One of the leading professional training institutions for biodiversity and NGO Studies in Africa, the ERuDeF Institute of Biodiversity and Non-Profit Studies (ERuDeF Institute) has matriculated some 17 trainees into her Professional Bachelor Degree (PBD) and Professional Masters Degree (PMD) programmes for the 2016/2017 academic year.

The future conservation leaders were officially inducted last Saturday October 22, 2016 into key specializations like Biodiversity Conservation and Protected Area Management, Agroforestry Management, Environmental Education, Environmental Journalism and NGO & Fundraising Studies.

The matriculation ceremony took place at the Institute’s campus, Mile 18-Muea Road, Buea bringing together the Representative of the Southwest Regional Delegate of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, the President of the ERuDeF Institute, the representative of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife, students associations, staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation, St. Monica University, and representatives of other institutions of higher learning.

The Director of ERuDeF Institute, Ms Akeh Nug, in her welcome speech, congratulated the matriculants on their admission in to the Institute. She beseeched them to be disciplined and responsible as they take this stair in their academic ladder.

“Remember that the toil of your parents, family members and friends has brought you here.

What you need is to be disciplined enough to get prepared for your lectures and other activities. Time is very crucial and waits for no one” the Director advised. She assured the students that every mechanism has been put in place to facilitate good teaching and learning atmosphere throughout the academic year. The ERuDeF Institute boss equally implored the future conservation leaders to study the ‘Hand Book’ and read notices to abreast themselves of happenings within the Institute.

Drawing inspiration from his biography, the President of the Institute, Mr. Louis Nkembi, in his speech, implored the future conservation leaders to identify heroes in the field of conservation and learn their secretes so they too can become even bigger heroes in area of biodiversity conservation.

He disclosed that ERuDeF Institute vision is to groom the finest breed of biodiversity conservation experts, who will spend the rest of their lives identifying new species in Africa and around the world, and advocating their conservation.

“Over 83% of world’s biodiversity species are still to be discovered.

This means that we need thousands of highly qualified researchers in the domain of botany, forestry, zoology, conservation and applied social science to help uncover these species. This also means increased job communities for you all” the ERuDeF Institute President disclosed.

Mr. Nkembi also used the matriculation ceremony to announce some 300 job opportunities at the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) within the next 10 to 15 years.

He entreated the students to study very hard given that only highly qualified professionals will be absorbed into the organisation. The matriculation ceremony was also marked by the official launching of the 2016/2017 academic year and the launching of the ERuDeF Junior Professional Programme.

The ceremony ended with the taking of the matriculation oath and the signing of the matriculation register with matriculants pledging to adhere to the rules and regulations of the Institute.

The trainees were filled with joy after the ceremony. “I feel so proud to be part of this prestigious institution. I am coming here with a Bachelor’s Degree and no professional skills so I am confident that by the time I am leaving this place, I will be a great professional capable of doing so many things” Rosin A., Postgraduate Fundraising and NGO Management student.

Another trainee, Emmanuel Nkeng, said his few days at the Institute have created a sense of direction and focus in his career compared to his university days.

By Bertrand Shancho Ndimuh