Latest news and project updates
Today, as we celebrate World Oceans Day, we officially launch our project "Raiz Azul" meaning the 'Blue Root' as translated from the caboverdean language. Cabo Verde is 99% of water, our land was born from the ocean, our skin is engraved with salt crystals, sea breeze plays in our hair. The project aims to strengthen the resilience of coastal and marine socio-ecological system 'Raiz Azul" of Santiago island and Cabo Verde.
The project is funded by the Darwin Initiative (UK) and implemented by the Universidade de Cabo Verde - UniCV in partnership with the Associação Cabo-verdiana de Ecoturismo ECOCV and many national and international collaborators.
Marginalization of rural communities leads to difficulties in exploring new income opportunities. This prevents the adoption of sustainable practices in response to threats to local ecosystems.
This project will engage vulnerable community members to monitor the health of marine and coastal ecosystems, set up the first Marine Protected Area in Santiago island, introduce the first
sustainable waste management system and establish an eco-network lead by local women in four coastal villages to support livelihoods through eco-tourism in Cabo Verde.
Today was a very important day for us at ECOCV. We have signed the collaboration and partnership protocol with the Universidade de Cabo Verde UniCV.
This is an important step for both institutions to implement projects for the sustainable development of the local communities, the promotion of ecotourism and practical actions for the conservation of the national environment.
Happy Happiness Day from our wonderful marine team: ECOCV/Uni-CV and the whales.
The two humpback whales were spotted today in Praia, during our research survey. The humpback whales migrate to Cabo Verde to reproduce. This period generally lasts from february to the beginning of june. If you see a whale or a dolphin, please inform us, and join our network of participatory conservation and monitoring of cetaceans in Cabo Verde.
On the 2nd of November, at the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Cabo Verde, ECOCV officially signed the contract for the development of the National Cetacean Conservation Platform in Cabo Verde, funded by 'Fundo do Ambiente".
One of the first activities was training of UNICV students in participatory monitoring of marine megafauna in Praia with the focus on Quebra Canela Bay. Local fishers have been telling stories of pilot whales and dolphins passing by the Bay. Our goal is to establish occurrence and diversity of species at the same time to train volunteers for the long-term monitoring.
Over the next few months we will be intensively working for the preparation of the national workshops for the development of Code of Conduct and National Cetacean Sightings and Strandings Platform in Cabo Verde.
22-26th of October ECOCV and the civil movement for the climate change 350 Cabo Verde, joined Casa da Ciencia da Praia (Science House of Praia) University of Cabo Verde, for the Science week. One of the objectives was to introduce school children from various communities of Santiago Island to the main concepts of climate change, global warming, consequences and potential solutions.
Over 120 children took part in activities. Theoretical session was followed by the experiment that allowed participants to see in practice what happens when the ice melts in the poles and how the sea level changes. This is one of the main threats to the small island countries such as Cabo Verde
On the 8th of September we joined the civil movement 350 Cabo Verde and more that 90 countries around the world to march and raise awareness about the changing climate, impacts, solutions, justice. For Cabo Verde we chose the call "Nha lixu e dimeu" which means - I am responsible for my waste. It is a growing problem in our country, and it is time that we all ,personally, take responsibility for our use and choices. Tens of citizens of the capital Praia and from other islands joined in as we marched along the main pedestrian street of the city. The even then moved to the Cultural Centre where we had a series of presentation on the effects of climate change in marine and terrestrial ecosystems, historical perspective and acceleration of anthropogenic impacts since the start of the 20th century.
We continue supporting the movement 350 Cabo Verde, as the number of projects are being planned to strengthen our society.
ECOCV took part in the UniCV KIDS summer program. The overall objective was to teach various subjects such as robotics, english, marine biology in novel and interactive way. ECOCV delivered classes on fish and shark biology and conservation, whale and dolphin rescue and strandings principles, plastic pollution and marine conservation where we dicussed overfishing, shifting baselines and benefits of marine protected areas globally and in Cabo Verde. During the last session we took our young students to the Quebra Canela Beach in Praia. We explored biodiversity in tidal pools, trained to save the stranded whale, made sand sculptures of marine animals and just had good fun by the sea. At the end all students were issued certificates. We taught but we also learnt a lot and look forward to the next summer ! Thanks to UniCV Palmarejo Campus for organising such an interesting and useful educational program.
ECOCV was selected as one of the 20 national organisations to receive the grant from the Environmental Fund (Ministry of Agriculture and Environment) to implement the project.
Our work will focus on the development of the National Cetacean Conservation and Participatory Network in Cabo Verde and will considerably contribute to the implementation of the National Conservation Action Plan for Cetaceans (2015).
ECOCV co- authored an article about the discovery of the large zone of Zoanthus, a genus of colonial cnidarians in Porto Cais Bay, Maio Island. Molecular analyses showed that the carpet in was formed mainly by the two species: Zoanthus sociatus and Zoanthus solanderi. Our work demonstrated the presence of the ‘Zoanthus zone’ in the Central East Atlantic and added two new records of Zoanthus species in the Cabo Verde Islands.
The article can be accessed in Thalassas: An International Journal of Marine Sciences