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06 June 2013

ERuDeF launches the Net Positive Impact (NPI) Project in Tofala Forest area

Posted in News, Views 1440

With the support of French Charity Man and Nature, the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has launched a new project dubbed the Net Positive Impact (NPI) project in Buea, SW, Cameroon. The project launched on Monday May 13, 2013, has as objective the holistic protection of nature in Cameroon with focus on the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. Speaking during the launching which brought together the entire staff of ERuDeF, Man and Nature's Project Coordinator, Manuella Hugue explained that the NPI project would take into account all aspects involved in conservation, notably the social and economic perspectives. To this effect, the 3-year-project would be introducing alternative sources of livelihood to some 14 forest adjacent communities including Bamumbu, Bangang, Bechati, Bambat, Egumbo, to name these. Some of these support would include; the donation of piglets to villagers, the protection of their water catchments, introduction of agroforestry technologies to fight food insecurity, the promotion of micro credit schemes and environmental education. A support to women associations would equally be given to ensure the full participation of women in conservation.

It is worth mentioning that the overall goal of this project is to protect the rich biodiversity of the forests of these communities. Specifically, the project aims to conserve the 40 remaining critically endangered Cross River Gorillas, some 150 endangered Nigeria-Cameroon Chimpanzees and a host of other endangered plant and animal species.

The NPI project would set up over 100,000 locally selected Non-Timber Forest Products species of local community value in three villages including Folepi, Bamumbu and Fossimondi in the Wabane and Alou Sub Divisions. These NTFPs would be planted in the buffer zones of the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. While the species will act as a fence to prevent encroachment into the Sanctuary, it would also help restore the ecological viability and ecosystem stability of the buffer zones and the proposed Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary.

It would be recalled that the greater focus of the NPI project is establishing a link between nature protection and its people, as any effective means of environmental protection must address the greatest challenge to the problem, the project therefore prioritizes the people living adjacent to the forest given that nature can better be conserved when the people living closest to it are supportive.

Considering the activities already realized towards Tofala creation, and considering the renewed community interest in the protection, the NPI project may just be described as timely.

By Forbe Hodu