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28 October 2016

Mak-Betchou VFMC Exco In Nkongho-Mbo Installed

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Mak-Betchou VFMC Exco In Nkongho-Mbo Installed

Newly elected executives of the Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) in the Nkongho-Mbo forest area have been installed. The eight man executive including village heads, elites, women association members, farmers and youths from the Njungu, Lebeh, Lebock, Ngientu, Mbemfe, Nzeleted and Fonki villages, were installed, early October, 2016, during a ceremony organized by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with supervision from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF).

Aimed at increasing local participation in the protection of the environment in general and the forest in particular, the newly installed were called upon to serve as intermediaries amongst the local population, forestry administration, and other actors in the conservation of the Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.

Prior to the installation, VFMC executives were schooled on the internal rules and regulations governing Village Forest Management Committee (VFMC) and the Cameroon’s 1994 Forestry Law.

Installing the newly created committees, the Chief of Post of Forestry for the Elumba-Mbo area, Mr. Kennedy Fonge Atabong, implored members to be committed in their services as to better contribute to the protection of their natural environment. He called on them to keep aside financial benefits.

“Working as a VFMC member does not have financial benefits. This is because VFMC is not an employment medium but more of volunteerism and members are not remunerated. However, reasonable pre-approved expenses linked to VFMC activities will be reimbursed where applicable” Mr. Fonge Atabong expounded.

The newly elected executives on their part, thanked ERuDeF for giving them such an opportunity while pledging total collaboration.

“We are grateful with this opportunity that ERuDeF is giving us. At first, these things were done by white men. But today, we see our own Cameroonian NGO coming to our aid. We will all come together and work in collaboration with ERuDeF so we can reap all the benefits from upcoming conservation projects”, the Chief of Lebeh uttered.

Meanwhile, three other VFMCs in the Lebialem section of the proposed Sanctuary were equally re-organized in the Fondoms of Lebang, Essoh-Attah and Njoagwi to act as intermediaries in the conservation of their forest areas.

The creation of the Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary to be facilitated by ERuDeF is financed by Rainforest Trust, USA.

By Ignatius NJOM