For the record fourth time, a leading Ghanaian amphibian conservationist, Mr. Gilbert Adum has to date received a total grant funding of £32,000 ($47,000) from the prestigious UK-based Rufford Foundation. The latest grant award worth £10,000 ($14,700) is to boost Gilbert’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. Miss Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi, Ghana’s first female amphibian biologist and Associate Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana, says “elsewhere, uncovered mine pits have also caused the lives of many people. Therefore, covering up the pits and revegetating the areas will not only help to save frogs and other wildlife but also human lives.”
In the meantime, the team warns the Ghanaian public, especially unsuspecting researchers visiting the Sui forest, to be wary of the dangers these mine pits can pose. They have 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.
In another development, Gilbert also recently won this year’s Green Oscars Award worth £35,000 (GHS180, 000) in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote a Ghanaian society that appreciates frogs and nature. In receiving the award and at an interview in London with BBC World Service – Focus on Africa, Gilbert praised the efforts of Ghanaians in helping to protect frogs.
By Sandra Owusu-Gyamfi
SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana – Associate Executive Director & Ecologist
Photo: Whitley Fund for Nature