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01 June 2017

ERuDeF’s Directors Schooled On Landscape Management

Posted in News, Views 454

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 514

 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 402

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 411

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 734

 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 372

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 397

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 345

 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

28 April 2017

Creation of Mt. Muanenguba IER:

Posted in News, Views 610

Bangem Chiefs, Elites… Pour Blessings On Project

Creation of Mt. Muanenguba IER:

Chiefs and elites from seven villages in Bangem, Kupe-Muanenguba Division of Southwest Cameroon, have unanimously agreed to collaborate with government for the creation of the proposed Mount Muanenguba Integral Ecological Reserve (IER). Their poured their blessings, Tuesday March 28, 2017 during a meeting to sensitise villages adjacent to the proposed protected area. The meeting took place at the Bangem credit union hall. The villages included Mbat, Nkack, Poala, Muelong, Muabi, Ebonimin and Muabah.

According to the chiefs, the people of Bangem are very committed to seeing the project being realised. They indicated conservation is a prerogative for everyone to be devoted to.

“Conservation is wealth which you can’t recreate, I have personally understood the importance of keeping what you have, and one must therefore do everything possible to keep it in tact. My people and I are very committed and are available at any time if our services are needed,” Nhon Ngwese Michael Same, chief of Mbat village said.

The chiefs acknowledged the fact that creating an integral Ecological Reserve at Mt. Muanenguba will bring in a lot of bounties to the Bangem people. They intimated that the villagers living adjacent to the biodiversity hotspot will benefit a lot from it.

“Our youths and women, including our men will work in the Reserve. We shall have alternative sources of income that will boost the economy of our villagers. I stand here on behalf of my people to say, we give our full support to the project,” Nhon Ekwenongene Alexis, chief of Muebah village said.

For the elites, the project will bring a lot of remuneration. According to them, besides the beauty the emblematic mountain will bring, lots of employment opportunities will also be born from the realisation of the project.

“I think this project will add up to the beauty of Mount Muanenguba, thus more tourists will visit the area. It will not only provide employment opportunities to our children but also boost our economy. We support this project and we are ready at any time whenever our services are needed,” Ngwese Samuel, Elite from Nkack.

They indicated the project will bring many other developmental activities in the Bangem community. For them, having an Integral Ecological Reserve is welcoming progress.

“This project will give birth to many other projects like development of roads, and portable water. It will not only bring our communities to the lamplight, but it will also conserve the flora and fauna of the area,” Ntungwa Gideon, an elite from Muebah village stated.

Addressing participants, the Mayor of Bangem council, Mr Ekuh Ojeh Simon, lauded this initiative to transform Mt Muanenguba into an Integral Ecological Reserve. He urged participants to embrace the project whole heartedly for their own benefits.

“These stakeholders facilitating the creation of an Integral Ecological Reserve of our mountain, are not taking anything away from us. They are rather coming to ensure that everything that is on that mountain is preserved for present and future generations. Since Mt. Muanenguba is already a touristic site, these conservation activities will only add more meaning to the benefits the mountain already brings,” Mayor Ojeh stated.

Mount Muanenguba which cuts across the Southwest and Littoral Regions of Cameroon is said to have a heterogeneous Ecosystem, harbouring 100 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 conserve the rich biodiversity and Ecosystem of Mount Muanenguba with focus on Amphibians and Reptiles.

According to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CAMHERP-CBF, Dr Nono Gonwouo, the creation of the Integral 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.

Participants raised concerns on the activities carried out by the Mbororos, an indigenous group living adjacent to the mountain. According to them, the Mbororo people are the ones exerting pressure on the mountain.

28 April 2017

Investment Plans For Community Forestry Enterprises (CFEs) Established For Woteva, Tinto, and Akwen/Agborkem Community Forests

Posted in News, Views 461

 Investment Plans For Community Forestry Enterprises (CFEs) Established For Woteva, Tinto, and Akwen/Agborkem Community Forests

An elaborate Business Plan for the management of three community forests in the Southwest Region has been developed. The plan was established recently in a series of meetings, working sessions, and group discussion organised in the three selected communities adjacent to the forest. The communities include Woteva, Tinto, and Akwen/Agborkem.

The Business Plan embodies all details of an enterprise, beginning from all investments and anticipated revenue. It is coming on the heels of the DRYAD Project that seeks to reduce deforestation, improve environment, and improve social welfare of participating communities, and to create economic resilience. The project also promotes the engagement of local communities in sustainable management of natural resources through Community Forestry.

According to the Coordinator of the project, Sheron Endah, the model will serve as a guide or reference to the management of the earmarked Community Forests.

“All decisions stated in the Business Plan will be followed strictly. That implies, the communities will be directly implicated in the management of their forests, reaping all socioeconomic benefits from there,” She added.

In the Woteva Community Forest, the indigenes choose to develop Beekeeping and Eco-Tourism enterprises. Located on the slope of Mt Cameroon, beekeeping was suitable, giving its rich flora potentials that attract bees into the forest. It also has interesting touristic sites, which are lucrative for Eco-Tourism.

The Chief, HRH Bernard Wolote, who doubles as the Forest Management Officer, expressed gratitude for having his community selected among those benefitting. He prayed and hoped the enterprises be financed so the profits accrued from the community forest are used to bring water resources and other developments to the community.

“I am very convinced that if this project sees the light of day, many of my youths who have all moved to nearby towns and cities in search of jobs and water will be attracted back to the village,” Chief Wolote added.

In the Tinto Community Forest, the villagers decided to take on Bush Mango(Irvingia gabononsis) and Njansang (Ricinodendron heudelotti) enterprise. Uncracked harvested Njansang is literally wasting in the community, as a cracking machine is unavailable. Tinto villagers believe a Njansang cracking machine, could be a profitable business venture. In that light, a systematic business plan on the selected enterprises was developed. Bush Mango has a ready market and is available in their forest.

In a speech in one of the meetings, the pioneer Forest Management Officer, Mr Tiku Abraham Ashu of the Tinto Community Forest, expressed sincere appreciation having his village selected among others to benefit from the project. He went further to call on all present to take activities linked to the project very seriously as the project will develop households as well as the community.

“This community will have a breakthrough on social, economic and environment challenges if this project is taken seriously,” he said.

In the Akwen/Agborkem Community Forest, villagers choose to develop enterprises on Timber and Bush Mango. This community has a ready market on both products and the resources are abundant in their Community Forest. They intimated that with the necessary finances available, they will transform their small scale trading into a vast trading enterprise maximizing profit to 100%. They indicated that in three years, they will attain the said objective.

The President of the Akwen/Agborkem Community Forest, Mr Mbu Asanga Jackson, like others, lauded the initiative to include their community forest into the project. He promised on behalf of his community, to be committed in the project and provide the necessary results.

“The knowledge I have got from developing this business plan will help me personally even in my small business. I should also point out that the youth majority in our community is great strength for sustainable Enterprises. They will greatly be involved in the project realisation,” Mr Mbu added.

The project coordinator, Sheron Endah, encouraged the communities to take the exercise seriously. She indicated that the project allows the Community members to manage socioeconomic affairs themselves.

The Dryad project seeks to reduce deforestation, improve environment, and improve social welfare of participating communities and also to create economic resilience. It seeks to promote the engagement of local communities in sustainable management of natural resources through Community Forestry. Twelve Community Forests were initially selected for the first phase of the Dryad project. 6 teaser reports were submitted to the partners and 3 selected for the second phase.

The developed Business Plan was submitted to the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) alongside financial model input spreadsheet. The enterprises await approval and financial support. Once the model is approved, the various enterprises selected by the communities will be financed.

The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) are executing the project expected to run for five years.

By Henrietta Kilang

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