On Thursday the 4th of May 2023, Africa Alliance for Developmental Action (AADA) organized a meeting that took place both remotely through Zoom and physically at the Herbarium Center’s conference hall in Yaoundé, Nkolbisson. It was attended by AADA agents led by Mr.Ayuk Raphael Ayuk, IRAD/National Herbarium agents led by the director of the Herbarium Center in Cameroon, Mr. Betti Jean Lagarde, and the cooperative director of the Center for Environmental and forensic science at the University of Washington , Mr. John Hermanson.
The purpose of this meeting was to do a formal presentation of the team that will take part in this project and their roles and to finalize all preparatory measures. The meeting was opened by the director of AADA with greetings and a presentation of the team on the ground and then he handed the floor to Mr.Hermanson, who said his area of expertise is in Timber and his cooperative director is working on Wildlife and together there are working on, and together there are working on making an impact of the loss of illegal exploitation our natural Resources and as such the collaboration for this project is key , we will be sharing information and scientific data and to work together as a community to make the impact preserve our natural resources. the project is to create a reference set that other scientists throughout the world can use to identify timber species. so what is going to happen during this project is that the Samples that the AADA/IRAD team will be providing, the analysis will be done and the data will be shared back to us. There are also many collaborators all around the world also working together to create this reference set.
The director of the Herbarium appreciated the project and showed much interest in the project. He asked us to review the aim of the mission and the sampling Method that will be used in the field. This question would have best been answered by the consultant for AADA Mr. Deba Samson who however absent due to his administrative functions.
Also, there were talks about the inclusion of the DNA of some wildlife specie like Elephant dung and Pangolin, during the mission to collect wood samples, but however, due to prior discussion with our consultant, we are rather going to draw a separate plan for the collection of DNA of wildlife because the area that the wood DNA would be collected will not be suitable and as such there may be no animals there. so another proposal was being made for that purpose.
The sourcing of the materials for fieldwork has already begun, The team according to the plan was to move down to the field normally on the 1st – 30th of May 2023 but the documentation is not yet complete actually, it’s at the level of MINFOF once the documentation is done the team will move to the field.
Conclusively, we shall have another meeting in the coming week with the director of the national herbarium to discuss further on the issue.