Environmental CSOs in Guinean Forests of West Africa lead in reducing illegal activities

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By Joyce Gyekye

Civil Society Organizations in Environment working in the Guinean Forests of West Africa, GFWA Biodiversity Hotspot have been commended for their work in reducing illegal activities in their catchment areas.

Biodiversity Hotspot areas are bio-geographic regions that have the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plants and animals on earth.

The commendation came from donors making Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, CEPF at its final assessment workshop that ends the second phase of funding towards the GFWA. Joyce Gyekye was at the workshop that also addressed Media/CSOs engagement in promoting conservation.

There are 36 biodiversity hotspots globally and they cover about 23 point seven million square kilometers of the earth’s land area.

However, due to extreme habitat loss following expansion of land for agriculture, exploitation of natural resources and infrastructural development due to increasing population the hotspots have reduced considerably. The Guinean Forests of West Africa, GFWA which is one of the biodiversity hotspots covers 621thousand 705 kilometers in two sub-regions, The Upper and Lower Guinean Forests.

Countries within the hotspots include Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and also Sao Tome and Principe.

It is to preserve the biological integrity of the hotspots that the CPF invested a little over GHC10 million in six years for CSOs to assist Communities in economic ventures.

The West African Primates Conservation, Action, WAPCA isbasect in the Ankasa Rain Forest, near Cape Tree Point in the Western Region.

A Coordinating NGO of WAPCA with donors NOE, is ensuring that the project is sustained after donor funding ceases. Mabel Agba is Project Coordinator of NOE.

The Chief Executive of Critical ECOSystem Fund, Olivier Langrand ”assured the CSOs that the end of phase two does not mean the end of the project”.

He entreated governments within the hotspots to invest in conservation projects since they have signed on to international treaties to that effect.

Six global donors who contribute to the CEFinclude government of France, Japan, EU and Conservation International.

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