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02 July 2013

The Green Monkey, another rare germ of the Lebialem Highlands

Posted in News, Views 1381

A narration of two primary school kids about the mystery behind this precious animal and a call for its protection

Green Monkey

The Green Monkey is a small wild animal that lives in the forest locally known in the Lebialem Highlands as "Nkeh". They walk in groups of about 15 each and live on Bananas, cocoa, monkey cola, palm nuts, pears, and maize, which are some of the crops we cultivate in our communities as a means of livelihood. This has made our parents to see them as rather destructive in their nutritional habits and as a result, have derived several mechanisms to get rid of them. One of these is the erecting of scarecrows with frightful colours like white, red or black cloths at different parts of the farm to scare these animals away. One interesting thing about this scarecrow measure is that the Nkehs seem not to be scared by them because they have monitored the activities of farmers in this area and know exactly when they visit the farms and can differentiate farmers from scarecrows. They won't visit the farms around the communities where scarecrows have been erected because humans are always around but they visit farms in the forest even with erected scarecrows.

Poised to eliminating this group of wildlife, our parents have therefore derived local techniques to keep them away from their farms. They visit renowned hunters in our communities, who visit the farms as early as 5AM, when these monkeys leave their habitats in search of food, and as they jump down the trees, they are surprised by the bullets of the hunters with at least 2 of them killed in each outing.

While some hunters hunt them for family consumption, others hunt them for commercial purposes-selling them for up to 15000FCFA depending on their sizes.

The green monkeys it should be noted are of great traditional values to our communities; they are considered as totems and so, many people buy, kill and use their hearts for rituals which too has greatly increased the demand for the monkey and their hunting rate in our communities.

As we grow up, our parents also charged us with the responsibility of guarding these crops against Nkeh consumption and since these animals visited our farms only by dawn (between 5 P.M and 8 A.M), when the environment is quiet and our parents (farmers) are still sleeping, we had to visit the farm too at dawn to chase them away. As we 'interact' with this wildlife on a daily basis, their behavior, agility, beauty and life style increasingly are becoming more fascinating to us.

One of the fascinating mysteries of the Nkehs, is their defensive mechanism against other predators like the elephant and bush pig, who kill them for food. Since these monkeys are commonly hunted by other animals at night while they sleep the Nkeh sleeps on tree tops and passes out faeces in their palms, which they hold till morning before dropping for fear that the larger animals will locate them by the scent of their faeces.

These animals are so wise and we love them. We just wish people will stop hunting them. They feed on our crops because we invade their habitats with our farms. We cut down their trees, leaving them homeless. They won't visit the farms in and around the communities if we plant scarecrows in them, but they will keep destroying those in the forest because that is their home. No one can plant a mango tree in your land and deny you from feeding on it. Nkeh may just be animals for some humans but they are our pride and inheritance, they make us unique. I really hope someday our parents will understand these truths. I hope my friends; the Nkehs will one day be comfortable in their habitats. My best friend and I are mobilizing the other kids to join us protect these monkeys and conserve their habitats, it's a big challenge but we are determined.

Narrated by Njifua & Tazi(members of the Environmental Club, GS Nzanchen)

10 Year-old Class Six Pupils of the Lebialem Forest Area


Picture Courtesy Ariandne Van Zandberrgen


Compiled by Mahah Vladimire

02 July 2013

Trainees laud quality of training programs at IBiNs

Posted in News, Views 1241

End of semester assesment meeting

Barely six months after matriculation, trainees at the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (IBiNS) have testified of having acquired enough entrepreneurial and managerial skills that can enable them be self-employed.


They made this confession during an end-of-semester assessment meeting that took place recently at the Institute's campus, Mile 18 Buea bringing together the Founder of IBiNs, Louis Nkembi, Program Coordinator of IBiNS, Mr. Shey Aloysius and the Director of Administration Mrs Seemnzde Ita Nawom.

The trainees, most of whom never had the professional experience demanded by non-profit organizations and companies in the country were thrilled by the diverse-amount of skills they have acquired from the Institute within "a very short period of time". "I graduated some 3 years ago and was not able to secure a job because most NGOs and companies demanded experience, which I never had. However, IBiNs has given me the required experience; I can now conceive and write fund raising projects and execute them, manage a company, manage finances and many more. I am really happy" one of the trainees, Mrs Lea Alida Kenmene testified.

Another trainee, Ms. Blessing Limbi said the training program has made her rather versatile. "I have not only gotten the necessary check list for establishing and sustaining an NGO, which has always been my ambition, but have also improved on my professional and entrepreneurial know how with the ability to conceive and write feasible fundraising projects" she added. On a rather very elated note, other trainees including Smith Kanjo, Tengem Adeline, Kumji Hanna, Rose Enanga and Christina Enanga said they beside acquiring management and fundraising skills greatly improved on their writing and communication skills.

The trainees expressed satisfaction on the content of some essential courses like Scientific Writing and Publishing, Business Communication and Public Speaking, Financial Management, and Professional Reporting amongst others. They said that the courses are very important and are directly or indirectly linked to the realization of specialized programs.

Speaking in the meeting, the Program Coordinator, Aloysius Shey said many more professional courses will be introduced during the second semester, beginning July 2013. These courses he explained, would help to fully equip the trainees for the job market. These courses include but not limited to e-Journalsim, Social Survey, Biogeography, Wildlife ecology, Economics and financial analysis of projects, Participatory Management and Evaluation, and Publishing.

Meanwhile Louis Nkembi, advised trainees to be dynamic, punctual and consistent in the training programs, given that "we live in a competitive world and need to have basic skills in almost every field of life to be competitive.

By Betrand N. Shancho

02 July 2013

ERuDeF celebrates World Day to Combat Desertification

Posted in News, Views 1209

ERuDeF CEO calls on stakeholders to fight desertification

As the world wakes up to increasing threats of desertification, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) on June, 17, 2013 joined the world over to commemorate this year's edition of the world day to combat desertification under the theme "drought and water scarcity" with accompanying slogan "don't let our future dry up".


ERuDeF used this day to launch its pioneer edition of the environmental newspaper called the Green Vision. Speaking during the launching, the CEO of ERuDeF Louis Nkembi, said desertification remains one of the biggest threats plaguing the environment. He quoted the example of Northern Cameroon which suffers the highest rate of dryness. According to Mr. Nkembi, desertification just like other environmental problems could be better handled if people are informed. "It is therefore not a coincidence that we chose this day to launch our environmental newspaper-The Green Vision. We decided to launch the Green Vision on this day, because we believe its presence on the newsstands in Cameroon would inform people on how to tackle desertification and other environmental problems" Mr. Nkembi hinted.

The theme of this year's celebration is very timely, given that it comes at a time when water crisis is plaguing most parts of the world. Water is life! Unfortunately, research has shown that only small amounts of this water are available. According to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), of all the water on earth, only 2.5 % is fresh water which is available for animals and humans. 70 % of the freshwater available globally is held in the soil and is accessible only to plants. According to the UNCCD each person needs at least 2,000 m3 of water per year for sustainable development. However, those in the dry lands have access only to 1300m3 which accounts for their high poverty levels. The prolonged droughts in the Horn of Africa (2011) and the Sahel (2012) resulted in humanitarian crisis, leaving millions hungry and malnourished, especially children.

Unlike earthquakes and other natural disasters, droughts and desertification are predictable and their effects can be mitigated, avoided and even reversed through the planting of trees.

In response to the threats of desertification, ERuDeF has been setting up strategies that seek to address drought preparedness and risk management, as opposed to disaster management. In this regard, through tree planting, the restoration of degraded landscapes in the Western highlands of Cameroon is being achieved. Since 2007, the emerging conservation organization has planted over 4 million agroforestry trees, Non Timber forest tree species and recently threatened trees within the landscape. All these are aimed at restoring the degraded landscapes while ensuring sustainable land management and soil improvement. Through this, a significant increase in income levels of the poor and rural people who depend solely on agriculture for livelihood in these areas have equally been recorded.

This year's slogan, "Don't let our future dry up" calls for everyone to take action to promote preparedness and resilience to water scarcity, desertification and drought. We are all responsible for water, land conservation and sustainable use. Land degradation does not have to threaten our future.

By Asa'a Lemawah

02 July 2013

Hunter’s son guns down sister in Besali

Posted in News, Views 1325

Young Gideon Cheli-paying for his father's crime?

When a tragedy strikes, we mourn, but sometimes especially in the African tradition we ask questions why certain calamities befall certain people. We mourn with a hunter who lost his daughter on Sunday, June 9, 2013 when his son used his gun to shoot the daughter. We might be tempted to ask the question; Can gorillas curse their killers, given that the gun which was used to kill the poor girl belongs to a hunter.


As the story goes, at about 10 am on Sunday June 9, 2013 young Gideon Cheli, a form one student of GHS Besali, promoted to form two was playing with his younger sister with their father's gun who just returned from hunting the previous night. Jokingly, Gideon shot and shattered the face of young Cheli Julie of age 7, and a class 3 pupil of Besali village and she died on the spot.

Eye witness account say these children were playing hide and seek with the gun not knowing that it was still loaded as the father had returned from an unsuccessful hunting expedition the previous night. The father Mr. Menkeng Benjamin in his early fifties was arrested together with the son by the gendarmerie brigade post of Bechati where they have been detained for one week. At press time, Gideon and his father were awaiting trial at the gendarmerie post in Menji.

Even though Besali village is not known for excessive hunting following series of conservation and community education conducted in the village by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation(ERuDeF), there are still some spotted cases of illegal hunting going on within the village. While there may be a myth attached to such killing, the need for more sensitization for local communities to drop their guns cannot be overlooked as it may end up gunning the hunters themselves.

By Forbe Hodu

02 July 2013

Trees for the Future Cameroon Program to donate 1000 seedlings of Prunus africana to Bakassa Community.

Posted in News, Views 1136

Prunus Africana to be distributed to the Bakassa Community

Trees for the Future Cameroon Program would donate 1000 seedlings of Prunus africana commonly referred to as "pigeom" to the community of Bakassa, West Region of Cameroon. The announcement was made recently in a meeting with some farmers in Bakassa by the by the TREES Coordinator for the Agroforestry Program in the West/Littoral, Ms. Tionou.

The decision to donate these trees stems from the fact that the Bakassa Community has shown a lot of interest in this plant. The people explained that they want to plant the trees around their water catchment so as to maintain and sustainably manage the flow of water in the community. They have equally expressed their interest in the bark of the tree for its medicinal purpose. The community will receive the seedlings this July 2013. Over 15 farmers groups already practicing agroforestry for soil health improvement will benefit from this medicinal tree.

The community received this news with a lot of joy. According to one of the farmers Jean Baptist, planting Prunus africana, a plant whose bark is known for its huge medicinal value would help improve on the health of the Bakassa people.

Just to note that Prunus has for long suffered from excess exploitation for commercial and medicinal purposes without replacement. This caused the plant to almost go extinct in Cameroon. Given this situation, the government of Cameroon put a ban on the exploitation and exportation of Prunus africana. It was only then that people began to recognize the importance of this plant.

As a result of the scarcity of Prunus, some developmental NGOs decided to regenerate this plant and fight its local extinction. It was against this backdrop that the Trees for the Future Cameroon Program trained communities, farmer groups and individuals on grafting pigeom. Pigeom can be found around SW Cameroon, in the West and North West Regions of Cameroon.

By Payong T. Marquise

20 June 2013

ERuDeF launches maiden edition of the Green Vision Newspaper

Posted in News, Views 1601

By Suh Ruth and Emmanuel Bessinula (Youth Advocacy Network students on internship)

The Green Vision Newspaper

ERuDeF launches maiden edition of the Green Vision Newspaper


The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has launched the first edition of the Green Vision newspaper in Buea-SW Cameroon. This grand launching took place on June 17, 2013, at the conference hall of the Regional Delegation of Public Service.

The event brought together civil society leaders, government officials and saw a huge media presence. In a speech, the CEO of ERuDeF who doubles as Managing Editor for the paper, Louis Nkembi said the Green Vision newspaper seeks to inform the public of the threats the environment is facing and proposes measures that can be taken to address these problems. He explained that the Green Vision has not come to compete with other newspapers but to complement them and influence positive government action. He added that information found on this paper has been investigated and adequate research has been conducted for accuracy.

A review of the paper was done by a Senior journalist, Martin Nkemngu, who praised the idea of environmental reporting. Martin Nkemngu explained the different topics which were treated in this maiden edition. The topics ranged from wildlife conservation to reforestation to pollution and water scarcity. He noted that just like the slogan of the paper "Serving and Saving the Cameroon environment" the paper would go a long way in bridging the current gap in the media landscape with regards to environmental reporting and help to preserve Cameroon's rich environment.

Speaking at the event, the Chairperson, acting Regional Delegate for Communication, Ms. Achu Rossette said Cameroon has never been gifted with a communication channel that disseminates information on the environment to the public. She used the opportunity to call on other journalists to venture into environmental reporting.

Ms. Achu's speech gave way to the launching proper. The Chief Launcher, Anu Vincent who is the CEO of a developmental NGO called Nkong Hilltop kick started the launching, wishing the paper a long life. Other personalities present also partook in the launching by getting copies of the paper. A total of over 200 copies were distributed on the spot.

Speaking on the distribution of the paper, the Coordinator of the Paper, Regina Leke said that the Green Vision Newspaper would reach every nook and cranny of the nation. She explained that 2000 copies were produced and are already on newsstands around the country.


Civil Society leaders React to the birth of the Green Vision


The birth and launch of a new born baby into the media landscape-The Green Vision sparked up a heated debate among the civil society leaders at the event. Peggy Manga of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said it was a novelty which must be encouraged. The President of a developmental NGO Nkong Hilltop said the Green Vision is timely given that Cameroonians lack knowledge on how to take care of their environment, a gap which the Green Vision fills. The Communication Officer for the Wildlife law enforcement organization-Last Great Apes Organisation (LAGA) said the Green Vision would be a good tool to fight wildlife crimes. He expressed his wish to be a part to this novelty and contribute towards wildlife conservation. The Executive Director of a Cameroonian Nature Conservation organization, Nature Cameroon, Ngwese Dominic said lack of information and knowledge has led to poor environmental practices. Mr. Ngwese hoped that the paper would trigger a breakthrough. Martin Nkemgu of Tourism school said the Cameroon media landscape falls far short of specialized reporting. He noted that in his 30-years of practice as a journalists he realized that environmental reporting just like other specialized fields have not been given adequate media attention. He therefore lauded the idea and wished the Green Vision a long life.

By Suh Ruth and Emmanuel Bissula (Youth Advocacy Network Students on internship)

08 June 2013

IBiNS opens door to new Trainees for 2013/2014 academic year

Posted in News, Views 1751

The Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies (IBiNS), a project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has begun registering trainees for the 2013/2014 academic year. Contrary to last year which restricted entry qualification to Degree holders, this year, the Executive Committee of the Institute decided to admit High School graduates for HND programs in the Institute. The committee reached this decision after a series of consultative meetings that held in the School's campus from May 22- 25, 2013.

According to the executive Committee of the School, the incorporation of Holders of the Advanced Level and its equivalent into IBiNS is to give undergraduates the opportunity to access the first practice delivery Institution in the Region. The objective is to provide a direct career profile definition and practice for young people, most of who go through the University and still come out wanting. According to the Director of the Institute, Dr. Okolle Justin, having worked with the first batch of trainees for 6 months, many of the trainees regretted that they would have gone a long way in their professional career if they had an opportunity to take up professional courses such as the ones offered in IBiNs, immediately they completed High School. "It was for this reason that the students themselves proposed that Holders of the Advanced Level and other equivalents be given the opportunity to start building their careers in IBiNs" Dr. Okolle hinted.

Another resolution reached by the Executive Committee of the Institute was the introduction of new and more practical courses this academic year. Some of these courses include Wildlife Management, Fundraising and NGO Management, Forestry, Applied Social Science Management, Applied Conservation Management, Ornithology, Environmental Studies, Biometrics (Data Management), Geographical Information Systems, to name these. According to the Founder and one of the board members of the Institute, Louis Nkembi, these practical courses are intended to give trainees the opportunity to explore opportunities in the area of Conservation, Biodiversity Management, Fundraising and NGO Management.

After a series of consultations, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed that Advanced Level, Higher National Diploma (HND), Bachelor Degree (Arts/Sciences), Postgraduate Diplomas and Maitrise/Masters Degree (Arts/Sciences), are eligible entry qualifications for the Institute.

By Bertrand N. Shancho

08 June 2013

The Environment in the Cameroon Press

Posted in News, Views 2301

National News

One of the major issues that greeted many newspaper stands and media houses in Cameroon for the month of May was the arrest of a Chinese wildlife dealer in Limbe, April 28, 2013, with 7 sacks of Pangolin scale. According to The Median Newspaper of May 6, 2013, this Chinese national (whose name many media houses did not mention), was arrested alongside a Cameroonian gendarmerie and custom officials under the auspices of the Fako Divisional Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife, Eketi Emmanuel. Speaking to the press immediately after the arrest, Mr. Eketi noted that on March 26, 2013, many sacks of pangolin scales weighing over 160 kg were seized in the Douala International airport. The forestry and wildlife delegate disclosed that Pangolin is totally protected under the Cameroon wildlife law for economic, eco-touristic and scientific reasons.

Curled from The Median Newspaper

Trucks transporting Illegal timber impounded

Shortly after the arrest of this wildlife dealer, media houses again reported the impoundment of dozens of trucks transporting illegal timber from Southwest Cameroon to Douala for onward exportation. The Time Scape Journal of May 13, 2013, like other media houses in the country, wrote that Regional Forest Control Brigade at the Forestry and Wildlife Regional Delegation in Douala, Mr.Daniel Ndoumou, revealed that the logs were felled illegally from Southwest Cameroon and was able to reach Douala successfully because truck drivers paid bribes to police and forest guards along the way. One of the forest exploiters and wood dealer told the press that the impoundment of his consignment was unjust because was in a hurry when he left the forest and could not sign the consignment. The impounded timbers are however at the Littoral Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for auction sale.

Curled from The Times cape Journal

International Day of Biodiversity Celebrated

Celebrations marking the International Day of Biodiversity, May 22, 2013 were equally in the media lamp light. Celebrated under the theme "Water and Biodiversity", the focus of many media organs including the National Bilingual daily, Cameroon Tribune, the Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV) and The Post Newspaper amongst others was the launch of week-long activities to mark the day in the country. This was done by the Minister Delegate in the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), Dr. Nana Aboubakar Djalloh, May 13, 2013. Dr. Nana, according to these media houses, used the launch to underscore the indispensability of water to the entire ecosystem and the role of the government to curb water scarcity in the country. He equally reaffirmed government commitment in ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of the country's biological resources for the wellbeing of Cameroonians and humanity as a whole. Other activities to mark the International Biodiversity Day as reported in the press included exhibitions on the importance of water and biodiversity, and visits to water treatment stations in the country.

US agro-company suspends activities for unsustainable environmental practices

Another happening in the milieu of Environment, nature protection and sustainable development that took center stage in the country media within the month of May was the SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SG-SOC)- subsidiary of US-based Herakles Farms suspension of her operations in the country. The Post Newspaper in her online edition of May 24, 2013 disclosed that the decision by the United States-based agriculture is in compliance with a recently issued order from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF). It requests that the company ceases preparing land near its Talangaye nursery being subject to a declaration of public usefulness made to the zone where the entire project is located. This order from MINFOF according media reports comes after intense pressure from environmental NGOs and segments of the concerned indigenes that raised concerns about the company's impact on the environment and their ancestral lands, respectively. Herakles Farms according to a press release, May 18 announcing the suspension, is diligently working with Cameroonian Government officials to resolve the matter as quickly as possible especially given that close to 700 nationals have been rendered jobless as a result of the suspension. Herakles has been functioning in Cameroon since 2009.

In environmental education, the media reported the launching of the Fishing and Maritime Institution in Limbe by the Minister of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, Dr. Taiga. Dr. Taiga according to the Cameroon Radio and Televison (CRTV) Buea discussed with stakeholders and sponsors involved in the construction of the institution, and gave directives on how the institution will be run. On his part, the Southwest Regional Delegate of Livestock Fisheries and Animal Husbandry, Francis Sale, said the institution will enable Cameroonians to acquire skills to venture in the maritime and fishing sectors; a sector, which he said, is dominated by unskilled foreigners in Cameroon.

The Post Newspaper of May 20, 2013 again reported a workshop which saw the validation of the national strategic document for the environment, nature protection and sustainable development sub-sector. Speaking during the validation workshop, MINEPDED Minister Pierre Hele outlined the stages that led to the production of the 247-page strategic document. He urged stakeholders to reflect and refine the document which according to him, would serve as a reference framework for the next five years in the environment, nature protection and sustainable development sub-sector. The paper further reported how members moved to the five agro-ecological regions covering the ten regions of Cameroon where consultations, assessments and analyses of the state of the environment. This led to the formulation of strategic choices, elaboration of priority actions plan and a framework for follow-up and evaluation. The workshop was attended by officials from the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Protection and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED), representatives of national and international NGOs as well as development partners in the domain.

Congo Basin under threat

According to the Centre for International Forestry Research, CIFOR, satellite-based monitoring data indicates that deforestation rates have nearly doubled in recent years, bouncing from 0.09 percent in 2000 to 0.17 in 2005 in the Congo Basin. This Basin hosts 70 percent of Africa's forests and a unique biodiversity. It supports the livelihoods of some 60 million people and now suffers from accelerated deforestation. A situation which many media have attributed to soaring global demands for natural resources, regional economic development strides, booming populations relying on the forests for sustenance, as well as interminable conflicts spawning massive human displacements. Other observers according to other media reports, term it a crossroads situation for the region, as governments engage major infrastructure development ventures. In Cameroon for example, vast sections of the basin forest are being chopped down for agribusiness, seaports and dam projects, a similar trend unfolding across the sub-region with promises of new jobs for its impoverished dwellers.

Mining Experts meet in Yaounde

In the mining sector, the Cameroon National Bilingual daily Cameroon Tribune reported that International investors, mining experts and Cameroonian decision-makers began appraising strides in the country's mining sector. These stakeholders assessed stakes and challenges with an objective to find tune what needs to be done to enhance the sector so that it can substantially contribute to the country's emergence vision. The high-level forum, code-named, Cameroon International Mining Conference & Exhibition (CIMEC 2013) took place at the Yaounde Conference Centre, May 29 on the theme, "Sustainably developing Cameroon's mineral resources for the benefit of future generations." The event featured discussions, exhibitions and a visit to some of Cameroon's key mining sites.

Compiled by Bertrand N. Shancho

08 June 2013

IBiNS gets new Program Coordinator

Posted in News, Views 1463

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 1747

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

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