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04 February 2014

ERuDeF Gets a new Assistant Coordinator for Education

Posted in News, Views 1276

Emmanuel Ndip

With the ever increasing need to strengthen her Education for Sustainable Development Program, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has brought on board another staff. A Zoologist by training, Emmanuel Ndip comes to assist the Manager of Education, Akeh Nug in the implementation of strategies to foster the program. Emmanuel Ndip who hails from the SW region of Cameroon is holder of a B.Sc in Zoology from the University of Buea. He comes 30 days after the arrival of the Manager for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Akeh Nug.

Ndip Emmanuel has had quite a lot of experience as an Education Officer. He has been the full time General Keeper at the Limbe Wildlife Center in the SW Region. He has also acted as a Field Monitoring Assistant at Ebo Forest Research Project in Ebo where he carried out community education.

Reacting to his new responsibility, Ndip said "My employment as an Assistant Education Officer gives me so much joy. It has always been my dream to join a conservation organization like ERuDeF which uses research and scientific methods for environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity while respecting and involving the local communities"

The 29-year-old believes that his experience as Education Officer at the Limbe Wildlife Center puts him in the right place to work in synergy with the rest of the ERuDeF team to strengthen the Education Program and make the conservation of the Great Apes in the Lebialem Highlands in particular and Cameroon in general a reality. He intends to contribute to ERuDeF's vision by bringing in his bio-monitoring skills and assisting the bio-monitoring arm of the organisation.

Together with the Coordinator for ESD, Akeh Nug, the Assistant Education Officer intends to penetrate the entire Lebialem Highlands, making them come on board the conservation train with changed attitudes, developing resilient communities for social and economic development which comes with conservation.

He promises to be very hard working and do his best to see ERuDeF's vision come alive.,

By Akeh Nug

04 February 2014

Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry Develops Anti-Logging Strategy for Threatened Trees

Posted in News, Views 1148

Anti-logging committee meeting at IBiNS

The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife through its SW Regional Delegation has drawn up an anti-logging strategy to curb the extinction of threatened trees species within the Mt. Cameroon forests.

The meeting which took place on Monday, December 16, 2013 at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies, IBiNS, campus, Mile 18, brought together stakeholders from the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, ERuDeF and members of the local communities including Bova, Bafia, Bakingili and Bomana.

The decision comes after a team of foresters from ERuDeF, during one of their patrols sometime in August 2013, watched with dismay as tons of the threatened species zebra wood (Microbelinia bisulcata) were sawn and transported out of the Mt. Cameroon forest area.

Demand for zebra wood soared in the Cameroon timber market following a ban by government on the highly sought Bubinga species (Guibourtia mannii).

Villagers in the Mt. Cameroon area told The Green Vision that illegal logging of timber species from the area has increased to frightening levels.

They said loggers invade the forest at midnight and haul tons of wood from the forest.

Sources reveal that in the last two to three years, a cubic metre of Bubinga sold at a whooping 1.5 million frs cfa in Douala.

This brisk business almost led to the extinction of the species in the Mt. Cameroon area, causing government to ban its exploitation.

Regional Controller, Biakiay Nobert, said carrying out patrols and anti-logging has been part of their duty at the Ministry of Forestry.

"We have the manpower and technical knowhow to carry out patrols and track down illegal logging. It is true there is a lot of deforestation going on in the Mt. Cameroon forest. At the level of the Ministry of Forestry, we have been doing patrols to curb the rate of deforestation. The coming in of ERuDeF will help beef up our capacity and help to make our patrols more regular." The Coordinator of ERuDeF's Mt Cameron Threatened Trees Project, Asa'a Lemawah, said it was imperative that ERuDeF in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry act fast to curb the situation.

She explained that the rate of encroachment especially in forest reserves such as the Mokoko Forest Reserve is due to increase in population and the search for livelihoods.

Asa'a equally blamed the disappearance of these threatened trees on the vast expansion of the agro-industrial company, the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC).

The team, therefore, resolved to increase village to village sensitization in communities living within the Mt. Cameroon area and also in the media; work closely with the village management committee for them to mediate between their communities and ERuDeF/MINFOF and reduce illegal exploitation of the threatened species.

It was also resolved that there would be more regular patrols by the MINFOF team, which would also take GPS of where seizures are noted so that patrols could be intensified in such areas.

In addition, impromptu patrols will be conducted in forest reserves so as to take illegal loggers unawares.

A recent survey demonstrated that the trend in demand especially by the Chinese has moved away from Bubinga to Microbelinia bisulcata commonly known as Zingana.

Remnants of Zingana found in the Mokoko Forest Reserve and adjacent forests are being extracted wantonly to make up for this gap.

Regina Fonjia Leke

04 February 2014

Great Apes population on a possible rise in the Lebialem Highlands

Posted in News, Views 1788

Biologists collecting data in the forest

A study conducted by Biologists from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2013 has shown that there has been a significant increase in the number of great apes signs in the Lebialem Mone Forest Landscape for 2013. This is due to the consistent conservation efforts of ERuDeF since 2004.

The mean relative density for the Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) hit a record 0.77 and 1.13 respectively in 2013. It was discovered that, the number of gorilla signs encountered has significantly increased, meanwhile that of chimpanzee slightly decreased. This was in comparison with a survey conducted in these study sites (proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Mak-Betchou forest block and Tofala-Mone forest corridor) in 2010 which showed that, the Cross River Gorilla and the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee had mean relative densities of 0.31 and 1.26 respectively. All gorilla signs were recorded in the proposed Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary. The Mak-Betchou forest block recorded the highest number of chimpanzee signs with mean relative density of 2.28. During this period, 3 direct sightings of Cross River Gorilla were made in October and November 2013, which might signify an increase in the number of gorillas.

Lebialem Highlands Conservation Complex in the South West Region of Cameroon is located between 50 37'- 50 42' latitude and 90 53' - 90 58' longitude, adjacent to the Forest Management Unit 11-002 and the Mone Forest Reserve. The area is characterized by an undulated landscape from 200m in the lower altitudes to 2500m in the higher altitudes, with a chain of peaks notably the Tofala Hill (866m). The montane forest of the highland constitutes some of Cameroon most threatened species of birds, and are home to many endemic species of mammals, plants, amphibians, reptiles and insects. The complex harbors the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), Nigeria Cameroon chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti), Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus), the African forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis), and other large mammals.


By Enokenwa Allen Tabi

04 February 2014

Virginia-Tech University Professor presents report on Agroforestry

Posted in News, Views 1385

Prof. John Munsell being interviewed after his presentation.

Agroforestry, integrating trees in farms, has been described as an age-old practice in Cameroon. More recently, science has helped shape systematic practices that can achieve both production and conservation objectives at the farm and community levels. This observation came on the heels of a preliminary report by Prof. John Munsell of Virginia Tech, US at the Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit studies on Agroforestry adaptation and confirmation in the South West, North West and West Regions of Cameroon;.

In an earlier visit to Cameroon, John together with the Trees for the Future US and Cameroon team set out to study the relationship between agroforestry and household variables such as improvements in financial status and family livelihood opportunities, farmer satisfaction with agroforestry, and community benefits in the SW, NW, and W Regions of Cameroon. The team was equally interested in finding out what factors may affect future use and why such initiatives should garner support. The work stands to be very useful because the participating agroforestry farmer network is robust and mature, offering fertile ground for studying how to encourage permanent use of these systems.

The research took the team through the fields visiting farmers who had been practicing agroforestry for at least three years and talking with them individually and in focus groups to establish facts that will help support adaptation and confirmation across the region. An interesting yet simple survey method of using pebbles to determine response levels to questions was used by the professor (among other survey methods). Drawing inspiration from satisfaction Cameroonians gain from football, he was able to relate this to the people and get them to connect it to the method intended to measure critical variables related to agroforestry permanence. Seven groups with a sample size of 53 were surveyed during the first trip.

Some benefits of agroforestry as pointed out by experienced farmers included wind erosion control, fresh air, combating climate change, soil fertility through coppicing, and providing shade for crops during the dry season. Of what further benefit, therefore, will this research be to resource poor farmers who cannot read and write was one question asked by a presentation attendee. To this the professor said, working through non-governmental and locally-scoped institutions like Trees for the Future Cameroon and The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), the farmers will be consistently engaged on topics such as innovative methods, benefits and different orientations that may result from the research. Among those who attended this presentation were Researchers from IRAD, Ekona, Lecturers from the University of Buea, staff and students of IBiNS, staff of ERuDeF and Trees for the Future.

The team has gone back to the field, with an increased number of groups to continue research. Along with this team and also from Virginia Tech, are Micheal St. Germain, a wildlife biologist who will be training the ERuDeF team on collecting meaningful bio-monitoring data with a focus on using motion-activated camera traps in the wild.


By Ita Nawom

04 February 2014

Bamumbu People Reaffirm Commitment to Phase I of the Echinops ABS Project

Posted in News, Views 1786

ERuDeF President/CEO addresses Bamumbu people

The people of Bamumbu have re-echoed their utmost commitment to the Echinops giganteus/ABS Project and total collaboration with the project team as Man & Nature, and other financial partners indicate interest to continue with the project.

They aired their pledge on Thursday January 23, 2013 at the Wabane Council Hall during a ceremony to launch the implementation phase for the promotion of the plant Echinops giganteus.

Welcoming all and sundry to this launching ceremony, the traditional ruler of Bamumbu HRM Fon Lekunze Nembo-ngweIII; thanked ERuDeF for her role in conserving endangered species of wildlife in the area and restoring the fragile landscape of Mt Bamboutus. He expressed gratitude to Man &Nature and the French enterprise for taking the project into the next phase. The first class fon thanked the signatories of the Nagoya protocol for instituting the ABS principle of which they are the first to benefit from it in Cameroon.

Fon Lekunze, expressed lots of hopes in the project: "After the PIC meeting we had in 22th November 22, 2013, I realized that the project has a very big future. I belief my people will gain directly because they are the ones to plant, and market the crop through their cooperatives". With this hope, the traditional ruler passionately prayed for the success of the project. "With all honesty and straight forwardness, myself and the population of Bamumbu are ready to join our partners in ensuring the success of the project" he said.

Affirming this, the second Deputy Mayor of the Wabane council, Mr. Richard Nankeng, representing the mayor, said they are quite fortunate to have the project in Wabane. In what he termed "the development phase", Mr Nankeng said the implementation phase will greatly restore the lost vegetation of the area, bring employment to the sons and daughters of Wabane, who will get themselves more involved in the farming and commercialization of this plant and will make the community economically viable.

In the same light, the third class chief of the Magha-Bamumbu community, Mr. Abraham Nembo, expressed delight working with ERuDeF and partners during the pilot phase of the project pledging the full support and collaboration of his community as the project gets to the implementation phase: "We will do our best to sustain the project-we will nurse seeds, encourage villagers, involve and educate them about the project" he promised.

Another resounding issue regarding the implementation phase of the project during the launching ceremony was the need for community education and sustainability. The Wabane Sub-divisional Delegate for Women's Empowerment and the family, Chief Aloys Forcha Alonkong, just like the president of the Lebialem Women Forum, Madam Celine Lekunze opined that the second phase of the project focuses more on educating the population on the production of the Echinops; its conservation and sustainable cultivation. He also stressed on the involvement of women in the project.

The Private Secretary to the Sub-divisional Officer of Wabane, Robert Lekunze, representing his boss at the launching ceremony, expressed gratitude to ERuDeF and partners for continuing with the project. He urged the people of Bamumbu to embrace "this transformative project" given that it takes in to consideration national environmental priorities and is also in line with objective 1 of the millennium development goal; eradicating hunger alleviating poverty.

In her presentation, the assistant project coordinator of the Echinops/ABS project, Mrs. Alida Kenmene, lauded the collaborative efforts of the Magha-Bamumbu people toward the realization of the first phase of the project. In spite lots of administrative bottlenecks that characterized the first phase, Mrs Alida Kenmene revealed that enormous successes have been recorded during the first phase of the project. She said principal amongst these successes are an inventory of natural resources available, an ethno botanical survey in the area, a detailed map of the area and the distribution of targeted natural resource, and the development of a management plan for the production and supply of echinops.

Meanwhile the implementation phase of the project according to the Assistant Project Coordinator, involves, but not limited to, the development of income generating activities which are sustainable, can be equitably shared and favor the environment of Mount Bamboutos fragile landscape. For instance about 150 beehives will be installed, 15 000 trees planted and water catchments in and around Magha protected.

Project Manager of Echinops Giganteus, Manuella Huque on her part, expressed satisfaction with the project progress this far assuring the people of Magha Bamumba that the project will be all means respect the people and environment.

The project Director, Louis Nkembi, who is also the CEO/President of project host organization, ERuDeF, divulged that the echinops project will greatly contribute in the realization of ERuDeF's goal of conservation wildlife and protecting fragile environment as it will contribute toward sustainable management of the Mount Bamboutos degraded and fragile landscape.

Over 30 indigenes of Bamumbu and Magha-Bamumbu villages actively took part in this launching ceremony amongst other dignitaries.


By Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh

04 February 2014

ERuDeF’s Program Manager for Education defends M.Sc

Posted in News, Views 1473

Akeh Nug(center) poses with ERuDeF staff

The Program Manager for Education for Sustainable Development at ERuDeF, Akeh Nug has defended a Masters in Natural Resource Management from the University of Buea. The defense took place on December 12, 2013 at the Conference Hall of the Faculty of Science in the University of Buea. Ms. Akeh Nug who holds a BSc. in Environmental Science, presented her Master's thesis on the topic: "Evaluation of ambient atmospheric particulate matter in the urban environment of Douala-Cameroon in Natural Resources Management".

The 33-year-old female who hails from the Northwest Region of Cameroon was outstanding in her presentation as she responded to most of the questions posed by her jury with confidence. The cross-examination was headed by three 3 judges, and it lasted for over an hour. Akeh Nug gave an overview of her thesis, explaining why she chose Douala-Cameroon. She said Douala, the commercial capital of Cameroon is jam packed with all sorts of industries who emit substances that are a threat to the environment. According to Nug, a study like hers will help for a better management of company waste.

After a thorough examination by the examiners, Ms. Akeh was graded excellent qualifying her for the award of a Master's Degree in Natural Resources Management.

"I am so filled with excitement and joy. I am short of words to explain how I feel. My success in this defense makes me feel fulfilled", Akeh said. With regards to her response to the impact of her topic to the environment, she explained that she is willing and ready to transfer this knowledge wherever necessary given it will go a long way to create awareness concerning what we use in our homes as fuels. This is because these fuel types found in domestic, commercial and industrial activities produce particulate matters.

In fulfilling her dream of becoming a Researcher in environmental issues she intends to put in more efforts in research. "As the Program Manager for Education for Sustainable Development at ERuDeF, this will enable me do my job better and identify areas in the field of environmental education that needs more attention"

With my knowledge, I would be able to develop new strategies to foster environmental education to a level where even the common man will not only be aware but get involved in keeping a healthy environment both for man and nature"

By Enanga Njie

10 December 2013

1500 Farmers benefit from ERuDeF’s Forest Protection Fund

Posted in News, Views 1583

Flourishing Chicken business thanks to micro loans from FOPROF

There is no gainsaying that for the sustainable management of the biodiversity to be a success, brilliant strategies to alleviate poverty and foster community development must be put in place.

The failure of the formal financial sector to provide affordable credit to forest adjacent communities has been one of the main factors that has led to fast disappearance of biodiversity and critically endangered ecosystems. This is because lack of access to micro-credit schemes for low income farmers has left them with no choice than invading the forests. One of the main challenges faced by forest adjacent communities is having access to formal financial institutions. Most often financial institutions are not present in villages. Where they are present, they generally require significant collateral, have preference for high income and high loans client, and have lengthy and bureaucratic application procedures which do not meet the needs of these forest adjacent communities. This is particularly seen in the women folk who in most cases are traditionally discriminated for landed property ownership.

It was in line with these grim realities that the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in 2006 created the Forest Protection Fund to provide an institutional mechanism through which these local people could obtain financial liquidity to enable them stop destructive forest activities such as slash and burn, deforestation, poaching and illegal logging and take on sustainable off forest activities including beekeeping, domestication of NTFPs, to name these. Five Forest Protection Funds were created with a membership of 153 farming groups and above 1500 individuals have benefitted from this model. This Fund gives collateral-free loans only to farming groups in order to foster income generation and poverty reduction through enhancing self-employment. In 2010 the Fund established the Biodiversity Community Trust (BCT) which is out to mobilize resources from the member public and give out to her members as loans and the profits generated will be used to support charitable activities in the Forest Adjacent communities.

Forest Protection Fund since inception has given out loans worth Five million Two hundred and Fifty Three thousand francs 5,253,000.

One of the beneficiaries from the ERuDeF's Forest protection Fund, SLAY CIG explained that "we started our poultry farm with 250 birds, we now have 650 birds thanks to micro credit support from the Forest Protection Fund. We use fowl dunk to plant yam and tomatoes thus increasing our family food self sufficiency. We also raise money from the sale of used saw dust"

Another CIG known as the Social Farmers CIG Muea also told the FPF management team that they took a loan of 450,000 FCFA to plant cocoyam, after selling the cocoyam and paying back the loan, they realized a profit of 150,000FCFA.


By Anu Ursela Nkeng

09 December 2013

ERuDeF Gets New Program Manager for Education for Sustainable Development Program

Posted in News, Views 1671

Akeh Nug-ERuDeF's New Program Manager for ESD Program

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) now has a new Program Manager, for the Education for Sustainable Development Program. The new Manager, Ms Akeh Nug who holds a BSc. in Environmental Science and an MSc. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Buea replaces Mahah Vladimire who went for further postgraduate studies in Germany.

The 33-year-old female who hails from the Northwest Region of Cameroon brings with her teaching experiences from home and abroad including Asia. She has served in a good number of NGOs in different capacities like the Organisation for Rural Development and Environmental protection (ORDEP) and Livelihood NGO.

Reacting to her new position, Ms. Akeh Nug had this to say "I have every cause to be happy and I take pride in my achievement, given that the appointment is not only a recognition of my past achievements, but also a vote of confidence in my ability to do the job". She explained that with both a B.Sc. and an environment related fields she is armed with all the gadgets to move the Education for Sustainable Development Program in ERuDeF to a different level especially given that she is filled with practical and workable strategies in environmental education.

Ms Akeh Nug has a dream of becoming a Researcher in environmental issues as she puts it, "the sky is my limit". She explained that with this dream, she intends to put in more efforts in research and this will enable her do her job better and identify areas in the field of environmental education that need more attention. With this knowledge, she would be able to develop new strategies to foster environmental education even to a level where the most common man is not only aware but gets involved in keeping a healthy environment both for man and other forms of nature. Ms. Akeh will be responsible for managing ERuDeF's education programs, initiating and developing ERuDeF's national education and fundraising for education for sustainable development initiatives.

By Regina Leke

09 December 2013

French Embassy supports ERuDeF’s Reforestation Efforts

Posted in News, Views 1474

Fresh Echinops giganteus plant benefitting fromFrench Embassy grant

The French Embassy, through its fund "Appui à la Société Civile du Sud (SCS), in Cameroon has granted the Environment & Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) support to its conservation program in Magha Community Bamumbu Village, SW Cameroon. The grant is to support the Mt Bamboutos Echinops giganteus Project which aims to regenerate and valorize the production of the local plant which has pharmaceutical and essential oil properties. This funding alongside additional funding from Man & Nature will help support for the next 18 months the implementation of the first phase of the Mt Bamboutos Echinops Project. This project will focus on the economic, social, environmental and governance issues on the Lebialem side of Mt Bamboutos. The Mt Bamboutos Echinops Project is the first pilot project to test the implementation of the ABS Initiative of the Nagoya Principle in Cameroon.

Most of the people in Magha-Bamumbu are Farmers and Cattle Rearers whose yearly income stand between 340-930 euros. The community is blessed with natural plants but whose commercial values are never exploited. This support will help the production and commercialization of the Echinops giganteus and help boost the incomes of the people. Equally, the Mt Bamboutos has been facing massive deforestation and poor agricultural practices. This has led to massive degradation of the soil which caused a massive landslide in Magha-Bamumbu in 2003 claiming more than 20 lives. The Echinops project is therefore bringing in a new source of revenue through the creation of a cooperative: MoBECoS (Mount Bamboutos Echinops Co-operative Society) to permit villagers have equal benefit sharing from the exploitation of Echinops giganteus. The provision of modern bee-hives to the local population who are already involved in traditional bee-keeping will also help to boost the income of the people. The reforestation of Magha-Bamumbu will help in regenerating the soil thereby avoiding erosions and landslides. It will also contribute to protect the water catchments of the area.

09 December 2013

A Guide to Greatness

Posted in News, Views 1455

Yesterday I threw out months of work.

Work that my team and I spent countless hours on, agonizing over.

We created something that nobody in my industry had done before.

We were leading a revolution.

And before what we created really had a chance to make an impact, I'm throwing it away.

Because I came up with something better.

Something mind-blowing.

Something great.

You have to do great work.

If you want to make money, change people's lives, have a real impact... what you do has to be great.

And that often means throwing away really good ideas to chase greatness.

Even if you've invested lots of money, time, and resources into them.

If it's not great, it shouldn't be worth your time.

You know when something is great - don't settle.

Great is scary.

Doing great work is scary.

It requires a ton of effort.

It takes you to places you've never been before.

It means abandoning the safe, trusted path you've known.

Good is the enemy of great.

If something is bad, you'll change it.

The challenge is when something is "good enough."

You know it's not great but it's good enough for people.

And so you stop making changes.

You stop improving.

Good is worse than bad because it stops you from achieving great.

Being great requires change.

You don't just achieve greatness and then stop.

The Sony Walkman might have been great when it came out but it's not great anymore.

You have to keep pushing boundaries to stay great.

Challenge yourself to come up with the next great push forward.

This applies to everything.

This isn't just a business idea.

It's for every aspect of your life.

Do you want a great life or a good one?

Do you want to be in a great relationship or a good one?

Stop settling for less.

When you settle for less than great you get used to settling.

You settle for a mediocre business.

You settle for a mediocre life.

You stop chasing your dreams.

Stop settling and make your business and your life great.


By Patience Monjoa

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