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08 June 2013

IBiNS gets new Program Coordinator

Posted in News, Views 1350

Mr. Shey Aloysius in his Office

The Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (IBiNs), a project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) now has a new Program Coordinator. Shey Aloysious Sah takes over from Emmanuel Sigalla who goes to pursue a Ph.D in Fisheries in the University of Buea. Shey Aloysius assumed duty on May 25, 2013, after a hand over meeting that took place at the Institute's Campus.

Mr. Shey Aloysius holds a B.Sc in Chemistry and Material Sciences and a Post-graduate Diploma in Certified Public Secretary. This young Cameroonian has been working as a Secondary School Principal for the last 7 years. He has meticulously nurtured 3 schools from infancy to maturity. These schools include the St Pius College Ekondo-Titi which he developed a curriculum and moulded it from scratch in 2003. He then moved over to St. Therese International Bilingual Comprehensive College and Fomic Comprehensive High School in Buea. Speaking shortly after his appointment, the 33-year-old was happy to take up this new responsibility as Program Coordinator of the baby Institute which is just a year old." I greatly appreciate this new task that has been entrusted on me. I want to especially thank the brains which came up with the unique idea of an Institution to groom leaders in Environmental management and Conservation". Sounding very optimistic, the new Program Officer described his coming to IBiNs as timely given that the Institute would give him the opportunity to exercise once more his ability of nurturing new institutions. "This happens to be the fourth Institution I would be grooming. I find myself just in the right position with the right tool to be able to manage the affairs of the Institute" Mr. Shey went on. The father of two explained that it is actually an exciting responsibility given that he has particular love for nature and anything related to its protection.

He acknowledged that IBiNS is slightly different from the type of schools he has worked with but was confident that just like any other new school, there is need for effective planning and implementation. His strategy for the start will be effective planning and massive publicity for the programs, in order to recruit and train many more young people.

Mr. Shey said that one of his immediate responsibilities would be to put in place an effective student follow up program especially given that the program is more professional with 70% of the work being practical and 30% theory. "We need an effective

coordination to neat all in one system so that there are no lapses. There is also a need for systematic development of a programme to suit the learners" Mr. Shey concluded.

The Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (IBiNs) is an Institute whose vision is to provide leading edge and holistic professional training in conservation and development management sciences. Its mission is to train the next generation of leaders in the environment, conservation and development.

By Regina Leke

08 June 2013

Vocalizations of Silverback Cross River Gorilla heard in Tofala

Posted in News, Views 1611

Cross River gorrilla

A series of vocalizations of a Silver-back Cross River Gorilla have been heard in the Proposed Tofala Hill wildlife Sanctuary, Lebialem Highlands, SW Cameroon. The noise was heard on April 24, 2013 at about 10 a.m by a group of biomonitors working for the Cameroon-based Conservation organization, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). According to one of the Conservation researchers, the vocalizations of a silverback communicates direction to the rest of the group since the male Gorilla is the leader of the group. The implication of these vocalizations is that he was leading a group in the forest. Even though the researchers did not get to see these animals, it was very interesting to know that despite the high threat faced by these animals such as hunting and the conversion of their habitat into farmlands, these shy and cryptic beasts still go about their daily life. The sound was heard in a misty, closed canopy and steep terrain of the Tofala forest during a bio-monitoring trip with a Finnish volunteer Hanna Maija. Filled with excitement of hearing the critically endangered Cross River gorilla just about 15m away, the team of researchers with the Volunteer all decided by sign language it was time to have the Gorillas on video. They got their cameras set on video mode and got ready for action. As they waited, the area grew mistier thereby reducing the chances of having a good video. The team moved to an advantaged position and waited there. Ten minutes later the barking was heard again and this time just about 10 metres away in a tree canopy. The sounds of the Gorillas movement in the trees could be heard but it was difficult to catch a glimpse of the activity they were doing given that the mist was so thick. The rugged terrain made it even more difficult. After waiting for over 45 minutes, when the mist cleared off, the researchers only realized that the gorillas had walked away.

It is worth noting that the area where the sounds of the Gorilla were heard is in the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, an area which hosts about 40 of these Gorillas and about 150 endangered Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees. Unfortunately, for the past years, human pressure in the form of hunting and the conversion of the Gorillas habitat to farmland has put the lives of these precious apes under threat of extinction. It was for this reason that ERuDeF stepped in to help the Cameroon government conserve these animals by launching the creation process for the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in 2010. It is hoped that when this area becomes a full protected area, the lives of these animals would be safe.

By Asoh Bedwin

06 June 2013

ERuDeF launches the Net Positive Impact (NPI) Project in Tofala Forest area

Posted in News, Views 1354

ERuDeF Staff and partners listen keenly to the presentation of the NPI project

With the support of French Charity Man and Nature, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has launched a new project dubbed the Net Positive Impact (NPI) project in Buea, SW, Cameroon. The project launched on Monday May 13, 2013, has as objective the holistic protection of nature in Cameroon with focus on the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. Speaking during the launching which brought together the entire staff of ERuDeF, Man and Nature's Project Coordinator, Manuella Hugue explained that the NPI project would take into account all aspects involved in conservation, notably the social and economic perspectives. To this effect, the 3-year-project would be introducing alternative sources of livelihood to some 14 forest adjacent communities including Bamumbu, Bangang, Bechati, Bambat, Egumbo, to name these. Some of these support would include; the donation of piglets to villagers, the protection of their water catchments, introduction of agroforestry technologies to fight food insecurity, the promotion of micro credit schemes and environmental education. A support to women associations would equally be given to ensure the full participation of women in conservation.

It is worth mentioning that the overall goal of this project is to protect the rich biodiversity of the forests of these communities. Specifically, the project aims to conserve the 40 remaining critically endangered Cross River Gorillas, some 150 endangered Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees and a host of other endangered plant and animal species.

The NPI project would set up over 100,000 locally selected Non-Timber Forest Products species of local community value in three villages including Folepi, Bamumbu and Fossimondi in the Wabane and Alou Sub Divisions. These NTFPs would be planted in the buffer zones of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. While the species will act as a fence to prevent encroachment into the Sanctuary, it would also help restore the ecological viability and ecosystem stability of the buffer zones and the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

It would be recalled that the greater focus of the NPI project is establishing a link between nature protection and its people, as any effective means of environmental protection must address the greatest challenge to the problem, the project therefore prioritizes the people living adjacent to the forest given that nature can better be conserved when the people living closest to it are supportive.

Considering the activities already realized towards Tofala creation, and considering the renewed community interest in the protection, the NPI project may just be described as timely.

By Forbe Hodu

06 June 2013

Think Eat and Save-Buea population told on World Environment Day

Posted in News, Views 1804

Think Eat and Save-Buea population told on World Environment Day

The populations of Buea and its environs have been called upon to think wisely before performing any act on the environment, to eat of the environment but remember to save for the rainy days. This was the central message that ran through as the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in partnership with US Charity Trees for the Future Cameroon and the SW Regional Delegation for the Environment commemorated the 41st edition of the World Environment Day in Buea on June 5, 2013. Officially sponsored by Trees for the Future Cameroon, the event was an occasion for reflections on some of the best ways to tackle environmental problems such as food insecurity, deforestation and climate change.

The celebrations which started on the eve saw a walk dubbed the Green walk of over 20Km through the town of Buea. The walk was performed by the staff of MINEPDED, the Cameroonian Conservation Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Students from the Department of Environmental Sciences from the University of Buea. It had as objective to raise the awareness in inhabitants of Buea on the importance of protecting their environment. The key messages which could be read on the placards were "Think Eat Save" "If you do not take care of your environment, the Environment will not take care of you" "Plant trees to fight the effects of global warming"

Regional Delegate for Environment planting a TreeAfter the walk, participants planted over 20 Ornamental trees at the Campus of the University of Buea Medical School in Buea. The Regional Delegate for Environment, Francis Leopold Ebo Ebo who spearheaded this activity explained the importance "The rationale of planting these trees is to continuously tell the public that this is one of the best ways we can adapt to some of our environmental problems like global warming and water shortages. Trees help to reduce the Carbon in the atmosphere, thus fighting global warming and where we have trees we can be sure of water". He went forth to say the water crisis in Buea could be reduced if many more residents plant trees. Mr; Ebo later on passed the tree planting on to some young students who took part in the march pass.

A conference to discuss the theme of the day "Think Eat Save" followed the tree planting activity. Speaking during this conference, the CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi stressed that in the face of the changing climate affecting food security, it is now important more than ever to protect the environment in order to be sure of what to eat tomorrow. He urged farmers to adopt more environmental friendly practices to keep the environment safe and ensure food security.Mr; Nkembi Louis also called on Cameroonians eat wisely and always remember to save for the future.

On the day proper, June 5, activities to commemorate the World Environment Day in Buea continued. A crowd pulling event brought stakeholders from government, civil society and schools to commemorate the day. Speaking during the event, the Representative of Governor of the South West Region, called on the Buea population to think wisely before performing any act on the environment. He warned that if Buea which used to be a land of plenty is now suffering from food crisis, then it is time for the people to put on their thinking caps and be more environmental friendly, if not there would be a higher risk of food insecurity and water shortages in future. The day was also marked by sketches and theatre performed by students from the University of Buea and some Primary and Secondary schools around Buea.

By Regina Fonjia Leke

06 June 2013

Modo reaffirms support for Trees for the Future Cameroon Program.

Posted in News, Views 1434

Ms Francesca poses with farmers in Mankon

The American eyewear company Modo has reaffirmed their commitments to support tree planting activities in Cameroon through the US Charity Trees for the Future. According to the CEO of Modo, Alessandro Lanaro, Modo and its Eco brands are looking forward to reaching the 1 million milestone soon and to continue the tree planting activities for many years to come. Mr. Lanaro remarked that thanks to the continued success of the Eco brand they are confident that their contribution to tree planting will progressively increase. The CEO of Modo, Alessandro Lanaro gave this assurance in mid May following the visit of his Representative to Cameroon, Francesca Lanaro early May.

Just to recall that Modo created Eco, the first brand to be made from 95% recycled materials. For this reason, Eco decided to start the "one frame - one tree" program whereby a tree is planted for every frame sold, an initiative that has allowed Eco to plant more than 650,000 trees in Cameroon through the US Charity, Trees for the Future. Modo born in 1990 has a customer base that cares about doing good, about the environment while buying quality and style.

Ms Francesca, a professional photographer and Representative of Modo therefore visited Trees for the Future Cameroon to have a feel of how farmers have incorporated tree planting and agroforestry technologies to improve on the quality of their soil. She also wanted to take pictures to tell the story of how a tree grows from a tiny seed to a seedling and then to a tree. After visiting some farms where trees have been planted, Ms. Lanaro expressed satisfaction. "Overall it has been an amazing experience from both a professional and a human point of view. As a photographer, I've been witnessing and trying to capture the overwhelming emotions of people. I was happy to find out that Trees for the Future has provided farmers not with temporal solutions to the problem of food shortage, but with measures that can help sustain them for long." Ms Francesca noted.

She explained that during the whole period she witnessed an extraordinary effort and enthusiasm that all the farmers are putting into learning from the project. "Everyone involved is proud and committed to prove that a simple seed, like Trees for the Future teaches, once grown may sustain a number of people if cultivated with care"

Ms Francesca equally said that two moments, in particular, touched her deeply while in Mankon, NW Cameroon. "After many hours spent shooting under the scorching sun, I was extremely tired and had the feeling that my work was not so good. I also felt that the farmers did not feel at ease in front of the camera. Finally, feeling tired and a little desperate I threw myself backwards onto the grass with the camera on my chest. The reaction from the people was a amazing ! Their persistent laugh really made me happy. In these five minutes a special bond developed and some of my best shots were taken". Ms Francesca explained.

She went on to say that the same day another episode occurred which touched her deeply " It was a Sunday and in Cameroon I realised people are extremely Catholic. I noticed everybody was beautifully dressed, with colorful, marvelous garments going to church". Ms Lanaro also felt fulfilled when at the end of a workshop and after visiting farms, the team got together in a circle holding hands and one of the ladies gave words of thanks. " It was very touching and I perceived the a strong unity of Spirits" Ms Lanaro concluded.

By Regina Leke

06 June 2013

The Green Vision Newspaper to hit Cameroon news stands June 17

Posted in News, Views 1467

The Green Vision Newspaper to hit Cameroon news stands June 17

The management of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation have announced the coming of the Green Vision Newspaper. The announcement was made after discussions at a meeting that held in Buea on Wednesday May 29. A cream of people working to see this paper out agreed that this maiden paper will hit the stands on June 17, 2013, a day which coincides with the International Day to combat desertification.

Talking about this upcoming launch of the paper, Ms, Regina Leke, the Coordinator of the Green Journalism Project and Editor of the Green Vision Newspaper had this to say "I feel quite excited about this paper. It is a novelty and it is going to be different and unique in its own way. Environmental reporting is not given the necessary attention it deserves in the media. I am hoping that this paper will give a new impetus to environmental reporting and trigger interest in other journalists to carve this out as a niche for reporting".

One of the Science Editors of the upcoming paper Dr. Fonge Beatrice of the University of Buea felt that there is a lot to be said about the environment which we do not get to hear. "Environmental themes to be covered are so many ranging from industrial, household and clinical waste management, water crises to natural disasters and many others". Dr. Fonge went on. She further noted that journalists working with this paper are determined to do their best to give it the quality it deserves and ensure that it stands the test of time. Objectivity and investigative Science would be the guiding policy of the paper.

The management team of the newspaper would include the veteran journalist Che Martin as Associate Editor, Azore Opio as Editor-in-Chief, Regina Leke as Editor and Ndimuh Bertrand as Contributing Editor. Other members of the management team include Louis Nkembi as Executive Editor, Dr. Fonge Beatrice, Dr. Sumbele and Dr. Bobo as Science Editors and Edith Atoneche and Mukwele Princewill as Contributing Editors.

Just to note that contributions to the paper will also be coming from all the different regions of the country, civil society organization as well as other organizations working for the protection of the Environment and Sustainable development.

In order to give the launching of this newspaper the grandeur it deserves, a series of activities have been earmarked. Amongst these would include starting from the celebration of the World Environment Day, to talks on Radio and extending to the International Day to combat desertification.

By Ita Nawom

06 June 2013

Volunteer donates educational material to kids in Bokwa village

Posted in News, Views 1262

Pupils pose with gifts donated by Ms. Tabitha

A United States based Volunteer has extended material support to some 20 young people in the Bokwa Village, SW Cameroon. Ms Tabitha Mackoline based in Alaska made this gesture on May 15, 2013 when she sent some items to these children through the Cameroonian conservation Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation(ERuDeF). The support included note books, pens, pencils, candies, tooth brush, tooth paste, rulers, toys and inner wears.

Ms Tabitha specified gifts to three kids whom she was most closed to during her stay in Cameroon. These three kids are, Ayamba and Manyor, who are children of the Chief of Bokwa and Aaron, the son of a Field Assistant working for ERuDeF. The rest of the gifts were given to 17 other pupils of GS Bokwa who answered questions relating to the protection of the environment. These pupils included Agu Clarkson, Agu Ramson, Ayamba Brian, Etengeneng Rayan, Tabi Boris Esse Obeth, Ashu Peter, Njang Kizito, Ekili, Otu Kalvine, Ebia Anold. Otu Tarif, Ako Brenda, Akal Wedine and Ako Joyce. These kids pulled from Classes four and five were immediately mobilized to form a school environmental club.

The kids were very happy receiving these gifts. In a bid to express their joy, these young people wrote a 'thank you' letter to Ms. Tabitha for her kind gesture. One of the kids, Aaron in his letter said ''We want to thank you for our gift you sent through ERuDeF. May God bless you and give you long life. Extend our greetings to your family''. The chief also expressed his appreciation for the gifts.

Just to recall that Ms. Tabitha came to Cameroon in July 2012 for the ERuDeF Cross River Gorilla and Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee expedition in the Tofala-Mone Forest Corridor. During her stay in Cameroon she spent part of her time in the forest and forest adjacent communities.

She spent most of her time in the community playing football with the kids during the day and cards in the evening. The children also told her many stories, jokes and folktales. Where ever she went, she was followed by kids dressed in rags with skin infections. These made her felt pity for them. It was for these reasons that Miss Tabitha while back in Alaska, decided to carry out this kind gesture. This support was handed to the beneficiaries in Bokwa village by a staff of ERuDeF.

It should be noted that this is not the first time she is making this kind of gesture. During her stay in Cameroon she supported the same Ayamba, Manyor and Aaron's kids with books, umbrellas, water bottles, detergents and soccer ball and T-shirts.

These gifts would go a long way to support the children's education, given that one of the major challenges of pupils in this area is lack of educational materials. It would also help to improve conservation education and the status of great apes and other wildlife in the Tofala-Mone forest corridor.

By Allen Enokenwa Tabi

06 June 2013

ERuDeF celebrates the International Fascination of Plants Day

Posted in News, Views 1209

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has joined their counterparts world over to commemorate the 2nd edition of the International Fascination of Plants Day. The celebrations which took place on May 21, 2013 at the Regional Delegation of Scientific Research and Innovation in Buea, was aimed at drawing peoples' attention to the fascinating nature of plants and to raise awareness about the importance of plant science for agriculture, sustainable food production, horticulture, forestry, and for the non-food products such as paper, timber, chemicals, energy, and pharmaceuticals..

In a power point presentation, ERuDeF's Forester, Asa'a Lemawah explained the efforts made to restore some globally threatened plants at the Mt Cameroon forest such as the Microbelinia bisulcata plant. Ms Asa'a explained that this plant is under serious threat due to human activities such as indiscriminate logging. She used the occasion to explain that ERuDeF and her partners are currently nursing seeds of these trees to replace the lost ones at the Mt Cameroon forest.

The day which was being marked for the first time in Cameroon was organized by a Common Initiative Research Group Agrovisc with the support of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The key message which ran through the day was the role of plants in environmental conservation.

In a presentation on 'Plants and our health', the Executive Director of Agrovisc Dr. Okolle Justin hailed plants explaining that they have a significant role to play in the human health. The brain behind the celebrations expressed satisfaction on the day in his words "I feel highly motivated and challenged to keep on celebrating this day in Cameroon".

Another presentation on the multiplication of yam set was given by a Representative of the Botany Students Association of the University of Buea.

All the speakers urged participants to eat plants and plant trees on a daily basis given that they are quite helpful and nutritive. Just to recall that plants have been used as major detoxifiers to the human system. Dr Mafani George a Biogeologist at the Regional Delegation for Scientific Research emphasized the relevance of plants by adding that plants cut across all scopes and that they have been used to search and identify minerals in the soil. An outdoor display of some common and useful plants which followed revealed the marvels of plants to participants. Plant products like "TRY ME" of the traditional Medical Practitioner Dr. Fru were amongst the items displayed. It is alleged this plant has cured many ailments. Another Scholar present at the event, Dr Arthu Susan elaborated on Moringa Oleifera a native and resistant tropical species which has been noted for its highly medicinal and nutritive value.

Also present at the occasion were students from different secondary schools and the Universitiy of Buea and the Catholic Diocesan Institute

By Nkeng Johannes (Student on Internship)

17 May 2013

ERuDeF and YAN to empower youths in social media communication for the environment

Posted in News, Views 1297

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in partnership with Trees for the Future Cameroon has opened talks with a US Non-governmental Organisation, Youth Advocacy Network (YAN), to work hand in hand to foster the training of young Cameroonians in IT. The first meeting took place on May 8, 2013 at the ERuDeF's head office at Malingo Street Buea. It brought together two Fellows from YAN, Josh Nathan and Clara Crowe, a Peace Corps Volunteer working with Trees for the Future Cameroon, Mattew Piscopo and the communication team of ERuDeF.

The purpose of this working relationship is to place young High School Cameroonian students in strategic organizations where they can enhance their skills in IT. They will be expected to help organizations with such things as building Websites, Blog pages, creating Facebook and Twitter accounts and other forms of e-communication. At the end of their stay with each organization, they would have moved one step up in their learning process, it is hoped. Two High School Students have already been ear-marked to start this training with ERuDeF in the month of June. This first phase of training would last for one month. "It is a laudable initiative because at the end of the students' stay at ERuDeF they must have been able to build their capacities in ICT. Given that they too have basic skills in Information Technology, it would be a win-win situation given that ERuDeF staff would also pick up some skills from these young minds" says Regina Leke, Coordinator of the interns.

It should be noted that the Youth Advocacy network was formed by an American couple in Cameroon a number of years back. Josh Nathan and Clara Crowe are the first Fellows to Cameroon working on this initiative. They are basically involved in training students on Information Technology and placing them in organizations where they can be mentored even after the Fellows are gone.

By Ita Nawom Semndze

17 May 2013

ERuDeF celebrates International Labour Day

Posted in News, Views 1488

ERuDeF stand march pass with conservation messages

The staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), have joined their counterparts world over to celebrate the International Labour day on May 1 2013. Set aside by the United Nations, the 127th edition of the day was celebrated under the theme "descent work and fight against corruption". The day aimed to celebrate the contribution of citizens to the growth of the country through work.

ERuDeF for the first time joined the rest of the country to celebrate the labour day. Not even the scorching sun nor the mammoth crowd that gathered at the Fako Divisions Headquarters, Limbe, could stop them. With placards and sign posts, the staff of ERuDeF marched pass at the Grand Stand in Limbe bearing messages of conservation such as "stop the killing of Cross River Gorillas! Stop the felling of trees! Together we can build a greener world! One man one tree"

The theme of the 2013 Labour day "descent work and fight against corruption" is very timely. It comes at a time when the Cameroon government suffers from a lot of corruption and laissez-faire attitude at the workplace. It is hoped that this celebration causes workers to regain their steam and get back to work with a new sense of purpose.

On this day, all companies and organizations take a holiday to make merry and pamper themselves for good work done. The celebration proper gives different organistions an opportunity to make known their organizations and the different activities in which they are involved. Little wonder you will find them all marching with t shirts, different African fabrics printed to bear the logos, mission statements and visions of different organization.

By Ita Nawom Semndze

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