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02 July 2013

Divisional Delegate for Forestry and Wildlife Installs the Folepi Village Forest Management Committee

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Towards full protection of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary

Newly installed members of the Folepi Village management committee

The Lebialem Divisional Delegate for Forestry and Wildlife, Mr. Mboui Jacques, has installed 7 members of the Folepi Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC). The installation took place on June 17, 2013 under the watchful eyes of the Senior Divisional Officer for Lebialem Division, Mr. Kouemo Simon and the Fon of Folepi village as well as other administrative authorities, staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the local population.

 

Speaking at the Installation ceremony, the Delegate for Forestry, Mr. Mboui called on the newly installed members to be the watchdogs of the forest and provide a safe home for the remaining population of the Cross River Gorillas and other endangered wildlife in the forest of the Lebialem Highlands. The members on their part pledged their support towards ensuring the full protection of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. These members of the VFMC will undergo training to prepare them for their task at hand.

Addressing the newly installed team, the Divisional Delegate for Forestry and Wildlife called on them to take on their new responsibility deligently. Some of the duties of the Village Forest management Committee would include ensuring local communities respect and cooperate with the protection of the forests and wildlife in the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. The committee equally has to make sure that the local communities respect the Forestry and Wildlife Laws of the Republic of Cameroon. The committee is entrusted to ensure that local communities continue to respect the texts relating to the exploitation, management and conservation of the natural resources in the area. The committee equally has as mission to make sure that the local communities ensure a smooth collaboration with Ministry of Forestry authorities, especially the local authorities in the area and its technical partners. This committee is also charged with reporting any act of illegal activities poaching, poisoning of streams, illegal exploitation of Timber and Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), to the authorities of the Ministry of Forestry.

Folepi village is one of the 8 villages in the Wabane subdivision adjacent the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary that harbours the critically endangered Cross River Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli), endangered Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes ellioti) and other important fauna and flora species.

By Allen Enokenwa Tabi