Latest news and project updates
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
This week, ECOCV in collaboration with the UniCV, Praia and DNA conducted theoretical and practical training sessions for the UniCV biology students to enhance their skills for marine boat and land based surveys.
The main objective was to introduce students to the basic methodology to collect environmental and species specific data (behaviour, group composition, number of animals) focusing on cetaceans and marine birds. Students learnt about biology and species diversity in Cabo Verde, were introduced to photo-identification and acoustic survey principles. The practical, boat based training took place on the west coast of Santiago Island, Baia do Inferno area, while the land-based survey was conducted from the fishing village Porto Mosquito.
We were impressed with students' enthusiasm and ability to quickly learn new field work skills.
ECOCV participated in the 3rd High Level Industry-Science-Government Dialogue meeting, Implementing the Atlantic International Research Centre (AIR Centre) at the National Library, Praia, Santiago Island, May 7-8, 2018
Atlantic Interactions www.atlanticinteractions.org a new intergovernmental initiative to unleash the potential of the Atlantic for Society. This new intergovernmental initiative will be implemented through the Atlantic International Research Center (AIR Center). Since 2016, a series of workshops were held in a number of cities, mobilising governments, researchers and entrepreneurs worldwide, towards the development of a new science and technology agenda for an integrative approach to the Atlantic.
Among many presenters, ECOCV partners prof. Rui Freitas (UniCV, Cabo Verde) and Dr. Pedro Afonso (University of Azores, Portugal) talked about the uniqueness of biodiversity and specificity of oceanography in Cabo Verde as well as the need for the long-term cooperation within the region.
Jason Woodcock from www.uasflightops.com tested his drone in the Sal Rei Bay, Boa Vista and took number of wonderful videos of humpback whale mother and her newborn.
While inspecting raw footage while still on the boat we noticed some interesting behaviour that normally is not visible from boat- whale baby was "taking a ride" on mothers head just a meter or so under the sea surface. The drone also helped us to follow whales' movements, surfacing time and location and proximity to the whale watching boats.
Jason is also involved with www.veterans4wildlife.org and showed great interest in coming back to Cabo Verde to volunteer his technical skills and time for the conservation projects. Thank you, Jason, and look forward to your return!