Winners of the third edition of Forest Media Awards (ForMA) 2016 received awards in vibrant ceremony at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on June 15
Ndi Eugene Ndi, Eden newspaper’s reporter, grabbed the first prize in the print media category. Ndi and other winners in the audiovisual and online categories—including Viviane Bahoken of Africa 24 TV, Ebenizer Diki of Radio Tiemeni Siantou and blogger, Madeleine Ngeunga smiled home with cash prizes of FCFA500 thousand each, accompanied by trophies and attestations.
In a word of acknowledgement after receiving the trophy Ndi said he was humbled by the great honour which to him is a call to hard work. “This award is a call to continue advocating for the rights of the marginalised segments of society and the need to promote good governance in all sectors, and not only forestry which unfortunately remains one of the most corrupt sectors in Cameroon,” he said.
Ndi’s award winning article published in Eden Newspaper of Monday April 3 exposed the woes of forest communities of the dense equatorial forest of Cameroon that straddles the South, East and Centre regions.
Ndi said on the occasion of the International Day of Forests 2017, he spent a week with the indigenous forest communities of Djoum in the South region, Lomie in the East and Lembe Yezoum following growing complaints of massive exploitation and non-respect of legislation and the rights of local forest people whose source of livelihood is the natural resource.
Their story touched the six-man jury of the competition headed by Prof Laurent Charles Boyomo Assala, Director of the Advanced School of Journalism and Mass Communication (ASMAC) of the University of Yaounde II. Other members included Dr Baba Wamey a lecturer at the institution, Fidelis Pegue Manga (WWF Cameroon Communications), Jean Robert Onana Head of the communication department of the Ministry of Forestry, Pascaline Pippa Head of the communication department of the Ministry of Communication etc.
The competition that was in its third edition is organized by the Yaaounde-based Non-governmental organization, Forest and Rural Development (FODER) and the Ministries of Communication and Forestry of Cameroon in collaboration with European Union, the German International Corporation (GIZ) amongst others.
“I can’t thank the Almighty God enough for the inspiration. I’m equally grateful to Foret et Developpement Rural (FODER), the ministries of Communication and Forestry (organizers of ForMA) for the initiative and the entire Eden Media family for giving me the platform to publish the work. I am also indebted to Environment Investigation Agency (EIA) for facilitating my stay in the forest,” the print media category winner of ForMA said further.
ForMA seeks to contribute to the improvement of forest governance in Cameroon through the media.