Kan EL-Roy Johnson (1966–2009)
Douala, Cameroon, 6th April 2009—With the death of Kan El-Roy Johnson in March this year in Cameroon, TRAFFIC lost a valued colleague, whose time with us was all too brief.
Kan joined TRAFFIC in November 2008, and in the short time he was with us, had an enormous influence on TRAFFIC’s communications in the Central African region. For the first time, TRAFFIC was enabled to reach out to Francophone Africa from within the continent, particularly in Kan’s native Cameroon.
Kan grew up in the Bamenda highlands of western Cameroon where, as a child, he spent time playing in the waters of Lake Awing. In these early, formative years, Kan developed his passion for natural history and conservation.
After a successful school career, Kan went on to study at the University of Calabar, Nigeria, where in 1988 he received his Bachelor of Arts in French and English, and later, in 2000, a Post Graduate degree in communication and environmental education.
After leaving university, Kan worked first for the Tropenbos Cameroon Programme, dealing with livelihood improvements through the sustainable harvesting of non-wood forest timber products, then from 2001 until 2004 for Project Kudu Cameroon, assisting with marine turtle conservation.
Kan worked tirelessly for conservation, from 2004 onwards through his position as radio operator at Beach FM Kribi where he was responsible for programmes on environmental activities, through his work for AGED (Afrique Genre Environnement et Développement) and other environmental education work, ranging from promotion of eco-tourism in Campo Ma’an National Park through to promoting sustainable fishing activities.
Kan was always passionate about helping others. In 2006, he gained a certificate as a trainer for “couples without AIDS” and devoted much of his time to promoting family planning issues and gaining expertise into the fields of childrens’ and womens’ rights.
Kan was a committed humanitarian and a dedicated conservationist. He is survived by his wife and four children. He will be sorely missed by his family, colleagues and all those who knew him.