Networking critical for Environmental Conservation

Rights and Advocacy Initiatives Network on 3rd June 2022, organized a network meeting for women led CSOs and women in conservation in Kumasi. The meeting forms part of activities being organized by RAIN as a mentee-CSO of Tropical Biology Association (TBA) under its Critical Ecosystem Partnership funded project “Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation Capacity of Civil Society”.

The meeting which brought together women from diverse positions from Civil Society Organizations, staff from Forestry Commission, academia, research institutions and media had an aim to identify and establish a network of women in conservation within the Ashanti region as a starting point to get all women in conservation together.

Dr. Betty Adjei, the TBA Mentor for Ghana explained that, over the years most trainings undertaken by the Association had excluded women-led organisations within the environmental space and this did not augur well for ensuring safer environments. To bridge this gap, TBA identified RAIN as one of its mentees in Ghana to benefit from capacity development in order to build the expertise and human resources that can tackle the complex issues and priority threats of biodiversity conservation especially in the Guinean Forests of West Africa Hotspot.

She indicate environment was at risk as a result of climate change which has serious effects on varieties of biological organisms; including flora, fauna their habitats and the different ecosystems. The meeting in Kumasi was to formally bring together female environmental conservationists to champion the course of sustaining natural habitats through environmental education and advocacy. Through this network, many more women in the space will be reached, to enhance their capacities, share knowledge, identify weaknesses, provide the necessary support and help in protecting biodiversity. The network of women environmental organisations within Ghana will then be linked to other similar ones in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire Cameroun, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The meeting was also used to train these women in use of digital platforms for information dissemination and publicity. Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, Director of RAIN, explained that, although women were doing a lot in environmental conservation they are hardly known due to lack of information sharing and publicity.

She urged participants to come together as networking is critical in other to have a common voice to influence policy and behavioral change. This will also help project our work in conservation, and enhance peer learning and sharing of success stories as well as challenges.