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17 October 2016

Conserving Biodiversity Population Through Increased Awareness of Anthropogenic Activities in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon

Posted in News, Views 391

Conserving Biodiversity Population Through Increased Awareness of Anthropogenic Activities in the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, South West Cameroon

Over 250,000 people (70% of whom are peasant farmers) live around protected areas, South West of Cameroon (MINFOF, 2013). These farmers destroy species habitats, transforming them into agricultural farmlands. They carryout illegal logging, hunting and trafficking of species for their livelihoods. Though poverty has served as the leading cause, negligence of information on the importance of conserving biodiversity has also contributed to encroachment in protected areas, thereby making most wildlife species in these areas even more threatened.

In a bid to increase awareness on the dangers of human pressure on biodiversity hotspots and the importance of conserving these areas, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) created a newspaper in 2013, the Green Vision. This Newspaper is the lone English language journal reporting solely on environment related issues. Other newspapers barely carry news on the environment. Even when they do, their reporting style does not adequately reflect the situation on the ground. Green Vision prides itself in reporting accurate, inclusive, and impartial news of affairs relating to the environment, to keep the local and international communities informed on the bright side and dangers of their activities on the survival of wildlife species.

Workshops to train journalists on environmental reporting will not only improve on their reporting skills, but also buttress their interests on environmental journalism. By so doing, much attention would be focused on these protected areas and the activities of their adjacent communities. More airtime space on community radios in partnership with Green Vision would help spread sensitization messages to rural communities in the protected areas. More still, mobilization of Green Vision staff to local communities to carryout face-to-face sensitization campaigns would create more awareness.

With huge media presence in these areas and extensive exposure on the dangers of human pressure on biodiversity conservation, the over 250,000 inhabitants of these regions would be aware of the dangers of their activities. By so doing, they would limit their activities on these areas. This would help conserve critically endangered (CR) species including the Cross River Gorilla, the Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee, and lots of other IUCN red listed mammals, amphibians, birds and plant species. This would help increase and maintain global population trend of wildlife.

US$15,000 will be needed to advocate the dangers of human activities on protected areas and on the importance of conserving them in the next 3 years. Of this amount, US$6000 will organize four workshops to train 30 journalists on community engagement in the management of the Wildlife Sanctuary; US$5000 will secure radio airtime for some 10-community radios stations for two years, US$2000 will be used to carryout community sensitization and US$2000 will used to facilitate investigative stories on these areas.

Your support would not only create awareness, it would protect the lives of many species who risk death because of illegal activities of ignorant villagers.

Visit our website site www.greenvision.news/ www.erudef.org for more information.