Ghanaian Communities and Conservation
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This event was on Thurs 8th May, 7pm, The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London
Tropical rainforests and rich savannah make Ghana a sanctuary for native flora and fauna, but it is not without its environmental challenges, not least the timber trade, mining and intensive agriculture. Since 2000, Earthwatch has been working with the Nature Conservation Research Centre of Ghana (NCRC) to develop research and conservation projects which include the development of community-based tourism. In tonight's lecture, hear about hippos, cocoa farming, manatees and an extremely rare and wonderful bird - the white-necked rock fowl.
Watch the video for this event:
Conservation & Development - A Way for the Future
John Mason, Executive Director, NCRC
In 1990, the hippos of Wechiau, an isolated area in north-west Ghana, and the local inhabitants were in conflict. In 1997, NCRC initiated discussions with traditional chiefs and village elders on the creation of the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary. From 2000 to 2004, Earthwatch field research teams collected valuable data, and NCRC continued to work with the communities to establish a local ecotourism initiative which has subsequently brought jobs and infrastructure to the local area. The success of the model developed and implemented at Wechiau which you shall be hearing about tonight has led to its replication in five other locations, including that of Professor Ofori Danson's manatees project.
Professor Patrick Ofori Danson, University of Ghana
West African manatees belong to a diverse group of aquatic mammals dating back more than 50 million years. In 1964 the Akosombo Dam in Ghana trapped a small population of manatees upstream in Lake Volta, the world's largest man-made lake. Although legal protection has been established, enforcement is frustrated by a lack of resources, manpower, and limited awareness of existing regulations. Hunting and conflict with fishermen have left this population severely threatened. This Earthwatch research project hopes to significantly enhance their conservation status and facilitate the development of eco-tourism initiatives in the area.
Earthwatch would like to thank Cadbury Schweppes and Newmont Ghana Gold for providing funds and volunteer support.
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