Eric Djomo Nana
Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) Cameroon. I am at the Head of the Wildlife Research Unit
I am a conservation biologist dedicated to finding solutions that work best in conservation in Africa. I was brought into wildlife research, and particularly the wild meat trade because all my life I have been a first-hand witness of how the demand for wildlife products from urban centers leads to overexploitation of threatened and charismatic species, and eventually also affects rural people who rely heavily on wild meat as an important source of food and income. I decided to embark in a PhD in Ecology in Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic due to the opportunity which presented itself to me. I am currently the head of the wildlife research unit at the Institute for Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) in Cameroon. I am also the President of Cameroon’s Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology.
My research interests are centred around the so-called ‘bushmeat crisis’ which is one of developing countries, and as such must be solved within the respective economic and institutional contexts in which it occurs.
As a conservation biologist who works tirelessly on the problematic cocktail of biodiversity loss on the one side and vulnerability, poverty, exclusion from resources, financial interests and drivers of illegal wildlife use on the other side, I strive to research new approaches that tackle best this problematic cocktail in Central Africa. I believe poaching can be treated within a social science framework, understanding it as a conservation conflict. Empirical assessments on what interventions actually reduce wildlife trafficking require good and comprehensive baseline monitoring data. Innovative scientific approaches that provide an understanding of the root causes and mechanisms of wildlife trafficking need to entail the context of psycho-social and economic systems alongside that of the ecological ones. We need to examine and understand the ultimate causes of wildlife trafficking, illegal behaviours, and the effect of conservation interventions and law enforcement (e.g. increase in penalty rates) on the decisions and behaviours of individuals.
My current research is three-fold:
1st, I work to address a major problem in conservation science which is that of understanding the dynamics and gendered aspects of urban wild meat markets in Central Africa. Trafficking of wildlife to cities to meet non-essential demand, as urban populations grow, poses a major threat to many wildlife species and even human health;
2nd, I strive for curricula development of conservation science at the local academic institutions, with the inclusion of field courses and fostering interdisciplinary training for diverse students.
Finally, I work for the establishment of a Wildlife Research Institute in Central Africa which is necessary to support and improve conservation in the area. Such an institution could become a hub of research, education, management and policy-development for conservation and be the seat of an independent body in charge of monitoring conservation initiatives in the area.
During my time in the UK with ICCS I intend to:
Carry out research on the dynamics of urban wild meat markets in Central Africa
This research will address a major problem in conservation science which is that of wildlife trafficking which threatens many charismatic and keystone species with extinction. I will investigate the factors that drive this traffic in an urban setting and why previous efforts to reduce wild meat demand in Central Africa have had limited reach. This research will focus on key actors in the traffic such as street restaurants, open-street market retailers and the catering sector because they are poorly studied groups in conservation, both with regards to the legal and illegal wild meat trade and particularly in urban areas. They are also key actors between wild meat consumers and suppliers and thus play a central role in the supply chain.
My research hypothesis is that conservation messaging in Central Africa is misaligned with the values of consumers and issues faced by other actors in the trade chain (particularly the traders themselves). I will apply a crime science hot product approach to characterize: (a) restaurant owner perceptions of urban wild meat consumption; (b) wildlife species most at risk in the urban wild meat trade; and (c) the differences between restaurants in different urban centres across Central Africa.
I will use two approaches to describe and quantify the economic importance of the wild meat commodity chain: a Market Chain Analysis (MCA) to define the structure of this commodity chain and a Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) as a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of the wild meat extraction and trade.
This research will feed into the design and implementation of future wild meat interventions and analyse a large dataset to develop an understanding of the price, quantity and composition of wild meat sales in large urban centres in Central Africa, and the factors affecting these over time (including regulatory changes, sourcing shifts due to depletion wildlife populations, and changes in consumer preferences). Qualitative analysis of the results will enable to gain a gender perspective on the dynamics of the wild meat trade, with a focus on the potential impacts of regulatory change on female traders, and potential mitigation options.
PhD Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, Ecology 2015
MSc University of Dschang, Environmental Impact Assessment 2011
PGD University of Yaoundé I, Animal Biology 2008
BSc University of Dschang, Animal Biology 2005
Franklinia Foundation 2020
Project « Conservation of Microberlinia bisulcata A.Chev. (Fabaceae-Detarioideae), an endemic and critically endangered species in Cameroun at the brink of extinction ». project number: 2020-19
Amount: €90 321
Volkswagen Foundation's funding initiative 2019
Knowledge for Tomorrow – Cooperative Research Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa
Amount: €50 000
Fresno Chaffee Zoo Conservation Fund Grant 2018
Funding for threatened species. Amount: US $4 000;
The World Academy of Sciences 2016
Research grant for basic sciences. Amount: US$10 000;
2nd Rufford Small Grants 2013
Conservation research grant for project on gaining compliance of local communities around Mount Cameroon National Park. Amount: £5 000.
1st Rufford Small Grants 2012
Conservation research grant for project on Endangered species in Mount Cameroon National Park
Amount: £5 000.
Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD), Cameroon 2018 to present
Position: Senior Research Officer
- Develop and animate research activities on biodiversity Conservation;
- Coordinate development and submission of a wide range of fundraising proposals to seek resources;
- Supervise junior researchers within the program
Congo Basin Institute/UCLA, Cameroon 2016 to 2020
Position: Research Liaison Officer
- Coordinate effective liaison between the CBI and other stakeholders
- Ensure effective liaising between Cameroonian researchers and foreign researchers wishing to work in Cameroon
- Coordinate short term training activities (workshops, conferences, etc.)
- Explore other beneficial and strategic collaborations
Mapping Africa’s Protected Areas Project, South Africa 2009 to 2010
Position: Research assistant.
- Assisted in building a digital catalogue of major Protected Areas in Africa;
- Mapped the boundaries and points of interest of protected areas to make them available on Google Earth.
- Higher Institute of Environmental Sciences, Cameroon January 2016 to present
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science
- University of Dschang, Cameroon October 2017 to July 2019
Visiting lecturer, Department of Wildlife and Ecology
- Training on E-learning for lecturers – course design, course activities & evaluation. October 19 – 25 2019, Libreville, Gabon.
- Summer school on enhancing research and teaching capacity by Goethe University from July 16th – September 23rd 2018, Frankfurt, Germany.
- Training on spatial ecology, remote sensing and advanced GIS modelling by the University of California, Los Angeles; from July 1st – 31st 2016 in Yaoundé, Cameroon.
- Training on DNA Barcoding and Grant writing skills 2010 at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. From April 1st – 30th 2010.
- Field training in Conservation Biology, Experimental Design and Sampling Methods by Tropical Biology Association (TBA) in Kirindy, Madagascar. From November 1st – 30th 2009.
- African Academy of Sciences – 6th Cohort of Affiliates 2021
- Cameroon Pangolin working group, 2019-Present
- Society for Conservation Biology, 2016-Present. President of Cameroon’s Chapter
- Society for the Preservation of Endangered Carnivores and their International Ecological Study (S.P.E.C.I.E.S), 2016-Present. Cameroon Program Coordinator Member of the French Ecological Society [Societe Française d’Ecologie], 2015-2017.
Djomo Nana, E. 2020. Walking the Ebo Forest of Cameroon before the next pandemic, Africa Conservation Telegraph, Vol. 15 No 2.
Carson, S. L, Kentatchime, F., Sinai, C., Van Dyne, E. A., Djomo Nana, E., Cole, B. L & Godwin, H. A. 2019. Health Challenges and Assets of Forest-Dependent Populations in Cameroon. EcoHealth 16(2), 287-297.
Hořák, D., Ferenc, Sedláček, O., Motombi, F. N., Svoboda, M., Altman, J., Albrecht, T., Djomo Nana, E., Janeček, Š., Dančák, M., Majeský, Ľ., Ndive, E. & Doležal, J. 2019. Forest structure determines spatial changes in avian community along an elevational gradient in tropical Africa. Journal of Biogeography. 46 : 2466-2478.
Carson, S. L, Kentatchime, F., Djomo Nana, E., Cole, B. L & Godwin, H. A. 2018. Visions from Local Populations for Livelihood-based Solutions to Promote Forest Conservation Sustainability in the Congo Basin. Human Ecology, 46: 887–896.
Carson, S. L, Kentatchime, F., Djomo Nana, E., Njabo, K. Y., Cole, B. L & Godwin, H. A. 2018. Indigenous Peoples' Concerns About Loss of Forest Knowledge: Implications for Forest Management. Conservation & Society: 16: 431-440.
Ferenc, M., Fjeldså, J., Sedláček, O., Motombi, F. N., Djomo Nana, E., Mudrová, K. & Hořák, D. 2016. Abundance-area relationships in bird assemblages along an Afrotropical elevational gradient: montane forest species compensate for less space available. Oecologia, 181: 225 - 33.
Tedjio, R.C., Talla, E. T. & Djomo Nana, E. 2016. Complementarity of two impact assessment tools: the case of a hydroelectric power plant in one of Africa’s last hardwood forests in eastern Cameroon. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal. 34(3): DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2016. 1184503.
Djomo Nana, E., Sedláček, O., Doležal, J., Dančák, M., Altman, J., Svoboda, M., Majeský, Ľ. & Hořák, D. 2015. Relationship between Avian Artificial Nest Predation Risk and Forest Vegetation Structure Along a Tropical Altitudinal Gradient on Mount Cameroon. Biotropica, 47: 758 – 764.
Ondrej, S., Jana, V., Michal, F., Djomo Nana, E., Albrecht, T. & Horak, D. 2015. A comparison of point counts with the new acoustic sampling method: a case study of bird community from the montane forests of Mount Cameroon. Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology, 1–8.
Djomo Nana, E., Sedláček, O., Vokurková, J. & Hořák, D. 2014. Nest position and type affect predation rates of artificial avian nests in the tropical lowland forest on Mount Cameroon. Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology, 85: 93–96.
Djomo Nana, E., Sedláček, O., Bayly, N., Albrecht, T., Ferenc, M., Reif, J., Motombi, F. N. & Hořák, D. 2014. Comparison of avian assemblage structures in two upper montane forests of the Cameroon volcanic line: lessons for bird conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation, 23: 1469–1484.
Djomo Nana, E., Munclinger, P., Ferenc, M., Sedláček, O., Albrecht, T., & Hořák, D. 2014. Sexing monomorphic western mountain greenbuls on Mount Cameroon using morphometric measurements. African Zoology, 49: 247–252.
Djomo Nana, E. & Tchamadeu, N. N. 2014. Socio-economic impacts of protected areas on people living close to the Mount Cameroon National Park. IUCN Journal of Protected Areas PARKS, 20.2: 125-133.