Thursday, July 1, 2010


White-necked rock fowl

Newmont Gold Ghana limited (NGGL) has since 2007 collaborated with Earthwatch in conserving the White-necked rock fowl (Picathartes gymnocephalus) in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana, near the company’s Ahafo mines where some of this unique species are located . Newmont therefore held a collegiate dinner to celebrate progress made, provide an opportunity for interaction between fellows who have participated in the project since its inception and/or are undertaking similar initiatives within Ghana and also to provide the media with some insights in to the efforts being made at conserving the bird species.
The species is classified as Vulnerable under the IUCN international criteria for threatened species. It is endemic to the Upper Guinean forest block of West Africa but is under significant threat from rapid fragmentation and clearance of rainforest throughout its range. Forest conversion, collecting of birds for export, and human disturbance at nest sites have been cited as the main causes of the species endangered status.
The climax of the dinner was the launching of a documentary produced by the research team for the media and public – copies of which can be accessed on request. The media was encouraged to publish more of nature related articles which are hoped to promote conservation and enhance the potential to improve tourism in Ghana.

A Rocha Ghana was represented by Prosper Kwame Antwi Boasiako and Peter Teinor.


"The global fight against climate change is a vast undertaking that will require sustained global citizenship and vision for decades." – Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General. One such virtue of global citizenry action is seen at the Kumasi High School. The school has exhibited leadership by committing themselves to a vision spanning decades into the future. Known in the southern sector for their academic exploits as well as outstanding performances in sports. no one will take it away from them that, they are among the first when it comes to what matters most. A Rocha Ghana undertook an education campaign to create awareness of the imminent possible consequences of Climate Change on life. The headmaster, staff and students of Kumasi High School never hesitated but agreed to partner A Rocha Ghana in the Schools Climate Stewards programme. After 3 years of partnership, one will marvel on seeing the Kumasi High School Climate Stewardship project.

The tree plantation project which is a mixed-species plantation has fast growing indigenous species like Khaya senegalensis (Mahogany), Terminilia superba (Ofram) and Ceiba pentandra (Onyina). One outstanding feature of this project is the mixed cropping system adopted by the students and the school’s coordinator. As part of community–school relationship, portions of the plantation have been given to individuals of the community for growing of cabbage, lettuce, pepper and onions. Students of the school who belong to A Rocha club occasionally go on-site to maintain the area even as they are taught simple forest and conservation principles. When the headmaster of the school was contacted to state the reason for the giant strides being made with regards to the climate stewardship project,he never minced words but stated that if present and future life can be sustained by such a project, they (the entire school) have no choice but to help with that dream. A walk through the plantation gives one satisfaction as the trees keep echoing that: “We cool the city, we clean water and air, we help community life, we provide habitat for species, we protect the soil and above all we can pay your carbon debt……!”

Other schools that have followed this example include Bompata Senior High School, Namon Senior High School and Dadease Agricultural Senior High School. – By Schools Programme Team


It is interesting to note that society speaks of climate change and industrialisation and yet most homes in Accra and elsewhere in Ghana today have reduced their lawns to flower pots, covered their compounds with concrete and automobile ownership is considered a desperate necessity. Architects and city planners have resorted to planting trees along major streets which in the interim reduce visibility on some streets when driving whilst new estates are being built without much thought to plant trees on their compounds. This is a major shift from what used to be the case as we compare old communities like North Ridge and Cantonments to the more recent communities..

The question is whether planting trees is really such an extraordinary activity and what society can do to make it part of our lives again. We further ask whether any room has been made for flora in the millennium city project and what environmentalists are doing about the abuse of the efforts of horticulturists to green the cities.

A Rocha Schools clubs have been doing much to educate students and communities on the need to plant trees aside from our crops in the localities and on farms. The University of Cape Coast branch has adopted Apewosika, a suburb of Cape Coast, for their campaign whilst the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology branch is actively promoting Climate Stewards concept.

A lot still remains to be done but how willing are we to walk the talk? – By Michael Adjei


The Savannaland Destination Tourism Programme is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and Sustainable Tourism Eliminating Poverty (ST-EP) funded project that aims at improving household income levels by strengthening local capacity to develop, promote, market, manage, and sustain tourism investments in the Northern, Upper East and Upper W est regions of Ghana. The project is particularly important because despite the unique and authentic cultural, historical, and ecological wealth of the three regions, their natural potentials have not benefited them much economically .

The programme has targeted 300 direct actor households with indirect effect on 756 households. The destination is home to the largest bio diverse protected area in Ghana, Mole National Park.

Key stakeholders on this project include the Northern Regional Security Council, Mole National Park, West Gonja District Assembly, Bole District Assembly, Sawla –Tuna/Kalba District Assembly, Ghana Tourist Board, Destination Management Board, A Rocha Ghana, SNV and RUSODEF. Visit the destination and learn at first hand sustainable use of Ghana’s natural resources or visit – By Daryl Bosu


It is heartwarming that at the onset of the year long celebration of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, A Rocha Ghana will come up with this e-newsletter. The arrival of the e-newsletter comes at the time that the publics’ engagement is necessary to ensure that biodiversity is conserved and at the same time sustainably used. The instrument for this engagement is to ensure that the public benefits adequately from the available aspects of communication, education and awareness of biological diversity and ecosystem services for human well-being. The publics’ perception of biodiversity is not encouraging as people fail to connect human survival with biodiversity. We fail to appreciate that biodiversity is life itself and that the numerous ecosystem services such as water availability from its catchment, conducive climates for various plant and animal growth in agriculture, good soils for crop harvests, come from biodiversity. We also fail to appreciate that the goods that we collect from forests, savannas and water habitats in the form of fruits, spices, wood, fish etc. are actually the sources of our food, fuel, fodder and fibre which come from biodiversity. So one can see that biodiversity and its associated ecosystem services are for human well-being, and that we should treat these with care because they constitute life, and provide an insurance for life.

To ensure that such knowledge becomes available to all people, the international year celebration will attempt to focus on strategies to identify levels and content of communication, education and awareness raising that should be made known. The publication of this e-newsletter is one of the many ways expected to be used to do this. A Rocha Ghana has thus scored a high point in exposing the Ghanaian public to this high-tech presentation which will go a long way to underscore the Ghanaian desire to be counted with the best in the world.

I am therefore happy that A Rocha Ghana has outdoored this communication channel at this time. While congratulating A Rocha Ghana for this, I salute the gallant young men and women who have started or will be involved in bringing news that will help to inform their peers and others. The messages contained in this series and the subsequent ones will be directed to the youth who presently form the majority of the Ghanaian population and for whom every effort must be made to involve them in a heritage that is Ghanaian because they represent the future. There is a desire to ensure a smooth appreciation of the Ghanaian biological wealth across all generations, and thus promote inter-generational equity in knowledge. The young should be able to relate well with the biodiversity heritage of Ghana in the same way that the past older generation did and the present older generation are continuing to do.