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28 April 2017

Sixteen SW Farming Groups Integrated Into ERuDeF’s Agroforestry Programme

Posted in News, Views 260

 Sixteen SW Farming Groups Integrated Into ERuDeF’s Agroforestry Programme

Some16 new farming groups made up of over 70 farmers have been integrated into the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Southwest Cameroon Agroforestry Programme. They were accepted into the agroforestry family during a regional tour across Meme, Fako, Kupe Muanenguba and Lebialem Divisions of Southwest Cameroon paid recently by the ERuDeF Agroforestry Team.

The tour, aimed at building the capacity of farmers on nursery establishments and value of agroforestry farming techniques, also provided the agroforestry team the opportunity to renew partnership with old faming groups, and welcome committed new ones.

Speaking on behalf of one of the new groups, Millennium Group in Malende-Muyuka, Fako Division, Mr. Atem Ben, a seasoned yams and melon (Egusi) farmer, lauded ERuDeF’s strides in building their capacities on the agroforestry farming techniques. He thanked the management of ERuDeF and Partners for donating seeds of agroforestry tree species like Accacia, luecaena andPrunus, among others.

“Given that our soil have become infertile due to the huge inorganic chemicals, slash and burn, and even felling down of trees that some of us practice, these agro forestry seeds after planted will help to restore our soil” He added

On behalf of his farming group, Mr Atem said they will plant 200,000 agroforestry trees in their farms, this 2017. He pleaded with the management of ERuDeF to provide farmers with more Moringa seeds giving the rich medicinal property of the plant.

The representative of another farming group, Devoted Young Farmers in Ikiliwindi in Kumba-Meme Division, Mr Kome Moses, said his group is made up of very astute young minds who are devoted to making high yields. He affirmed his group’s firm participation in the programme.

“We are very young and committed youths who came together for the mere fact of making it big in agriculture. I promise you that your accepting us would not go in vain. We shall be very committed to planting of trees. We can’t promise you more, but count on us,” Mr Kome Moses said.

Mr Palle Augustine of the Kobi Mukam Water Catchment in Ekambeng in Kupe Muanenguba Division, also promised on behalf of his group to be very committed into the agroforestry programme.

Accepting the new farming groups into the agroforestry programme, ERuDeF’s South West Agroforestry Coordinator, Mr Ngome Emmanuel, said his Organisation is out to empower committed farmers with the necessary agroforestry tools needed for them to make huge harvest. He urged the farmers to be assiduous in their activities, and be rest assured, the management of ERuDeF will provide all necessary tools needed for them to own farms with rich soils, hence making them acquire sustainable harvest.

“Planting of agroforestry trees will not only increase your yields geometrically after three years, but also provide your farms with micro-climate that will play essential roles in the reduction of soil transpiration, fight against insect pest and the mitigation of climate change. With the coming of agroforestry techniques, you all will witness high crop yields, and increase in your household income,” Mr Ngome added.

The farmers were encouraged with watering Cans, agro forestry seeds, rain boots, T- shirts, and calendars. He promised to furnish more farmers with other seeds, especially the Moringa plant which was so much loved by majority of the farmers.

The agroforestry programme falls in line with ERuDeF and Trees for the Future’s drive of planting millions of trees useful to local farmers, which can also increase their household income.

Emmanuel Ngome

28 April 2017

ERuDeF, Revitalising Agroforestry Farmers’ Network in Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 232

 ERuDeF, Revitalising Agroforestry Farmers’ Network in Cameroon

Farming groups across the 15 divisions where the Environment and Rural Development foundation (ERuDeF) is carrying out agroforestry activities have been called upon to reconstitute themselves and revitalise the Agroforestry Farmers Network created in 2010.

This call was made by Regional Coordinators of the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF during a one month tour across 72 farming groups in the Northwest, Southwest, West, and Littoral Regions in March 2017.

According to the Director of the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development at ERuDeF, Madam Tionou Prudence, reinforcing these networks is one of ERuDeF’s priorities in 2017.

“ERuDeF in collaboration with Trees for the Future, in 2010, created some 15 Agroforestry Farmers’ Networks representing the 15 divisions where agroforestry activities are being carried out. It was rather unfortunate that most of these networks lose focus because financial support from ERuDeF was no longer coming. Kudos to the Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network which stood tall and continued to put in all efforts to make sure their network remains functional till date. For the other hibernated networks, we are looking forward to reinforcing them so all the benefits that usually come with networks, can be enjoyed by all farming groups,” Madam Tionou said.

She added that “a comprehensive article of association will be produced and distributed to all networks to ensure that they all have one goal and one interest.”

In 2010, some eight networks completed the formality process. The Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Meme Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Menchum Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Mezam Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Haut-Nkam Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Menoua Agroforestry Farmers Network, the Ngoketunjia Agroforestry Farmers Network and the Boyo Agroforestry Farmers Network, were all legalised under Cameroon’s law of association, and owned a bank account, where they carryout monthly savings during their meetings. ERuDeF supported the Networks with some minimum finances every quarter of the year. Unfortunately, only the Fako Network for the past six years, remained active, holding regular monthly meetings. ERuDeF supported The Fako Agroforestry Farmers Network with 700 polythene bags following their request in March 2017.

The building ofrigid Networks across all of ERuDeF’s area of agroforestry operation, comes on the heels of the Organisation’s intention to join the Agroforestry Alliance of Africa.

Payong Marquise

28 April 2017

“Plant Trees for Better Educational Performance,” Schools in West and Littoral Cameroon Told

Posted in News, Views 171

 “Plant Trees for Better Educational Performance,” Schools in West and Littoral Cameroon Told

Pupils and students of Haut-Kam and Moungo Divisions in the West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon have been advised to make tree planting a culture.

“When you plant trees around your school campus, you will have more oxygen on campus that contribute in increasing your level of understanding in class” Mm Junie Chamjou, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF)’s Agroforestry Coordinator for West and Littoral Regions told students and pupils in École Publique de Bakassa in the Haut-Kam Division of the West Region and Lycée Classique de Mellong II in the Moungo Division of Littoral Region.

She encouraged each learner to plant a tree monitor to ensure its survival. The students were also called upon to sensitising their parents one some agroforestry practises like alley cropping, contour farming and life fencing.

“When you get home, tell your parents the importance of trees and advise them to plant more trees especially around your houses and in the farms,” Junie added.

For their part, the pupils and students expressed total satisfaction being schooled on lessons of nature. Most of them resolved to plant as many trees as they can when theywill have the seedlings.

“I am so grateful being part of this lecture on environment. At first, I did not know how to plant trees, but from the lessons got and with the demonstrations, I can now plant my own trees. As soon as I get home, I shall plant my first tree,” Tientcheu Noelle, a pupil of École Publique de Bakassa said.

The learners also pledged to follow-up with the planting of trees in and around the school so they can beautify the campus.

“If you look round our school, you cannot find so many trees. With this lesson acquired from the environment education talk, I shall join with my fellow students to plant more trees around the school boundary, and fruit trees on campus. In that way, we shall have a lot to eat when the time comes,” Douanla Romauald, a student of LycéeClassique de Mellong II said.

For their part, the school administration were very impressed with the lectures given the students, but were even more elated by the positive reactions of the learners. They promised to continue preaching the message of planting trees, so the learners can actually make it part of their daily lives.

“We have been teaching our learners on the importance of having a good environment, but I must confess that we have never had such enthusiasm from the students on issues of the environment. We shall continue to pass on the message to the students until they all understand the importance of planting trees” said Mme Kamguim Climentine, Principal of Lycée Classique de Mellong II.

The learners were treated to demonstrations on nursing seeds, transplanting, and planting of trees.

Meanwhile, pupils of École Pubique de Bakassa, appealed for the creation of a school garden.

The project falls inline with Trees for the Future’s objectives, that is, to integrate 8 million agroforestry species in farms, water catchments and around school campuses. The West and Littoral Regions had some 2.1 million seeds of acacia, luceana, calliandra, prunus and moringaseeds distributed to the different entities in the month of March 2017. The project is being implemented by the Environment and RuralDevelopment Foundation (ERuDeF).

28 April 2017

Community Engagement, Instrumental in Mapping Forest Resources in SW Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 282

 Community Engagement, Instrumental in Mapping Forest Resources in SW Cameroon

Today, it becomes more than important to integrate communities in the management of forest resources. Communities living within forest areas, are meticulous in acquiring deep knowledge of where they live; the dense forest milieu.

In spite of this mastery of the forest environment, the communities of Woteva in Fako Division, and Tinto, and Akwen / Agborkem in Manyu Division, all in the Southwest of Cameroon, live adjacent to a dense forest. Unfortunately, management of the forest resources have always been a problem. Much of the forest resources are untapped; those exploited are unevenly distributed.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) recently launched the “participatory mapping ", a model of conservation wherein communities adjacent to forest areas take active part in the management of their forest resources. The model is also instrumental in the DRYAD project, which is geared towards promoting the development of local businesses from the extraction of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) from the community forests.

The participative approach engages villagers in the mapping of community forests with the help of a facilitator. The mapping process involves ground mapping, the collection of data, processing and the establishment of a concise map. At the level of the ground mapping, the villagers draw the space of their community forest on the ground by indicating the position of all elements including roads, rivers, non-timber forest products (NTFP) among others. Thereafter, they transfer the map got on the ground to the spreadsheet with all the details.

At the level of data collection, the villagers go to the forest for the acquisition of data using different tools that facilitate the collection of the data like GPS smartphones, and navigation GPS among others. Those who go to the forest have been trained beforehand on the manipulation of the tools of data collection, they are called the local cartographers. The data collected are given to the facilitator who processes them using the innovative technologies, produce the soft copy of the map that is validated by the entire community.

It was within this framework that the GIS specialist of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Mr Dogmo Eugne, carried out Maps production, based on identification of forest resources of Tinto in the Upper Bayang Subdivision, Akwen and Agborkem in the Eyumojock Subdivision all in Manyu Division of Southwest Cameroon. Five resources, Bush mango (Irvingiagabonesis), Eru (Gnetumafricana), Bush pepper (Piper nigrum), timbers and Njansang ( Ricinodendronhendelotti), were selected to represent in the map.

In each community, at least three (03) local cartographers were trained on maps productionwith emphasis on the production of the ground mapping.

In Tinto, the local cartographers collected more than 300 points in their community forest while in Akwen and Agborkem, the local cartographers collected more than 200 points. The maps of the community forests have been produced and validated by the villagers of those communities with the facilitation of the GIS specialist from ERuDeF.

Now, the villagers acquired supplementary knowledge to reproduce and to update the map of resources in their forest area. By the end of the process, it was realized that the resources are dense in the different community forests.Taking the case of bush mango for example, the quantities are very important. In the community forest of Tinto, the number of stems of bush mango is estimated at 2500 stemsand more whereas in the one of Akwen-Agborkem, the number of stems of bush mango is estimated at 12000 stems and more.

28 April 2017

Communities Within Lebialem Highlands Schooled to Adopt Environmental Friendly Actions.

Posted in News, Views 194

 Communities Within Lebialem Highlands Schooled to Adopt Environmental Friendly Actions.

Communities adjacent to the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project, have been sensitised on the importance of protecting the environment in the face of increasing global threat from climate change. The Manager of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Programme at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), Mr Samuel Ngueping, was speaking to the communities during a sensitisation tour organised recently.

Using Biblical quotations the ESD Manager frowned at unsustainable practises carried out by communities in this area that contribute to environmental degradation and climate change.

“It iswritten in the book of Genesis that God created all living things including the water, the earth and all the biodiversity that it contains. God also created man, putting him in charge of all creation. Unfortunately, some people use their wisdom to destroy the environment rather than protecting,” Mr Ngueping said.

He implored the population to shun unsustainable environmental practices and engage in conservation and sustainable management of natural resources for a long term reward.

Speaking on behalf of the Besali people, Pa Tayem Joseph appreciated ERuDeF for enlightening them on the danger that awaits them as a result of unsustainable environmental practices. He promised to adopt environmentally friendly actions.

“I thank God for being here today because I have learnt a lot. I shall make sure I put into practice the things I have gotten here today. Top on my list will be to avoid slash and burn. Also, I shall make sure the trees in my community are managed in a sustainable manner,” Pa Tayem said.

Thrilled by the exposition on the effects of his action on the environment another participant from Bokwa village in Upper Banyang, Ndem Thomas amongst other to stop cutting down trees and polluting the environment.

The communities sensitised included Abebue, Fonven, Mbetta, Mouck-bie, Ngwangong, Mouck-leteh, Mbelenka, Nkong, Besali, Bechati and Folepi, in the Lebialem Division. Meanwhile, those in the Upper Banyang Subdivision of Manyu Division were Kendem, Bokwa, Etoko and Egbemo. This sensitisation was carried out with support from Tusk Trust.

By Samuel Ngueping

28 April 2017

Upper Bayang Communities Pledge to Create Two New Community Forests

Posted in News, Views 246

 Upper Bayang Communities Pledge to Create Two New Community Forests

Some nine communities in Upper Bayang, Manyu Divisionof Southwest Cameroon have unanimously agreed to create two community forests in the area. They made the agreement recently in Kendem village, Upper Bayang, in the presence of government officials and well-wishers. The nine communities include Bakumba, Ayukaba, Chinda,Numba, Kendem, Bokwa, Etoko, Egbemo and Tafu.

These communities are, more than ever, engaged in the conservation of fauna and flora in their forest area.

“We have huge forest just behind our village, which individuals exploit and siphon the proceeds. Creating a community forest will therefore mean, we the indigenes of Bakumba village will manage the economic returns from the forest,” Chief Tata Adolf said.

The chiefs promised to lend total support and collaboration to the project when needs arise.

“We are solidly behind the creation of these community forests. We shall be very much available anytime our assistance is solicited,” Chief NyentiAko of Bokwa village said.

Meanwhile communities have reserved over 9,834 hectares for the two community forests to be created that is 4500 hectares per community forest. The two community forests dubbed BANCK and BEET community forests were allocated to the nine communities. Communities in the BANCK community forest will include Bakumba, Ayukaba, Numba, Chinda, and Kendem, while those in the BEET community forest include will include Bokwa, Etoko, Egbemo and Tafu.

These community forests, according to community members, would serve as part of the corridor linking gorillas, chimpanzee and other wildlife species of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, Takamanda National Park, passing through the FMU 11002 and FMU 11009 (former Mone river forest reserve).

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) is piloting the Tofala-Mone East Corridor Rainforest Community Conservation Project that began in January 2016. The project seeks to create a wildlife corridor, which will serve as a genetic pool linking the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary (THWS) and the Mone Forest Reserve. In particular, it will connect the Cross River gorillas of THWS to those of the Takamanda National Park through the Mone Forest Reserve.

ERuDeF is playing a key role for these communities to formally reserve their forests using prescriptions from the manual of procedures for the attribution and norms for the management of community forests in Cameroon. Following the procedures, a lot of sensitisation has been done through information and awareness meetings, the two community forest blocks carved out by a cartographer, a management committee put in place, a consultation meeting organised and documents compiled and sent to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF) for a two year provisional management agreement to be signed.

It is this provisional management agreement that will give the communities the go ahead to produce a five-year management plan. Communities are very excited with this as they are keenly and constantly monitoring their forest for fear of illegal activities in the forest concession.

By Floribert Asong

28 April 2017

Mulching, Panacea For Low Farm Yield & Soil Infertility

Posted in Volunteering and Internship, News, Views 461

 Mulching, Panacea For Low Farm Yield & Soil Infertility

Mulching is a practice in agriculture where farmers cover the soil with plant materials to protect the soil. Farmers cover the soil with organic material and this protects their soils from extreme winds or drought. The mulch serves as home for insects that improve soil texture and fertility. Mulching also protects the soil from erosion, extreme temperatures, and sunrays gradually releasing nutrients to plants.

Mulching is mostly done in alley cropping demonstration farms. Alley cropping is a technique of agroforestry where trees are planted in double rows in the farm where other food crops are planted. Here, the distance from one tree to the other is 30cm while the distance from one row to the other is 5m. When these trees reach the height of 1m or 1.5m, they are pruned at 50cm and the leaves are used to mulch the soil.

Acacia, Calliandra and Leucaena are species best used in alley cropping because they are nitrogen fixing. They are therefore referred to as the soil health improvement trees. When these leaves are mulched into the soil, the nitrogen contents in the leaves are slowly release to the soil, thus improving the fertility of the soil. This form of mulching also protects the soil from erosion, sunrays, and wind. It provides a habitat for species of insects and microorganisms that will eventually improve on some physical properties of the soil such as texture and structure.

For the past 8 years, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) through the Department of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development, has been able to reach and sensitiseBare root nursery establishment in Mile 15 over 4,080 farmers in the Northwest, Southwest, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon with our Agroforestry activities. Of the 4,080 reached, over 3000 farmers have successfully implemented the project given a 74% success. Today, these farmers have been expressing their gratitude through different testimonies.

Mr. Douanla Pierre is a renowned farmer in Balafotio, West Region. For four years, the farmer has embraced agroforestry system in his farms. According to him, ever since he has been mulching the soils with agroforestry nitrogenous trees, production in his beans farmhas moved from 2 buckets to 12 buckets.

Mrs. Ayoung Jannet is another agroforestry farmer in Kugwe, Northwest Region. She testified that “mulching my plantain and grafted pears has made them healthier and doubled in production.”

Mr. Ambang of Maumu, Southwest Cameroon, for the past 7 years has multiplied the production of beans and maize, all thanks to mulching,

“I have moved from 4 bags of maize to 10 bags and from 3 baskets of tomatoes to 9 baskets as I have been using agroforestry nitrogenous trees to mulch my soil” Ambang of Maumu testified.

The importance of Mulching in the improvement of agricultural yield, cannot be over emphasised. Mulching is arguably the hidden panacea in witnessing a significant growth in agricultural production, but most especially, growth in household income. Farmers are therby ecouraged to mulch their soils with nitrogen fixing agroforestry trees for a significant growth in their agricultural production.

07 April 2017

Chiefs, Communities Throw Weight Behind Creation Of Proposed Mt. Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve

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 Chiefs, Communities Throw Weight Behind Creation Of Proposed Mt. Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve

Chiefs and other stakeholders of communities adjacent to Mount Muanenguba, have pledged total support for the creation of the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral and Ecological Reserve. They took the resolution, Friday March 10, 2017 in Nkongssamba, Moungo Division, Littoral Cameroon, during a workshop to introduce and engage key actors in conservation activities that will soon go operational within Mount Muanenguba.

According to the Chiefs, creating an Integral and Ecological Reserve at Mount Muanenguba will positively affect the people living adjacent to this biodiversity hotspot.

“From all indications the project will be beneficial to the local population if realised. We are ready to work with all facilitators to ensure the sustainability of the project,” chief Ekwennongene Alexis from Moeba village said.

They recognised the adverse effects of human activities on this proposed protected area.

“Activities of our fellow villagers have greatly affected the biodiversity of the mountain. Most of them are farmers and hunters, they encroach into the forest and carryout mass destruction. This project will not only bring our communities to the lamplight, it will also conserve the flora and fauna of the area,” another chief said.

Speaking during the workshop, the Senior Divisional Officer (SDO) for Moungo, Littoral of Cameroon, Kevin Etengeneng Oben, advised the chiefs and elites present to strengthen collaboration with the government and conservation Non-Governmental Organisations in protecting the rich biodiversity of the emblematic Mount Muanenguba. He urged the people’s representatives to sensitise the communities on government’s plans and the need for general participation for effective execution.

“Our country is highly blessed with biodiversity, we talk about plants and animals species. Mount Muanenguba prides itself with rich animal and plant species, found nowhere else in the world. For example, 270 bird species are found on that mountain, and of the number, 44 are found nowhere in the world. So that alone is enough reason for us to jealously protect our heritage. With that, I call on the main stakeholders to collaborate with government and the NGOs in making the dream of transforming the mountain into an integral ecological reserve. That alone, will be a great thing for the people and the country as a whole,” the SDO said.

Mount Muanenguba which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 1000 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles and 270 bird species amongst which 60% of them are endemic. The mountain with height of 2411 meters above sea level, suffers chronic threats from communities living adjacent to the mountain. Habitat degradation, which involves conversion of natural land for agricultural land through shifting cultivation, destruction of trees for commercial purposes, overgrazing and trespassing of cattle in streams and water ponds, collection of amphibian and reptile species, amongst others, are the main threats rocking the mountain.

Faced with all of these challenges, Cameroon’s leading conservation NGO, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), joined forces with the Cameroon Herpetology-Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF) to restore the degraded landscape of this mountain.

According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CAMHERP-CBF, Dr Nono Gonwouo, the creation of the Integral and Ecological Reserve would not only conserve this rich biodiversity and ecosystem, but will equally protect and preserve their cultural heritage found on the mountain. To him, if the project is effectively realised, the mountain will serve as a touristic site, hence, creating employment opportunities for the local communities. The adjacent population would also benefit from alternative sources of livelihood to distract them from activities that deplete the forest.

For his part, the President and CEO of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, said ERuDeF will act as the field technician by providing its expertise in protected area creation and development. On the other hand, CAMHERP-CBF would bring in its experience and research accrued from past activities carried out on amphibians and other reptiles. He assured the population the project will effectively be executed, with the firm participation of the communities. Responding to worries from participants on fears of leap start and paralysing end with little or no results attained, the ERuDeF boss underscored the fact that the project will be be executed with the local population benefiting from its fallouts.

A technical working team was put in place comprising of ERuDeF and CAMHERP- CBF staff with facilitation from the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife of Littoral. The team will follow up the steps for the creation of Mount Muanenguba Integral and Ecological Reserve and also report its activities to all stakeholders involved in this project quarterly. It will also sensitise the community on the creation, and identify priority needs of the population that will eventually bring income from alternative sources of livelihood. Preceding the meeting, a socioeconomic survey as well as village census was carried out.

The workshop was graced with the participation of traditional and administrative authorities, elites, and the two concerned NGOs. The project is expected to see the light of day in the next three years.

By Joyce Mbong

07 April 2017

ERuDeF, Citadel For Women Advancement

Posted in News, Views 296

ERuDeF, Citadel For Women Advancement

Meet 30year old Prudence Payong Maquise, Director of Agroforestry and Agricultural Development (DAgfAD) at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), one of the topmost and privileged positions in the organisation. Miss Payong Marquise elevated at ERuDeF from a very humble beginning some seven years ago, has through patience and determination contributed enormously to the growth of the Organisation.

Prudence Payong was hired by ERuDeF on January 18, 2010 as a junior staff integrated to the Trees for the Future Cameroon programme. Even with a meagre stipend for a probation period of six months, she humbled herself and learned every bit of work that would enhance her growth in the Organisation. As an intern, the workaholic lady pushed through her way to a regular staff, before becoming everyone’s favourite. Her commitments, dedication and determinations, caught the admiration of many, including partners and other colleagues who recommended her to hierarchy for promotion. She was first appointed the Southwest coordinator of Agroforestry projects before moving to West and Littoral Regions, where she created and pioneered Agroforestry project coordination. In June 2016, Miss Payong was promoted to the rank of interim Director of DAgfAD, before eventually appointed, full time director in January 2017.

According to the President and Chief Executive Officer of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, the Organisation looks forward to scoring the gender 50-50 parity by 2020. He underscored that from his experience and empirical analysis, women are better conservationists and managers to men. He opined that there’s going to be a time in the world where women are going lead all if not, most international conservation organisations.

In an interview with the COO, Mm Ursula Nkeng, she said women have successfully driven the goal of ERuDeF to a new level. She affirmed that going by the 2017 International Women’s Day celebrations, gender equality at the place of work is near realisation at ERuDeF. She used the opportunity to send a clarion call to the women at ERuDeF in particular and the womenfolk in general, to be assiduous, committed and determined in every activity they indulge in. That according to her, will skyrocket them to higher heights, placing them at the pinnacle of success.

The 2017 edition of the International Women’s Day, celebrated on Wednesday March 8 across the world, was another opportunity giving the womenfolk to pause and take a look at their achievements while advocating for more from the society. This year’s celebrations took place under the theme “Women in the Changing Place of Work, Planet 50-50 by 2030.”

By Yanick Fonki

07 April 2017

Editorial: Saving Species And Wild Places, Creating Impact

Posted in News, Views 370

Editorial: Saving Species And Wild Places, Creating Impact

The world is witnessing an unprecedented decline in species numbers, habitat degradation and destruction caused by the unprecedented human pressure being manifested by wars civil strife, famine and poverty.

The increasing composite nature of the human pressure is accelerating the destruction of the last globally threatened species and their last ranges and habitats.

This is characterised by the increasing isolation of protected areas and biodiversity hotspots across all the continents of the world.

In Cameroon, the national non-profit conservation organisation, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), has been leading since 2003, the battle to save the last threatened biodiversity species and their habitats throughout Cameroon.

This battle by ERuDeF is manifested through the saving of the last wild places for the cross river gorillas in SW Cameroon, for the Western lowland gorillas in East Cameroon, for the world’s largest frogs in littoral (Mt Nlonako) and SW (Mt Muanenguba), the endangered birds of Mt Bamboutos in Western Cameroon as well as the ecologically fragile ecosystems of Mt Bamboutos and the Adamawa plateau ( ecosystems that supply over 90% of Cameroon’s water and energy), restoration of the endangered Microberlina bisulcata in the Mt Cameroon National Park.

While the role of international Non-Governmental Organisation cannot be over emphasized in providing the overall lead in saving the last threatened species and wild places, their numerical strength has not been able to cause or reverse this the decline of these species nor withstand or stop this rapid continuous decline often leading to the local extinction like the case of the Rhinos recently declared in 2011 in Cameroon to be extinct.

It is at this point that the role of the national conservation organization as well as the impact cannot be neglected.

As the leading national conservation organization in Cameroon, ERuDeF has been pushing the government to realize the need to gazette more protected areas and provide more protection or restriction that will lead to the conservation of the last ranging species of the Fauna and Flora.

ERuDeF is also at the fore front of a new initiative called the Cameroon Corridor Initiative. This initiative seeks to link the increasingly isolated protected areas and biological populations. Such initiatives include; the Tofala Mone Corridor, the Deng Deng National Park Dja Reserve Corridor and the NW Chimpanzee Conservation Corridor.

While protected areas and conservation corridors seek to provide direct benefits to the species and their habitats, the human population living adjacent to these areas, derive substantial benefits from the development of livelihoods and other community development initiatives being introduced in local communities by local conservation organizations.

These benefits are evident in the change of livelihoods and improved incomes of these communities. Statistics gathered from these communities show that, the over 400 beehives installed has in 2016 improved farmers livelihoods by 65% as compared to 35% in 2015, in the palm oil sector, the farmers have had 7,626,000 million increase in their incomes in the last 2 years. Also, out of over 40 women trained in local soap making, close to 30 now depend on it for the upkeep of their families.

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