization campaign, from February 11 to 15, 2014, organised by the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Unit of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in Alou Subdivision in the Lebialem Highlands, SW Cameroon.

The campaign dubbed the Annual Wildlife Advocacy Week (WAW) was launched during celebrations marking the 48th National Youth Day, in the presence of over 5000 persons. Speaking at the ceremony, the Coordinator for Education for Sustainable Development, Ms Akeh Nug urged the people of this biodiversity hot spot to join hands with ERuDeF in conserving wildlife and saving their porous landscape against natural disasters like landslide, floods, and soil erosion amongst others.

During the event, Environmental Clubs in Alou marched pass the grand stand with unique conservation messages like "a green planet is a clean planet", "Let's save the last great apes and their habitat" and "I am a green police" just to name these. They also brandished paintings of some protected wildlife species conspicuous amongst which were Chimpanzees and Gorillas, while others marched with green cards, green caps and band depicting their desire for a green environment.

The ERuDeF ESD team equally set up an exhibition stand, decorated all green-for a green planet, with portraits and posters of some protected wildlife species erected for the people to familiarize themselves with.

Pupils/students, stamped their palms around pictures of great gapes with unique statements like "I love chimpanzees and gorillas," "they are our cousins," "plant trees," "Chimpanzees and gorillas are my friends" to name these.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, the second Deputy Mayor of Alou, Mr. Richard Njebeleh, appreciated the effort of ERuDeF in conserving wildlife in the Lebialem Highlands in his words "I want to encourage ERuDeF to do everything within her power to bring back the natural environment as it use to be. A forest like the proposed Tofala sanctuary which is having some of the most endangered wildlife species should be jealously protected" the Deputy Mayor said.

Having launched the WAW in a grand style in G.H.S. M'muock, the ERuDeF education team went to the Fossimondi, M'mockbie and Nwangong villages and held workshops on the identification of various endangered wildlife species, projected documentaries on tree planting and the activities of some wildlife species in the forest. The team also had a constructive interaction with students/pupils and teachers on the short and long term implications of conserving the country's wildlife species and biodiversity.

These activities were combined with conservation songs, poetry dramatization and drama on the importance of environmental protection and wildlife conservation by the environmental clubs of different schools in each of these villages. They were also involved in competitions like the "Sweet, and Sack Races for gorilla conservation"

After the educative and enlightening week-long activities, Environmental Clubs from schools in each of the villages moved round their communities posting posters of endangered animal species they want protected. This sensitization campaign was greeted with lots of ecstasy by the people of these areas.

Reacting to the campaign, a teacher at G S Fosimondi Ms Cecila Ntemngwa, lauded ERuDeF's approach to conservation, which above all, begins by educating both "young and the old on the importance of conservation". She said the approach guarantees both short term and long term conservation of the forest and the environment.

The students on their part thanked ERuDeF for organising such a thrilling and enlightening campaign promising to transmit what they have learned to the nooks and crannies of their communities.

Meanwhile different village notables like Ndi Nkemcha Charles and Ndi Nkemcha Lefie of M'mockbie fondom, Zabze Clifford of the Fossimondi fondom and Pa. Simon Nkemnkem of Nwangong, all threw weight behind ERuDeF in conservation asking for many more sensitization campaigns in their respective villages.

By Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh

06 March 2014

Resistant Communities Concede The Gazetting Of Tofala Rainforest

Posted in News, Views 1392

Villagers come out in numbers to be educated on conservation

Some Tofala Forest adjacent villages like Fossimondi, M'mockbie, and Nwangong, who before put up stunt resistance against the gazetting of the Proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (PTHWS) have declared profound support to ERuDeF in the gazetting of this biodiversity hot spot in the Lebialem Highlands.

After constant sensitization campaigns and meetings with elites, notables and chiefs of these villages, the people who saw the gazetting of Tofala as ERuDeF's attempt to "take away" their "God-given forest and animals", declared their unequivocal support to the gazetting process during week-long activities to mark the ERuDeF 2014 Wildlife Advocacy Week.

"Gazetting the Tofala Rainforest is a very good idea. The area is rich in wildlife; both plants and animals and will bring in tourists into our communities. It is true that we opposed this; thinking that ERuDeF was coming to take away our forest, which was not the case! We have now understood everything and the importance of wildlife conservation. In my village, we are in favour of complete protection of this forest and its content". Manasseh Jong, a Folepi Village Elite said.

Mr Jong lauded ERuDeF's approach to conservation that is setting up environmental clubs in schools and educating pupils/students and by extension the communities on the need to effectively take care of their area "which is very hilly and prone to natural disasters".

In the same vein, a M'mockmbie Village Notable, Mr. Charles Nde Nkemcha congratulated ERuDeF on its relentless effort to protect their forest and natural resources amidst incessant resistance. He said it is thanks to ERuDeF steadfastness that they have come to understand the importance of conserving their natural resources for posterity. "We have realized that if we kill all these animals, our children growing up will not be able to see them" Mr. Nkemcha like many others confessed.

Another notable from M'mockmbie, Mr. Ndi Nkemcha Lefie corroborated this promising to be ERuDeF's conservation ambassador in his village area; "We are happy for the continuous efforts and advice ERuDeF has been giving us to take care of these animals in our forests. We the notables of M'mockbine fondom will go back to our village and educate our people on the need to protect these animals".

Affirming to conservation messages from ERuDeF, other village notables and elites like Francis Tetang, Clifford Zabze of Fossimondi, and Pa. Simon Nkemnkem of Nwangong, regretted the disappearance of certain animal species from their communities as a result of indiscriminate hunting.

"What ERuDeF is saying is true...there are some very important animals that we use to have in this area (I cannot really remember how we use to call them) that we no longer see today because of too much hunting. Even the gorillas, Chimpanzees, monkeys, which we still have, only hunters and those who go deep into the forest can see them. Our plea to our people is that we allow the gorillas, Chimpanzees and other wildlife species to grow and create their own families and our children and great grand children can grow and see these animals" Francis Tetang and other villagers stressed.

Drawing inspiration from anthropogenic activities in the Tofala forest like hunting, farming and deforestation, a M'mockmbie resident, Teracesius Nkengafack, suggested that granting Tofala the status of a protected area and providing other means of sustenance to the hunters is the only way to fully guaranteed the safety of endangered wildlife species in this forest.

By Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh

06 March 2014

ERuDeF Biologists Encounter 10 Chimpanzees in Tofala Forest

Posted in News, Views 1145

Cameroon Nigeria Chimp

7:30 PM, February 4, 2014, its dinner time. A team of Biologists from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) gather to have a meal in the forest before going to sleep. Before they could do that, they were interrupted by Chimpanzees vocalizing just close to their camp site. It was difficult to see the chimps because it was already dark. Yet the team did not give up especially as the vocalizations continued. Excited and anxious, the team accompanied by Sebastian Linnarz, a PhD student from the University of Bonn, Germany on internship with the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non Profit Studies (EIBiNs) set out to meet with the human cousins.

The team took along their touch light, machetes and other materials but due to the difficult terrain and the darkness, it took them more time to reach to where the chimps where sleeping.

When the team got to where the chimpanzees were sleeping, they put on their touch lights to avoid fall off but this caused panic in the group of chimps. Behold! 10 chimpanzees started screaming, urinating on them and running in all directions.

One of the chimpanzees in total confusion, started going up and down a tree without branches but finally chose to stay up the tree. Sebastien who was seeing a Chimpanzee in the wild for the first time could not hide his excitement "It is such an amazing experience for me coming face to face with this human cousin in its natural habitat. I will carry this experience all my life'

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi & Asoh Bedwin

06 March 2014

Kugwe community donates six hectares of land to TREES Cameroon.

Posted in News, Views 1259

Ben Addlestone examines piece of land

The people of Kugwe, of Batibo subdivision, Momo division, Northwest region have donated six hectares of land to the Cameroon Program of US Charity Trees for the Future to support its mission of agroforestry, forest garden approach and for program extension. The announcement was made on January, 12, 2014 in a welcome address by the Chairman of the Kugwe Project on behalf of the community during the visit of the Cameroon Desk Program Coordinator, Benjamin Addlestone and Prof. John Munsel from Virginia Tech. University to evaluate projects in Cameroon. He also pledged the continuous support and commitment of his community to the program. Speaking shortly after the meeting, Ben Addlestone expressed satisfaction on the donation of the piece of land "I assure you that the decision you made to donate this land is a wise one. The land would help the Kugwe population to extend the agroforestry program and continuously help to improve on soil fertility and consequently increase food security"

Just to note that Kugwe is one of the 200 communities receiving support from the US Charity, Trees for the Future Program activities in Cameroon. Members of this community came in contact with Trees for the Future Cameroon also referred to as TREES Cameroon, through their proactive and enthusiastic Quarter Head, Ayong Thomas through collaboration with a Northwest based NGO SIRDEP. Following this collaboration in 2010, community members benefited from a number of training sessions on nursery establishment, seed pre-treatment, transplanting and on-farm management, agroforestry seeds and were given tree planting equipments. They dedicated their time and energy in tree planting for various reasons including soil fertility improvement, fodder for livestock, live fences and medicine.

Because of their commitment and success in their tree planting activities, the Trees for the Future Cameroon Program Coordinator at the Trees for the Future Head office, Silver Spring Maryland, USA, Benjamin Addlestone decided to pay his maiden visit on the 10th of February, 2012. This visit spurred them even more and in 2013, these farmers planted over 12000 trees of Acacia, leucaena, Calliandra and Prunus africana in their farms and around two water catchments that support about 5 other communities in the subdivision.

Due to their hard work and hospitality, TREES Cameroon started to look for other opportunities that will complement their tree planting efforts and improve on their standards of living. This led to the identification of a hydro-electricity power project initiated by the community years back. Fortunately, TREES Cameroon came in contact with two organisations Satom Construction and SYFA who have demonstrated interest in supporting the tree planting project project.

The visit was crowned with a visit to the Eyong Forest Garden; one of the model agroforestry projects in the community, the hydro-electricity project site and the site newly donated to TREES Cameroon. The Cameroon Program Coordinator, Louis Nkembi used the opportunity to thank the community for their commitment to the project and promised to use the piece of land judiciously for the betterment of the community.

By Kingsly Neba

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