With a generaous donation of € 400 000 from from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), FBG has issued grants to support the activities of the Protected Areas of Orango (PNO), Urok and the general coordination by the central headquarters of the national parks’ authority, IBAP.
In PNO, people face a serious shortage of fresh water for household and farming use because the earth is very sandy and traditional wells tend to collapse. With the support of the FBG and FFEM, IBAP oversaw the building of a new, traditionally fenced, cement-lined well in the town of Wite. Since completion, the community has decided to set a modest price for water – two basins of (25-30 liters) for 25 CFA francs (about 4 cents). As a result of the sale of water, the community saved 11,000 CFA francs which is earmarked for well maintenance.
The FFEM funds were also used to support the rehabilitation of two classrooms, a storage building, and an office for the school Director in the community of Canogo. The work was undertaken by a contractor chosen by the community. The refurbished school serves 106 children (48 girls and 58 boys). Community members played essential roles in the construction efforts by providing locally available building materials such as gravel, sand, stones and wood, as well as their labor.
ADIM, an association of 109 women farmers from the villages of Etigoga and Ancaboca in Orango National Park (PNO), received a grant for horticultural equipment and supplies. The objectives of the farming programme were to increase production and improve family income to support the education and health of children. As a result, the production of onions, tomatos, chilis, carrots and lettuce were much improved. However, marketing emerged as an obstacle which IBAP and the communities are currently deciding how to address. The equipment and supplies were distributed to the members of the association, for which each member paid a symbolic amount that was used to set up a management fund to promote the adoption of new farming techniques and to support the sustainability of the project.
Grant funds were also tapped to run a 7-day computer literacy programme for 4 women and 19 men from PNO to help them improve report preparation and the organization of data on project acgtivities.
Okinka Pampa, the locally run community radio station, also benefited from FBG support. In addition to providing general information and entertainment, the station also informs people living in and around the protected area about biodiversity, COVID-19 protection and prevention, and other locally relevant topics.
To strengthen their operations, Okina Pampa received materials and equipment including microphones, buffers, electrial wiring, fans and a mixing deck.
“On behalf of Community Radio Okinka Pampa I would like to thank Foundation BioGuinea for provinding us these vital equipment and accessories to improve our working condition”Domingos Alves Junior, Director of the Community Radio Okinka Pampa
Also, in order to improve the working condition for staff in PNO’s office, 6 solar panels, 4 batteries and accessories were purchase and installed.
Urok Islands Community Marine Protected Area (AMPC Urok)
In 2020, the park team conducted 45 surveillance patrols resulting in the seizure of 5 illegal fishing boats which were caught fishing in closed areas. All the confiscated fishing products were given to the local community.
In order to improve the working condition for staff in AMPC Urok’s office, 4 solar panels, 6 batteries and accessories were purchase and installed. The salaries of the PNO staff are also supported by the FFEM funds.
“ I am extending my thanks to the BioGuinea Foundation for supporting the installation of solar panels which improved the electricity power in both the AMPC Urok and PNO. IBAP’s Offices have improved their working conditions in the field.”Manuel Nanque, AMPC Urok´s Director
FFEM-based FBG grants have also been used for improvements to IBAP headquarters in Bissau including the repair of the doors, roof and drivers’ lodgings. Various projects and environmental partners, such as the European Union’s GCCA Project, the International Union for Conservation of Nature-Guinea Bissau (IUCN), the Executive Team of the BioGuinea Foundation and the NGO Palmerinha are housed in the IBAP building and also benefit from the upgrades.
On a more innovative side, a “Blue Carbon” project in Tarrafes de Cacheu National Park and Cantanhez National Park is underway. This project, entitled “Community-based avoided deforestation” aims to help communities earn money by reducing pressure on their forests through the sale of carbon credits on the international market.
Intensive efforts by IBAP and local communities to protect their forests have generated over 300 000 tons of marketable carbon credits. This first tranche of a multi-year programme has been sold for over 4M USD which will be shared between communities, IBAP and FBG’s endowment fund. A second tranche is currently being evaluated and is expected to produce even more funding for conservation and community development over the coming years.
IBAP is also implementing an EU funded GCCA Project entitled “Protected Areas and Climate Resilience”. However, progress was slowed because as a grantee, IBAP was required to advance the final 10% of the progamme funds for later reimbursement. In order to help with this cash-flow problem, FBG awared IBAP a grant of € 200 000 to implement the remaining activities.