Participants of a capacity-building workshop for West Africa on ecosystem restoration to support the Aichi Biodiversity Targets visited the Atewa Forest Reseve to see at first hand, the cradle of biodiversity here in Ghana. The four (4) day workshop hosted by Ghana from the 5-9 October, 2015 was among of a series organized by the CBD Secretariat as part of the implementation of the Forest Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (FERI). The workshop brought together experts and representative officials from West African countries. The prime focus of the workshop was on forests as an ecosystem and aimed at supporting countries in undertaking assessments for implementing ecosystem restoration initiatives, whiles effectively incorporating biodiversity into ecosystem restoration projects.
Having heard of the rich biodiversity resources of the Atewa Forest Reserve, participants paid an exciting field visit to the reserve as part of the workshop activities. They were welcomed by Mr. Emmanuel Akom, Project Manager of A Rocha Ghana-Kibi, who introduced the A Rocha team in a presentation on the work of A Rocha at Atewa Forest Reserve.
Dr. Jeremy Lindsell, a Conservation Science Manager at A Rocha International-UK, also made a presentation on the use of drone technology in the management of forests and also demonstrated how the drone operates in the field. Afterwards, the visiting group was taken on a forest hiking tour to experience the beautiful and naturally refreshing ambience of the reserve. They also had the opportunity to see some of the reserve’s rich water resources. Again, they visited some illegal mining sites (alias “galamsey”) to witness the destruction of land and water bodies. The exciting euphoria that preceded the visit was slightly dulled by the level of destruction caused by the activities of illegal mining operations in and around the forest reserve. Notwithstanding, the group hoped that, efforts directed at securing the biodiversity integrity of the reserve will be strengthen and promoted in other to ensure sustainable growth and development.