Gilbert Adum of STF! Ghana Wins $14,700 Award to Tackle Illegal Mining

SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Executive Director Gilbert Adum was recently awarded £10,000 ($14,700) from UK-based Rufford Foundation to boost his team's efforts to save frogs threatened by mining in western Ghana’s Sui forest.

Artisanal illegal miners left pits uncovered when they were forced out of the Sui forest. Gilbert and his team identified these pits as death-traps to several frogs including the Giant Squeaker Frog, one of the world’s rarest animals. With the grant funding, Gilbert and his team will close up the pits and replant areas with native trees. “Elsewhere, uncovered mine pits have caused the lives of many people," says Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi, Ghana’s first female amphibian biologist and Associate Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana. "Therefore, covering up the pits and revegetating the areas will not only help to save frogs and other wildlife but also human lives.”

Gilbert warns the Ghanaian public to be wary of the dangers these mine pits can pose. He has also called on government, corporate societies, funding agencies and other conservation groups to join hands in doing more to save frogs and wildlife threatened by illegal mining activities in Ghanaian forests.

Atewa Mining Atiwa

The Pollination Project contributes to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana efforts in the Atewa Hills

Congratulations to SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Associate Executive Director, Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi for winning a $250 award from The Pollination Project. The award will enable Sandra and the SAVE THE FROGS! UCAES Chapter to organize the 8th Annual Save The Frogs Day in the Atewa District in Ghana, home of the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi). This year’s celebration will be, Saving The Iconic Togo Slippery Frog To Save Livelihoods. Events will include a 30-minute radio program where we talk about the current state of frogs in the Atewa Hills Forest Reserve and the implications that threats to their survival will have on livelihoods of the residents. There will be an accompanying street parade with drumming and dancing for frogs. During the parade, we will display signs to exhibit the effects of habitat destruction on frogs and the implications this has for local livelihoods. Signs will read, “Watch Atewa’s frogs die and witness a surge in crop pests,” “Atewa’s frogs are vulnerable, and so are you,” and more. We will wrap-up the day with a soccer match between two local communities and a key note address delivered by Ms. Owusu-Gyamfi. This event is expected to bring together over 300 participants and more through social media campaigns.

The Atewa Hills Forest Reserve is Ghana’s most biodiverse yet seriously threatened wilderness area. It is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog, a close relative of the world’s largest frog, the Goliath Frog (Conraua goliath). Within this area, there are widespread illegal mining and logging activities funded by both local and foreign individuals and organizations. These activities are destroying critical habitats of the frog and other natural resources including water bodies that irrigate farmlands and supply over five million Ghanaians with drinking water. In recent years SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, together with other local non-profit conservation organizations, has been spearheading campaigns to get the government of Ghana to upgrade the status of the Atewa Hills Forest Reserve from a reserve to a national park for the permanent protection of frogs and other co-occurring biodiversity. This year’s Save The Frogs Day, will actively involve local people in the fight against the destruction of this unique forest to save local livelihoods. Thanks to The Pollination Project for supporting this campaign!

www.savethefrogs.com/ghana

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