A quest to preserve Nature by MINEPDED

DUR

Building capacity of UDs Radio staff

Mbalmayo,UDs/SIC-21/11/18. Protection of Diversity and valorization of plants was the concern of staff of some radios of the West, Northwest and Southwest Regions(Dschang University radio, Radio Batcham, Santa Community Radio and Allo Community Radio) who came together from the 14th-16th of November 2018 at Mbalmayo for a training workshop organized by the Ministry of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development (MINEPDED). The workshop was geared at expounding on the rich values of the Echinops giganteus commonly referred to as the ‘giant miracle plant’ in English. The roots, flowers and leaves of ‘giant miracle plant’ are often harvested by the local people to treat many types of ailments such as yellow fever, abdominal pain, constipation, cough and menstrual pain. It could also treat respiratory problems, hernias, dental pain and general body pains. It is also commonly utilized for its culinary properties as it is used as a spice in traditional Cameroonian dishes like Nkui and Achu. Each locality in the Mt. Bamboutos area has a different vernacular name for this plant. The different areas where this plant is found have distinct appellations for instance in the villages of Bamumbu, Magha and Mundani is ‘Ayilagwem’. Bafou villages use the names ‘Kahgoh’ or ‘Tsegem’ while in the M’muock Leteh and Mbessang villages, it is referred to as ‘Soapte’ or ‘Kessa’. It is these values that PNUD and GEF (Global Environment Facility), MINEPDED; and values in Mondia whitei also known as White Ginger, found in sub-Saharan Africa, with digestion and appetite properties, and as a cure for impotence, sponsored the training workshop to enlighten participants on. It was also intended to educate the public of the Nagoya protocol on Access and Benefit sharing ratified by Cameroon in 2016, the level of implementation of the protocol in Cameroon and its international legal linkages. The five communicators of the Dschang University Radio particularly felt honored to know that the properties of these plants had been studied by the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences of their institution. In this light a collaboration partnership had been signed by a French company V. Man Fils interested in using the roots of the plant ‘Mondia Whitei for the production of perfumes. With an envious eye by foreigners on the rich genetic resource found especially on the Magha-Bamumboh and Lewoh zones but equally in the West and Northwest zones, the wish of the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development represented by Mr. Palouma Joel (Regional Delegate MINEPDED for the East) was to get communicators echo information about the plants and the protocol governing the protection of biodiversity and its notions on Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS). Though the concept of ABS remains complex, the organizers and participants at the end of the training were elated to be endowed with such natural gifts and felt more than ever determined to keep close watch on their rich genetic resources so as to reap its economic benefits at the appointed time. /GC

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