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!
Summer has arrived!
If you go to Cape Verde between June and September, you might be lucky enough to admire sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach… unfortunately, far from these beautiful scenery, summer is also the season when turtles get slaughtered: in the early morning, you may find bloody turtle shells or, less shocking but also devastating, looted nests emptied from their eggs. It’s summertime all right… and it’s now or never to support Tommy’s project!
Coveted for their meat, a key ingredient for traditional soups and meals, sea turtles are during the summer the main focus of attention for those who hunt them, as well as for those who protect them. It is a true night game of cat and mouse, occurring every year. Tommy and Jose are among those who tirelessly organize campaigns in order to dissuade potential hunters and raise awareness among tourists, by explaining how quads can be dangerous since these four-wheel motorbikes can destroy nests.
If Cape Verdean legislation has been prohibiting the capture, possession, trade and consumption of sea turtles since 2005, hunters and traders seem to have in fact little to fear. The meat is sometimes openly sold, and some beliefs die hard, especially the one about the turtle penis’ aphrodisiac virtues. This belief is good for trade… and pushes fishermen to capture male turtles at sea.
Capture during nesting directly endangers the existence of the species. It is not however the only threat. More insidious, less brutal, other threats are probably even deadlier for sea turtles in Cape Verde: the proliferation of tourist resorts and housing complexes along the beaches, the coastal pollution with plastic waste or fishing nets, or the destruction of beaches in order to extract the sand needed for concrete production.
The species most present in Cape Verde is the majestic loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), that Tommy’s project tries to protect. In full spawning season, your donation will help protect their nests, which means about 50 hatchlings per nest!
Do not wait any longer!
A weekend visit of extreme contrasts: the UNESCO world heritage city is hosting the 20th edition of the International Jazz Festival and the 10th edition of the pan African Art biennale, with bands, artist and visitors coming from all other the world. The scene and sound are world class. The expositions invite you to a journey of modern African art. The hotels and the restaurants are full with tourists enjoying the taste of African-French cuisine, enjoying ? not really …
The nice “mondaine” scenery contrasts with poverty, stinky dust, and resource degradation: Situated not far away from the vibrant scene of the jazz festival and just opposite of the hotels and restaurants, the artisanal fishery village is floating on mountains of waste. The dust of burning waste invades the scenery and covers in grey the usually blue sky over Saint Louis. In the absence of the dust, hundreds of flies - the ugly kind of big flies living from waste - invade your meal in the garden of a fancy restaurant. The air, soil and water pollution is visible everywhere you go, no escape, and no one seems to care. The lethargy of the population to act against the waste reflects the absence of means and tools for a sustainable solution.
After this contrast full weekend, it’s clear more than ever, we need to stop this kind of natural resources’ degradation. We need to deal with the challenges bottom up and support local initiatives dealing with waste treatment. Already a small effort can have a big positive impact. Ecofund will boost your small efforts. In September, we will launch our Ecoforum, which will give you the voice to alert, debate and together to find solutions to the challenges alike the mountains of waste.
Join us and post your impressions, experiences and ideas on our Ecoblog and our Facebook, for our green future!
The Project ''School for Nature'' was initiated by our Champion Augustin. His goal is to mobilize the youth of his home region, Casamance, in the South of Senegal, so they can protect their beautiful subtropical nature. Every week, a sensitization and cleaning campaign is conducted in a village. Last Saturday, the “School for Nature” project was hosted simultaneously in 3 villages: Siganar, Karounate, and Niambalang (Southwest Ziguinchor).
First, the cleaning equipment has been exhibited in the courtyard of the College of Siganar: wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and brooms. Then, after listening to a few explanations, the students spread out to collect plastic and clean their village.
The school principal says it is the first time that he sees this kind of campaign in the school: “An environmental education has never been taught so far in this college. We should continue, and also encourage students to plant trees and create a vegetable garden in the school”.
Student of the Siganar School, Rosalie Francis Diatta suggested including parents into the campaign, e.g. advising them not to throw any plastic waste in the nature.
“If we do not collect the plastic waste, it will be there for several hundred years. Plastic waste is toxic and dangerous to human health, the environment and the wildlife'' warns our champion, Augustine Diatta.
Although the “School for Nature” project has so far produced positive results, eliminating plastic waste remains a huge challenge. “We do not have a recycling plant for plastic waste in Casamance. We've got tons of plastic waste, but we do not know what to do with it''.
Not talking – acting!
With Ecofund you have the opportunity to celebrate the World Oceans Day in a concrete manner by supporting our champions José and Tommy's work to protect the marine biodiversity of Cape Verde. Your personnel Happy World Oceans Day Gift!
When : June 5th
Where : Dakar Senegal
What : Exibition, concerts and trees plantation, see the program below
Tell us about your local world day of environment to be featured on our Ecoblog.
Hello José! We are very happy meeting you here in Praia…
Yes, I've been in Praia for two weeks! Every year it's the same thing: I have to come to apply to the authorities for work permission in the protected marine areas!
Could you tell us about your activities in 2012?
2012 is going to be a turning point for me and my association Biosfera! In fact, you should know that in Cape Verde, Biosfera is the only NGO doing this kind of work. Traditionally, we concentrate our efforts on the protected marine areas. At the moment, many Cape-Verdeans support our organization, which is very gratifying, but also difficult for us to manage, as Cape Verde consists of 10 islands which make travelling time and money consuming! This year, we are going to mobilize the youth and the inhabitants of the other islands to set up their own locally based NGOs. With our experience, we are going to train them in monitoring the birds and the turtles, as well as in submarine monitoring of the sharks.
In March, we organized an exhibition showcasing the six years of Biosfera. We presented our activities to protect the whales, dolphins, birds, the 5 species of turtles that can be found in Cape Verde, as well as our activities promoting renewable energy. We also continue our educational work in the schools of Mindelo. We are going to start controlling the rats and cats populations in order to be able to reintegrate the birds and reptiles in Santa Luzia. If we don't do that, the cats and rats will eat them all!
Tell us why should we protect the birds of Razo ?
I'll try to explain briefly, although this question deserves a much longer response! After World War II, the Cape Verdeans started to eat the birds because of a terrible famine on the archipelago at the time. The problem is that even after the war ended, the population kept on eating the birds, hence creating a new local tradition. Yet the birds are very important for the local population, especially for the fishermen. If the birds don’t show them the track, the fishermen won’t know where the fish are! In more general terms, the birds are essential to maintaining the balance in the whole of ecosystem!
I remember the first time I stayed with my dad at the island of Santa Luzia and Razo when I was 11. There were lots of birds, everywhere, over the sea and on the islands. Then, 30 years later, I suddenly realized that the birds had disappeared.
For the last 3 years, we have been monitoring all the young birds that were born here. We put a numbered band to each and we follow their development until they leave. The thing to keep in mind is that a bird that was born on the island this year will not come back for nesting until 8 or 9 years later! So the first birds that we monitored will not come back for another few years, and only then we will know for sure if birds are well and once again numerous on Razo. With Tommy, my son, we are going to continue our efforts until there is a change;
I'd like to use this opportunity to thank Ecofund for its support, as well as Mariana Ramos who will perform a special concert in Cape Verde in June... to promote our actions: you should come to it!