New SCB Chapters in Africa
By Israel Borokini
The Africa Section business meeting held at the International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Montpellier, France in August 2015, encouraged SCB members to form chapters in their respective countries. Chapters ensure grassroots outreach of SCB's mission and activities. Prior to this, there was only one SCB chapter in Africa, formed a year earlier in Nigeria.
Professor Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu and other SCB members who were present at ICCB started working on establishing a chapter in Ghana. Working their way through the hoops, they finally had their inaugural meeting on September 29, 2015 at Centre for African Wetlands, University of Ghana’s Legon Campus. The elected executives include:
- Prof. Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu - President
- Mrs. Gladys Schwinger - Vice-president
- Ms. Louisa Sawyerr - Secretary
- Mr. Jones Kpakpa Quartey - Treasurer
- Mr. Samuel Anuga - Organizing Secretary
- Mr. Ferdinand Tornyie - Public Relations
The meeting also witnessed an increase in SCB membership bringing it to a total of 35 in Ghana. The Chapter plans to focus on increasing SCB membership drive, going on visits to biodiversity spots in Ghana and identify challenges, engage in advocacy and public outreach via the media and hold meetings where ongoing research projects by members can be presented. If you would like to join or know more about the Ghana Chapter, kindly contact Louisa Sawyerr.
Professor Joelisoa Ratsirarson, an SCB life member for about 20 years and Vice President of the University of Antananarivo, spearheaded this movement in Madagascar, one of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots. In a well-attended and coordinated meeting, the Madagascar Chapter was born on January 27, 2016. This process exemplified high commitment levels, as some of the elected members immediately renewed their lapsed SCB membership so as to avoid slowing down the formal registration of the Chapter. The elected executives include:
- Prof Joelisoa Ratsirarson - President
- Dr. Pascal Rabeson - Vice President
- Ms. Tahiana Ramananantoandro - Secretary
- Ms. Julie Hanta Razafimanahaka - Treasurer
- Dr. Zolalaina Rakotobe - Chair of Conservation Committee
- Dr. Mijasoa Andriamarovololona - Chair of Membership development Committee
If you would like to join or know more about the Madagascar chapter, kindly contact Professor Ratsirarson.
This effort started with Mr. Dale Wright who indicated interest in starting the Chapter at the ICCB Africa Section business meeting, but was passed on to Dr. Ruth Kansky. The formation of the Chapter in South Africa was accomplished on April 7, 2016. The elected executives include:
- Dr. Ruth Kansky - President:
- Dr. Falko Buschke - Vice President
- Ms. Renae Logston - Secretary
- Ms Noelle Tubbs - Treasurer
- Dr. John Simaika - Conservation Chair
If you would like to join or know more about the South Africa Chapter, kindly contact Ms. Renae Logston.
SCB members in Kenya, Cameroon and Tanzania have indicated their willingness to form Chapters and it is good times for the Africa Section.
Israel Borokini is SCB Africa Section information officer.