BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AT THE SAKUMO RAMSAR SITE

The project aimed at promoting the use of treated urban wastewater for tree planting to achieve conservation of biodiversity and local community development.

Friends of Ramsar Sites (FORS), in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (WD) implemented the second phase activities under the Biodiversity Conservation and Local Community Development through the treatment of urban waste water and tree planting at Sakumo Ramsar Site for the year January-December 2017.

  1. Activity Undertaken

Activities undertaken by FORS were:

2.1       Identification and mobilisation of community farmer groups:

FORS identified and mobilised Twenty (20) farmers and community members to participate in FIVE (5) sensitisation and awareness meetings.

  1. Formation of Farmer Groups

Two (2) farmer groups, each comprising of 10 persons were formed to participate in project activities

  1. Support for Sensitisation and Awareness

Three (3) sensitization meetings were held with 20 farmers and stakeholders

  1. Transplanting Tree Seedlings

FORS mobilised labour and volunteers for the planting of 1000 coconut seedling on fifteen hectares of degraded land, and 1700 seedlings on eighteen (18) farmer fields.  Survival rate of the coconut seedlings was about 84%.  There is the need to procure additional four hundred and thirty seedlings to replace those that could not survive.

  1. Supply of Equipment and disposables

The EPA provided the necessary funding for the following:

  • Ploughing of fifteen (15) hectares
  • Purchasing of protecting equipment’s and cutlass
  • Purchase of agro chemicals weedicides and insecticides.

(e)        The purchase of 2 knapsacks.

  • Maintenance of old trees and new Seedlings.

Water canals supplying water for watering the old trees and the newly transplanted seedlings were rehabilitated and maintained. Weed and pest control were carried out regularly. The biggest threat to the integrity of the coconut trees were infestation of rhinoceros beetles. Substantial amount of time and resources were spent in controlling these pests.

  • Challenges

The major challenge to the project is the continued encroachment on the site by land guard. There is the need for decisive action to be taken against the encroachers and trespassers.

  • Recommendation

We recommend the following:

Additional seedling should be procured to refill those that could not survive.

The most appropriate pesticide should be identified and supplied for the control of insect pests, especially the rhinoceros beetles.

EPA should take decisive action against persons who wilfully destroy tree seedlings planted under the project.

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