August 18, 2016:

The German Development Bank (KFW) director of projects – Martin Bostroem together with KFW Cameroon Country director – Dr Ruck Christian visited the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for the South West (RDFOF-SW) to appraise the implementation of PSMNR-SWR.

The three-day visit that started from the 13th – 15th of May 2016  kicked off  with a trip to Korup National Park (KNP) where the directors visited two local communities  implicated in KNP management –  Erat and Mosongisele. In euphoria, both communities welcomed the directors and RDFOF-SW/PSMNR-SWR delegation. They presented to the visitors the measures they have put in place to contribute to the protection of KNP’s integrity and expressed gratitude to development support received.

“I am very much grateful to hear what I have heard; you really did the connection between development and conservation. To be honest, it is not always easy to combine these two. And as you have banned river poisoning and hunting in your community, I believe this is the chance for both Erat and MINFOF/PSMNR-SWR to see whether there will grow a true partnership which will succeed in the future. And I hope when I come back in a few years, the monitoring results will show that both is possible – development and conservation” said Mr Bostroem during the Erat visit.

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The directors equally visited three KNP infrastructure projects’ sites (lodges at Iriba Camp, Information Centre Mundemba and research lodging facilities in Mundemba) funded by the Basket Fund.

The visit was also a forum for KNP management to invite the Mundemba administration and law enforcement authorities to network and exchange as well as develop rapport for future collaboration, especially in the area of wildlife crimes.

The trip wrapped up with a strategic meeting on the future of PSMNR-SWR. During this meeting, the Programme Consultant Mr Frank Stenmanns updated participants on the consolidation and adjustment of PSMNR-SWR implementation strategy which he said will focus on elements such as increased law enforcement in protected areas; developing and promoting eco-tourism in protected areas; addressing drivers of wildlife crimes particularly hunters; and strengthening local structures to assume roles and responsibilities in co-management of protected areas.

“There must be a noticeable impact of PSMNR-SWR activities on conservation and law enforcement has to be implemented more seriously” Mr Bostroem advised at the end of the strategic meeting.

Meanwhile Mr Bostroem bagged home from Erat the title of Oborn a dekwem (Chief of Development).