|Town/Region||Tano-Offin Forest Reserve|
|Date||23 Mar 2017|
Communities surrounding South-western Ghana’s Tano-Offin Forest Reserve (a stronghold of the two endangered Kinixys tortoises) are eating tortoises to extinction. On our first RSG project, 60% (35) of 58 Kinixys homeana and K.s erosa tortoises recorded were carcasses (Shells). This project, which was developed based on our first RSG’s recommendations, will be critical to promoting sustainable alternative livelihood options to the hunting and consumption of tortoises. We will identify and promote those alternative livelihoods that meet the economic needs of tortoise-hunting families. Thus, we will collate data on average annual income level per household generated from tortoise hunting and trade whiles seeking to establish the willingness of tortoise hunters to abandon hunting activities in favour of alternative livelihoods. To promote the best alternative livelihood options, we will organise stakeholder workshops to share findings with reps of cooperate bodies, relevant government agencies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other Non-governmental organisations (NGOs). For comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data on the distribution and ecology of Kinixys tortoises, we will also recruit local “experts” and volunteers as Tortoise Guardians and involve them in extensive surveys, and community patrols at priority sites. Tortoise Guardians will earn livelihoods on this project and future projects. Additionally, we will develop an action plan dubbed Kinixys Recovery Action Blueprint (KRAB) to ensure the species’ perpetual protection.
Building on the successes of our past RSG project, we will intensify awareness on the conservation needs of tortoises and their habitats through workshops, video shows and radio broadcast programmes. We will also develop relevant educational materials including PowerPoint slides, posters, flyers, t-shirts and fact-sheets. With these we will reach out to educate local people including an estimated 1,000 school teachers and children at three (3) community schools. Overall, the educational programme will include outlining the benefits to ecosystem health of maintaining tortoises’ populations, and the consequences when tortoises are over-exploited.
The expected results, in addition to data from our first RSG, will help in development of technical reports, blogs and scientific publication(s). Such publications will also include the action plan KRAB, which will detail the conservation needs of the two Kinixys tortoises, threats to their survival and targeted conservation planning to promote their rapid recovery.
Read about Ohene's previous project http://www.rufford.org/projects/ohene_boakye_adomako or for more information contact: