25.05.2013 > Senegalese Association pour la Protection des Almadies Read more... ... >
15.05.2013 - 19.05.2013 > Climate change and the changes in the ecosystems of the Langue de Barbarie Read more... ... >
28.03.2013 > Radio talk with environmental experts Read more... ... >
16.05.2013 > Successful project fundraising Read more... ... >
05.05.2013 > COTOA first private sector partner to support the Ecoproject of the month Read more... ... >
01.05.2013 > Stop nylon fishing nets! Read more... ... >
Welcome to our Ecoblog! Here is the place where we exchange ideas or spotlight green events that have come to our attention. Your comments or articles are welcome!
When: Saturday April 28th
Where: Just 4 U, Dakar, Senegal
What: ‘Dedicated to the protection of our planet Earth, the only home we all share’: this symbolic dedication of his album ‘YEREDON’ and a perfect performance of the Mandé Charta inspired Mao OTAYECK for the show ‘ROCK MANDINGUE’ in association with the choreographer Marianne NIOX and her dance company ARTEA.
Mao OTAYECK, son of the ancient Mandé Empire, initiated by the Dozo hunters in Baro, (Guinea), a metis symbol of the musical « no limit », is behind the concept of ‘ROK MANDINGUE”, mixing eclectic African sounds with rock and soul music.
For the past 20 years, Mao has worked with outstanding artists around the world (Cheikh Tidiane Seck, Jean-Philippe Rykiel, Tony Allen, Stevie Wonder, Jacob Desvarieux, Alpha Blondy...). He offers an innovative and authentic live show.
Grey-headed bristlebill was the second species we identified.
It immediately indicated the specialness of the Ecoparc. Although it is not rare, it is entirely confined to the central and West African forest and so, in Senegal and The Gambia, to the few fragments of forest in the south-west. Those in Casamance are seldom visited by birdwatchers. This was the first documented record for Senegal since 1979, though the birds must always have been there. It is one of a number of elusive birds of the bulbul family, more often heard than seen. As with many forest species, almost nothing is known of its biology.
A concern with West African forests is that as they become more fragmented (due to deforestation), many species will only survive in the larger fragments. A recent study in Ghana showed that the bristelbill is, as we might expect from its presence in Casamance, tolerant of small forest patches with fewer large trees. Nevertheless, an exciting discovery in the Casamance Ecoparc!
On April 4th 2012, the new elected Senegalese President nominated Haidar El Ali, our ecopartner, Minister of Ecology and the Protection of Nature. Congratulations !!!
The boat bounces on the waves. We are soaked. Now is the time to drop anchor. Haidar sharpens a knife on a stone attached to his forearm. He stands and moves carefully to balance the bow. Arms and legs wide, breathing in the sea, he fills his lungs. His lips are moving. What is he saying? A prayer? He is emotional, quite emotional. After a few minutes, he returns to us, and joins his friend diving off the side. Daniel's amazement and Haidar’s laughter. The water is cold, murky, low visibility. I will not dive. I do not have the required level. Pulling the old nets hung on the wrecks lie strewn on the sea floor around the peninsula, in cold, dark water, requires a level 4.
To descend, the two men follow the anchor chain, breadcrumbs in water obscured by micro-algae and sediment. After having watched the dive unfold in “Demain La Mer”, one of Haidar’s many films on the sea, it is easy for me to imagine them underwater. At the sea bottom, the ghostly outline of a wreck. Attached to its carcass, a gigantic net blocks the natural path of fish and algae. Its meshes have trapped fish now long dead. Others struggle frantically. Disentangle the net and unravel the small murders is a complex process. Haidar has brought his knife.
With precise gestures, he cuts the rope, removes the netting. He has surely stumbled across the translucent, almost invisible monofilament nylon dancing with the current. Both a rotting veil and indestructible prison, rotting, trapping and killing for years, so cheap to buy fisherman do not bemoan its loss. Clinging to the rocky sea bottom, the monofilament net continues to fish unnecessarily. Spread over tens of meters, it captures all fish species, their dying attracting expected scavengers into the twisting of its mesh. The net becomes a chain of death. By strangling sea creatures and organisms - such as sea fans - living on the sea bottom, one sea net can destroy the life of an entire ecosystem. Prohibited by laws since 1998, Senegalese legislation also banned mesh sizes less than 24 mm for fishing. Yet, nothing has changed.
Once the net is ripped, Haidar must attach parachutes to white cans which, rising to the surface, will drag the endless knot of nylon, shellfish and algae pellets. In its wake, the water is opaque, obscure. Christophe Rouviere, Regis Losthe and many other of Haidar’s diver friends confirm what I imagined: raising lost nets is a venture not without risks. Strained by its own weight, the net may give way at any time, slapping and trapping a diver. Our boat, engine stilled, has drifted. We have moved away from the divers who we can only monitor through the rising wake of bubbles.
Cape Verde is rallying around our champions Tommy and Jose!
The singer Mariana Ramos, ambassador of the Cape Verde’s music, is now joining our side to help protect the birds and sea turtles of Santa Luzia.
The Dakar-born singer finds her inspiration in Cape Verde, home of her ancestors, where she also lived as a child. Her unique voice and her “suave” music draws its energy from the tradition of her “small country”. A mix between funana and batucu, rhythms inherited from the slaves of Santiago Island, and la morna and la coladeira, folk melodies, it is the joy, and the multicultural richness of Cape Verde that Mariana embodies on stages worldwide. The public acclaim her in Paris and throughout Europe, her concerts are always sold out!
Mariana, Tommy and Jose invite you to join them: the 25 most generous donors will receive an autographed copy of her latest album! Thank you for your donation to the projects of Jose and Tommy!
Follow Marianna on www.mariana-ramos.com
Photo : Lionel Baunot
Date: April 5th 2012
Where: Accra, Ghana
Info: Last December, Ecofund won the Second Prize for West Africa in the international competition: APPS4AFRICA, organized by the American Department of State. On April 5th, Assane will travel to Ghana to represent Ecofund and its winning project : a web-based community organizer and geo-localized data exchange tool to help individuals and communities working on sustainable resource management. We’ll tell you everything on this ceremony on our Ecoblog !