Protecting Atewa Critical Ecosystem through Participatory Biodiversity Monitoring

Location: Atewa Landscape

Overall Objective

The main objective of the project is to strengthen the protection of Atewa Forest through: establishing regular community monitoring and reporting of illegal and damaging activities; and assessing its biodiversity to confirm Atewa’s Key Biodiversity Area status which was adopted on the basis of it being an Important Bird and biodiversity Area.

Project Summary

The project titled “Protecting Atewa Critical Ecosystem through Biodiversity Assessments and Participatory Monitoring” is a 16-month project funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in partnership with The Forestry Commission of GhanaWater Resources Commission (WRC), the Ministry of Environment Science Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) Secretariat.
The project is aimed at protecting the biologically rich Atewa Range Forest Reserve from current threats of illegal mining, the government’s intended bauxite mining plan and other forms of degradation. It is implemented in the Atewa Landscape by A Rocha Ghana.
See details of the Project Launch

Project Launch

The project which was officially launched on March 30, 2021 at the Atiwa West District Assembly – Kwabeng in the Eastern Region of Ghana, brought together all stakeholders to discuss project activities with expected deliverables, and to collaboratively agree a way forward towards successful project delivery.

Project Launch

Dr. Seth Appiah-Kubi, National Director, A Rocha Ghana delivering his speech at the event

Project Component One (1)

Develop innovative participatory monitoring system for sustainable management of critical ecosystems
  • Use of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) involving forest patrols

  • Water and Biodiversity Monitoring involving use of eDNA test kits


The reptile, African fire skink (Lepidothyris fernandi) and the carnivorous fish species, Africa snakehead (Parachanna obscura) were also recorded in Atewa for the first time using the eDNA sampling.

  • Water quality analysis for physicochemical parameters

Find Water Monitoring results HERE
Find Biodiversity Data Base HERE

Project Component Two (2)

Strengthen the knowledge base for international designation for Atewa
  • Reassessing Atewa against the new global KBA standards
  • Results will feed into the Ghana National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) review and the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity framework
Read more  on the KBA process for Trigger Species Validations for Atewa Forest HERE

Project Component Three (3)

Engage the private sector to support protection and sustainable management of Atewa Forest
  • Carry out research on impacts and dependencies of private sector

  • Establish Landscape Business Consortium

  • Establish Conservation Agreements between communities and private sector actors

Key Project Results

  1. Three persons prosecuted for illegal logging in the Atewa Range Forest Reserve as a result of use of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART)
  2. Five species identified as additional triggers for Key Biodiversity Area status for the Atewa Range Forest Reserve
  3. One Conservation Agreement signed with one Mining Company for restoration of 9.13acres of degraded land as contribution for the conservation and sustainable management of the Atewa landscape.
  4. The reptile, African fire skink (Lepidothyris fernandi) and the carnivorous fish species, Africa snakehead (Parachanna obscura) were also recorded in Atewa for the first time using the eDNA sampling.

Photos from various activities

Project in partnership with