Blog from the Field
 

Achimota Community Training on Reusing Plastic Waste 

Núria Badiella - Research and Education Coordinator 

Achimota Old Anglican School, Accra

On August 25th this year, My City My Forest events ended awarding a small prize for each participating community.  Since then, the Achimota Community invested their funds in community training on plastic waste management.  McKingtorch Creatives has already delivered two training sessions to the participants; the first one on the theorical side of waste management, fundraising and storytelling, and the second one practical on reusing plastic waste. 

I find the beauty of this community project on its start.  Two weeks after our My City My Forest events came to an end, the Achimota Community was ready to start their small waste management project.  They shared with us a proposal with many ideas of what we did previously in one of our plastic waste workshops led by McKingtorch Creatives.


Thinking the idea was another person’s project and that we should seek permission from him, I went to meet the Achimota Secretary to the traditional authority Chief and explained my concern. With the big surprise that they had already spoken to the CEO of McKingtorch Creatives and accorded a workplan and a budget for the project to happen. I then realised about the importance of empowering the communities in environmental practices, networking, and developing a sense of community group. 

The Achimota project will also build a waste segregation space in the community in order to get supply of raw materials to give them a second life while keeping the community environment clean. I wish them all the best in this beautiful venture.

 

WAPCA's Endangered Primate Breeding Centre as an Example of an ex situ Conservation Method

Núria Badiella - Research and Education Coordinator 

WAPCA'S Endangered Primate Breeding Centre, Accra Zoo

Final-year students studying Animal Biology and Conservation Science at The University of Ghana wanted to understand the practical work behind an ex-situ conservation project, so they visited WAPCA’s Endangered Primate Breeding Centre in the Accra Zoo. 

Captive breeding is a method of conservation, where species are managed outside of their natural habitat.  The breeding aspect aims to increase the genetic diversity of a species, by pairing unrelated individuals together in order to strengthen the health of future generations and therefore creating a larger family tree.   The practical side of breeding is supported by extensive scientific research and conservation education.  

 

WAPCA was delighted to discuss the insights of housing a captive population of Endangered white-naped mangabeys (Cercocebus lunulatus) with the students.  They now understand the importance of well-housed animals and animal welfare in captive environments, the importance of the genetic diversity within the captive population, and how ex situ conservation strategies are always dependant on the conservation status of the particular species.

 

WAPCA encourages them to actively contribute in the research sector and also the education of other Ghanaian citizens, to aim for sustainable living practices that help conserve the few natural habitats and wildlife that remain in the country.

 

Wildlife Observations in Achimota Forest Reserve

Chapter 1 : Genet

Núria Badiella - Research and Education Coordinator 

Achimota Forest Reserve, Accra

The Achimota Forest Reserve is the only patch of natural forest left in capital city of Ghana, Accra.  It is a small and disturbed forest area of 360 ha, but yet many species are still surviving in this isolated forest patch.  Recently, while working, I drove up to the Endangered Primate Breeding Centre, and found the Accra Zoo keepers on the main road, they were trying to rescue a genet (Genetta spp.) that fell into a deep hole!  I never knew such animal would still remain in this forest.  Achimota Reserve has beautiful surprises!  

Genets are carnivores, but are opportunists, so they can eat any available prey.  Their diet consist of small mammals, birds and their eggs, frogs, millipeds, scropions and various fruits among others.  They are small mammals with an enlarged muzzle, long spotted body and striped tail.  They are secretive and night-active and travel along the ground, but are also excellent climbers, which they take advantage when hunting and for shelter.   There are around 14 species of genet in Africa, six of which are apparent residents in Ghana.

 

Come and enjoy the beauty of the Achimota Forest Reserve!