On Friday, 2nd May, 2014 between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 GMT, SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Programmes Co-ordinator Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi will be featured live on Ghana’s national television GTV on the plight of Ghana’s amphibians. Sandra will be joined on the panel by David Kwarteng of HERP Ghana and a representative from the Ghana Wildlife Division.
The TV programme is a collaborative initiative between SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana and GTV to increase public awareness on the need to respect and promote amphibian conservation. Issues to be discussed will include “what is happening to Ghana’s amphibians, importance of amphibians in the environment, and measures individuals and policy makers can take to reverse the amphibian extinction crisis and the rapid degradation of Ghana’s biodiversity”.
Ghana’s biodiversity is supported within the three main bio-geographical zones; Guineo-Congolian, Sudanian transition zone and the Sudanian zone making it one of the richest in the world. This biodiversity richness used to be the envy of other West African states and the title “Garden City of West Africa” was once conferred on Ghana’s second largest city, Kumasi by Prince Philip of England. Ghana’s biodiversity includes a list of internationally recognized sites such as the Atewa Forest. This forest is home to the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog (Conraua derooi), the closest relative of the world’s largest frog Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) and other mammals such as Geoffrey’s Pied Colobus, one of Africa’s most threatened primates. In addition, about 60% of Ghana’s forest reserves are recognized as Important Bird Areas.
Unfortunately, land-use conversions (large-scale farming and mono-cultural plantations), habitat degradation, over-exploitation, invasive alien species, climate change, predation, wild fires and poaching are rapidly destroying this beacon of hope for Africa’s biodiversity. As a result, Ghana has already lost more than 80% of its forest cover.
In addition to the above, Ghana’s large deposits of minerals have become recent targets for mining activities leading to land, water and air pollution with heavy metals including cyanide and mercury. These inevitably affect the many species of plants and animals that rely on them especially amphibians and it is causing their rapid declines.
This breakfast show will also be an avenue to promote SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana and our achievements over the years in protecting Ghana’s vanishing amphibians.
Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi is the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Campaigns Coordinator.