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12 June 2017

ERuDeF Institute Launches the Cameroon Amphibians Conservation Initiative

Posted in News, Amphibian Conservation Project, Views 410

The ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and None-Profit Studies, ERuDeF Institute, has launched a new initiative that will provide essential scientific information as well as support the conservation of amphibians in Cameroon dubbed the Cameroon Amphibians Conservation Initiative.

Launched last April, on the occasion of the World Amphibians Day, this innovative and multidisciplinary initiative comes to introduce a multi scale approach to research and monitoring of amphibians focusing on detailed investigations on few species in specific local sites throughout the nation, while monitoring a larger number of species over broader areas producing inventory documents on species occurrence and distribution.

According to the Director of the Institute, Madam Akeh Nug, the creation of this Initiative, is a response to the outcome of a baseline survey of the endangered frog species; Goliath conrua along the flanks of Mt Nlonako in the Littoral Region of Cameroon carried out by the Institute.

“The research we carried out revealed that amphibian population along the flanks of Mt Ntlonako are on a sharp decline, insinuated that these species may become extinct if drastic measures are not taking to conserve them. Reason why the ERuDeF Institute does not want to leave any stone unturned at ensuring that these wildlife species are conserved,” she said.

The ERuDeF Institute boss stated that the effective functioning of this Initiative will aid in reducing the rate of amphibians decline in Cameroon.

Joining counterpart institutions like Save the Frogs, the Helsinki Zoo, Amphibian Arc and the Scottish Royal zoological Society in amphibian conservation, this Initiative in collaboration with the Department of Conservation at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation will be at the forefront of studying amphibian populations and life history traits, measuring and monitoring environmental characteristics, and conducting research into potential causes of decline for these species amongst others.

By Aguh A. N.

01 June 2017

Mondia whitei Farming Season Launched In Lebialem Division

Posted in News, Views 319

Mondia whitei Farming Season Launched In Lebialem Division

The 2017 farming season of one of the plants within the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative in Cameroon, Mondia whitei, has been launched in Lewoh, Lebialem Division of Southwest Cameroon.

The launching was carried out, Wednesday April 12, 2017 by the Coordinator of (ABS) Initiative at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Akumbu Ebenezer.

During the launch, the ERuDeF ABS Initiative boss introduced a new planting configuration for the Mondia plant using the plant cuttings, which according to him is more efficient

“Root cuttings are more efficient than using seeds to plant Mondia. Cuttings have fast growth rate and the time for maturity is shorter, compared to seeds. In carrying out the cutting method, make sure you cut within buds. That will give room for germination, roots initiation and stem sprouting,” Akumbu said.

Speaking on behalf of the community, His Royal Highness Chief Fuafeleka expressed gratitude to ERuDeF for introducing this new method.

He indicated that with the coming of the new method of planting, more Mondia roots will be produced, improving on the livelihoods of the people, and boosting the economy of the community.

The traditional ruler advised farmers to respect the new planting configuration, while targeting planting in the secondary forest.

For his part, the President of the Mondia Management Committee, Pa Sebastian Nkemganyi, expressed with much delight, the fact that many people in the community who suffer from sexual weakness will have an instant solution thanks to the Mondia whitei project in Lewoh.

He appealed for constant follow up of farmers so everyone will imbibe the new method to finger tips.

One of the farmers, Mama Fuafeleka Cherita, and Vice President of the Mondia Management Committee, said the launching of the Mondia planting season through the use of cuttings will help to reduce the stress and difficulties they use to encounter just to have seeds for planting.

The entire community was enthusiastic to know this new configuration will subsequently be applied. The system will target in situ planting (planting in the forest).

Mondia whitei is a popular medicinal plant, which is endemic to Africa. Since antiquity, M. whitei has been used by African people to treat various ailments.

Throughout Africa, the roots are highly valued as an aphrodisiac and also use to treat sexual weakness. M. whitei also has horticultural, nutritional and other socio-cultural values as reported in other countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi.

In an attempt to maintain the biodiversity and the sustainability of the plant, the Mane Foundation in France has embarked on getting the roots for it fragrance and food industry. The Foundation collects the roots in a sustainable manner.

Yanick Ndeley

01 June 2017

ERuDeF’s Directors Schooled On Landscape Management

Posted in News, Views 324

ERuDeF’s Directors Schooled On Landscape Management

Directors of various departments at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) have been called upon to adopt the Landscape Management Approach in the running of their various departments.

The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Louis made the call during a two-day meeting held at the conference room of the Headquarters in Buea.

According to ERuDeF’s boss, such approach will help directors to have a perfect grip of all activities in their departments, and will enable the heads to cover up any gap in the absence of any subordinate.

“A landscape manager is one who understands and can operate all divisions and units in their department. In that way, they can step up to fill any gap so as not to put their department wanting,” Louis Nkembi said.

The ERuDeF's Boss introduced and elaborated on an eight step administration and evaluation model adapted from the Drexler/Sibbet team building model. According to him, orientation, trust building, goal clarification, commitment, implementation, performance, renewal and organisational mission are the eight steps that account for effective leadership and evaluation in an organisation.

“ERuDeF has grown beyond Africa. So to flow with the current trend, directors within the organisation will undergo increased and constant training and capacity building so they can in-turn, pass it down the knowledge to their subordinates for efficient output in the organisation,” Louis Nkembi expounded.

The model, according to Louis, came as a result of poorly scripted reports and plans from various departments. The CEO advised directors to use the model as a tool to conduct self-evaluation before passing down the knowledge to the other members of their departments.

The two-day meeting of eight directors headed by the President/CEO was strictly academic. All directors present had the opportunity to digest the new model and further rated their past activities and output.

Participants attested that the meeting was timely as the Organisation keeps extending its tentacles to other parts of the world, so too is it important for the managers of various department and projects of ERuDeF, to strengthen their skills.

“I must say this meeting has been more of an intellectual exercise, and also has been very nourishing. I think more of such sessions should be organised so we continue to acquire new ideas and skills for Organizational growth,” Director of the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-profit Studies, Akeh Nug attested.

Other staff could not help but thank Louis Nkembi for such a novelty.

“I thank the CEO for this wonderful and beneficial opportunity to learn these new principles. My capacity has indeed increased and we expect more training from our boss,” Director of Budgets and Financial Planning, Vivian Tenjem added.

The Directors unanimously pledged to put in their best and also to transmit what they have learnt to their subordinates.

By Melvis Takang & Magdalen Ndi

01 June 2017

ERuDeF, Consolidating Position In Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 364

 ERuDeF, Consolidating Position In Biodiversity Conservation In Cameroon

The establishment and management of protected areas has become the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation worldwide. This approach aids in limiting human activities considered inimical to biodiversity conservation while making provisions for adjacent communities to the protected areas to benefit socially or economically from parks through ecotourism and the provision of alternative livelihood activities.

This approach is what the Environment and Rural Development Foundation has embarked on for over seven years now. The Organisation successfully saw through the creation of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary in 2014 and is currently facilitation the creation of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, and the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve.

The Organisation has been conducting surveys of great apes and other mammals in Mak-Betchou for the past five years and the proposed Mount Muanenguba Ecological Reserve for over a year now.

Hunters and forest exploiters in all the villages around these areas are being used to facilitate surveys, thus creating awareness of the importance and need to conserve biodiversity.

Socioeconomic surveys have also been done by ERuDeF with alternative sources of livelihoods (Apiculture, piggery) offered to people neighbouring the proposed sanctuary. This is done so that the people will not be trapped between their dependence on resources from these areas to meet their local development aspirations, and the national and international pressure to protect these resources.

By Angwa Gwendoline

01 June 2017

Agroforestry Department Emerges Best At ERuDeF

Posted in News, Views 296

The Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development (DAgfAD) at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has emerged the overall best in the first quarter of 2017.

The information was made known recently during an enlarged Heads of Department’s Meeting that took place at the Headquarters of ERuDeF. According to the management of ERuDeF, DAgfAD is being rewarded for its assiduity, pro-activeness and high result oriented performance since the start of year.

The evaluation was done based on a 7 step performance model presented by the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi. Of the nine departments in ERuDeF, DAgfAD emerged top with 6 on 7 per the evaluation, followed by the departments of Finance, and Forestry respectively.

Receiving the award, the Director of DAgfAD, Payong Marquise, praised the team spirit that reigned among her collaborators. She indicated, the award will serve as stimulant to enable them work even harder.

“I see this gesture from the management as a great motivation to me and my team. We promise to work harder and to meet up with our 2017 target of planting three million trees,” Payong Marquise added.

Responding to the secret behind her team’s success, the Director added that “I would say a lot of team work, taking our tasks seriously in order to meet up with departmental/organisational goals, meeting deadlines and above all good management by team leader. All these greatly contributed to our success.”

Commenting on the award, ERuDeF’s boss urged the other departments, especially those that did not feature amongst the first three like the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies, departments of Conservation, Livelihood & Economic Developments, Programmes & Planning, Administration and Human Resources, and Office of the CEO to use the award as a step-up tool to bring their various departments to the competitive level. He expressed total satisfaction with this performance and commended the Agroforestry team to continue with such spirit.

“This award is a motivation for the good work the department is doing. I won’t say they are 100% best but the department is putting in great efforts to achieving its goals. So more efforts should therefore be put in to reach the high performance level which is the optimum,” the CEO underscored

The award ceremony ended up with the directors of other departments promising to work harder so as to be outstanding come the next quarter

Melvis Takang

01 June 2017

Silver Back Company Ltd. Re-strategizes For Better Productivity

Posted in News, Views 311

Staff and stakeholder of Silverback Company (SBC) Ltd at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), have resolved to strengthen their activities so as to boost production and marketing of products of the company. They made the resolution, Friday May 19, 2017, at ERuDeF’s Head Office in Buea, during an enlarged general meeting.

Summoned by the promoter of the company, who doubles as the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, and coming at a time when the company is undergoing some challenges, the meeting brought together producers, transporters, marketers and management of the Silver Back Company Ltd.

The challenges faced by the company were mostly attributed to inadequate collaboration from some community members and stiff competition from Nigerian traders.

“Palm oil communities not having partnership with SBC tend to speculate and cause price fluctuations. Besides, we face a lot of competition from Nigerian buyers who make oil producers to hike their prices so as to maximise profits,” Njom Ignatius, Manager of SBC said.

Faced with these challenges, a new production strategy was introduced, where limited amounts of oil will be purchased with focus on the collection of mill charges. In that regards, milling charges were raised from FCFA1000 to FCFA2000 per tin. Meanwhile, technicians were assigned to mobilise farmers to produce nuts for milling to increase the milling fees. In the same light, marketers were assigned to canvass for buyers to purchase the oil during specific periods.

The stakeholders resolved to produce premium quality with low acidic content. They added that palm oil will also be made of 80% liquid content and 20% solid at all temperatures with no solid particles.

Moreover, Nuts would not spend up to three days before being milled. In addition, all would be nuts for milling, will be carefully selected such that the bad ones could be thrown away so as to have oil of good quality.

To ensure accountability and sustainability, members unanimously agreed that all mill operators will have to produce monthly reports of their activities. They will be in charge of mobilisation and reorganisation of farmers within the framework of the existing communities.

The months of July to October, 2017 were chosen for the mobilisation of palm nut producers to make maximum use of the various mills. The project team was implored to negotiate with buyers for the purchasing of nuts while ensuring that nuts are transported to the mill using the pick-up truck or tricycle where necessary.

The test period for this new approach is to run from May to June 2017. Some 1,400 tins of palm oil are expected to be produce per mill within this period.

With this approach in place it is believed that the challenges will be overcome and the company will start making more profits.

01 June 2017

ERuDeF Wraps Up Survey on NTFPs Valorisation in Lebialem Highlands

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 472

 ERuDeF Wraps Up Survey on NTFPs Valorisation in Lebialem Highlands

Cameroon’s leading conservation non-profit Organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), in collaboration with Rainforest Trust, has rounded off surveys of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) in some communities within the Lebelialem Highlands Conservation Complex. These communities include Njungo, Mbetta, Essoh-etta, Lewoh, Bangang, Besali, Bechati and Kendem.

The survey which seeks to identify and valorise NTFPs in this complex, is in line with ERuDeF’s strive to conserve biodiversity by promoting economic exploitation of NTFPs by rural women.

According to the survey, NTFPs like njangsang, bush mango, bush pepper, bush onions, bitter kola, red kola, eru, cashew, monkey Kola and others, are abundant in the Lebialem Highlands.

With survey results now established, ERuDeF will heighten sensitization and awareness campaigns in adjacent communities to biodiversity hotspots in this area as well as intensify the training of women in the harvesting and on domestication of NTFPs.

These communities will also be schooled on NTFPs value chain development and marketing among others.

The valorisation of NTFPs in this area is very important as many women and a few men are increasingly diverting their attention to the exploitation of these products, alongside other cash crops like cassava and plantains.

Involving women in the domestication and production of NTFPs as income generating activity will not only increase their revenue; but will improve on their livelihoods and the sustainable forest management and appropriate use of forest products.

By  Ayankeng Atem

01 June 2017

Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzee Eat Mongoose in Tofala

Posted in News, Views 246

Nigeria Cameroon Chimpanzee Eat Mongoose in Tofala

Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) have been caught on camera, feeding on Mongoose (also known as twelve-in-line) and other small mammals in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS).

According to the camera trap videos downloaded and analysed recently, an adult chimpanzee was observed eating a mongoose. Though the method used in catching the prey was not captured by the camera, it was however observed that the meat of the mongoose was not shared among the group of 7 chimpanzees involved in the hunt.

As at now, no scientific studies have been carried out to determine the feeding habits of the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimps. The Western chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes verus)and Eastern chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes shweinfurthii) have been recorded feeding on small monkeys such as the red colubus (Procolobusbadius), but little or nothing is known about the Nigeria-Cameroon Chimps.

Elsewhere, the Western chimpanzees use group hunting method where the chimpanzee encircle the prey and target the most vulnerable, especially babies. The Chimps also use light weapons such as carved spears made from sticks sharpened with teeth and use to target mammals in small holes on trees. When the prey eventually is caught, the Western and Eastern chimpanzees share the meat among group members even if an individual did not take part in the hunt.

As yet, no conclusion has been made in the case of the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee given that only a single observation has been recorded on their hunting behaviour. Thus, the need for further research.

By Enokenwa Allen Tabi

01 June 2017

Mama Nkemchop’s Apiculture Success Story In Magha-Bamumbu

Posted in News, Views 289

Mama Nkemchop’s Apiculture Success Story In Magha-Bamumbu

Apiculture is one of the economic activities the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and Mane Foundation have put in place under the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) project to improve the livelihoods of people living in Magha-Bamumbu, and other parts of the country.

The money-spinning activity that was hitherto limited to men has recently seen more and more women folks indulging in it

One of these women is Madam Nkemchop Helen. The woman picked up bee farming first as a hobby and later as a full time business after being nurtured by the ERuDeF. She says bee farming has largely improved her household income.

“I first got attracted to bee farming when I attended a training workshop organised by ERuDeF in Magha-Bamumbu. I and some other people benefited from some hives donated by this organisation. After I started reaping some benefits from the hives I received, I decided to open more, which now generation some income for my family up-keep,” Mme Helen Nkemchop said.

Gaining inspiration from a training on apiculture by ERuDeF, Mme Nkemchop has planted food crops around her apiary to boost honey production.

“I have planted some food crops around my hives, which have given enough nectar for the bees around. These bees after harvesting their food, come around my hives and produce large quantities of honey. This technique was introduced to us, by a team from ERuDeF,” she expounded.

Mme Nkemchop produces 100 to 200 litres of honey per year, which she sells to the Silver Back Company and proceeds are used to carter for her children’s needs and the home in general. This exemplary farmer, has also used proceeds from apiculture and other agricultural activities to set up a grocery store where she has employed one of the community members to control.

Drawing inspiration from the success of Mme Nkemchop, the Coordinator of the Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Initiative at ERuDeF, Mr Akumbu Ebenezer, encouraged farmers, especially women, to invest in bee farming as the activity is very lucrative.

He urged farmers to indulge in large scale cultivation of food crops like Irish potatoes, carrots and others, so as to implant bee hives around their farms. This according to him, provides far reaching benefits than the traditional system of farming.

By Ebenezer Akumbu

01 June 2017

Agroforestry system: Ndungated Village Rated Best In Nursery Management

Posted in News, Views 243

 Agroforestry system: Ndungated Village Rated Best In Nursery Management

Ndungated village in Lebialem Division of Southwest Cameroon, has been rated the best in nursery management among the three villages selected for nursery establishment in Lebialem.

The assessment was made recently by a team of agroforestry technicians from the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF).

After examining the level of germination of the nurseries in Alou, Meka and Ndungated, these technicians noted that seedlings in nurseries in Ndungated village recorded the highest surviving rate.

According to the team, amid the training given to all interested villages on how to manage and take proper care of their bare root nursery in Lebialem, Ndungated village implemented most of what they learned with majority of their seedlings in the nurseries surviving.

Of the 45,000 seeds nursed, the village recorded successful germination of 37,950 seeds, giving a germination rate of 84%. Alou village recorded 64% germination rate, while Meka scored 58%.

To the group leader of Ndungated village, Chief Stephen Nkemanda, the group showed more interest and commitment than ever before.

“My group members were very committed. On the first week when we nursed the seeds, rain was not falling. So we designated some group members to water the seeds regularly. We also had other people weeding around the nursery. All of that coupled with continuous monitoring, enabled most of our seeds to germinate,” Chief Nkemanda said.

For his part, the head of agroforestry technicians from ERuDeF, Elong Smith, appreciated the commitment and determination the Ndungated group has shown.

He urged the group to continue the follow-up of their nurseries so when the time of transplant comes, they will have enough seedlings. He promised to carry the great news of huge germination success to hierarchy for a possible award to be given the Ndungated village.

In-line with using agroforestry technologies to restore degraded landscape while ensuring environmental protection and improving the income of resourced-poor farmers in Cameroon, the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF in collaboration with Trees for the Future, established agroforestry nurseries with farming groups in Lebialem Division. Seeds of Tree species like Acacia, Leucaena and prunus africana were handed to interested farmers in the month of March 2017. Before the establishment of these nurseries, these farmers were educated on the importance of these agroforestry tree species.

By Ntungwa Elong

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