Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Saving frogs and forests in Ghana (mar24)

Do you love frogs? You’re not alone. I love them too. Last week, I met an inspiring man – Dr Caleb Ofori-Boeteng – who has made it his life’s mission to champion the cause of frogs in Ghana. We were in London at an event organised by Rainforest Trust UK which is supporting him and his work. Here’s a snapshot of his story.

From a young age, following the loss of his father, who was a park ranger, Caleb always hoped he could bring him back. Whilst this was clearly, impossible Caleb found solace and purpose in his quest to rescue a species teetering on the brink of extinction.

No one cared about frogs but Caleb is devoting his life to protecting them and their forest habitat. In a world where frogs are often undervalued, he’s wholeheartedly committed to safeguarding these delightful amphibians and their natural habitats. He believes they’re more than just potential meals and should be given a fair chance at life, especially considering amphibians are among the most endangered species worldwide.

Ghana has seen a staggering loss of 80% of its forests over the last century, largely due to deforestation for agriculture and firewood. This not only threatens frogs but also other vital species. Caleb founded Herp Conservation Ghana to promote the conservation of reptiles and amphibians, to create awareness about the threat they are under and to contribute to global research on these species.

In collaboration with Rainforest Trust UK, Caleb has been instrumental in rallying a broader community of stakeholders. Their collective efforts have led to the creation of the Onepone Endangered Species Refuge. What started as an 847-acre sanctuary has now expanded to a lush 2,500-acre haven, safeguarding countless species and enhancing the livelihoods of communities reliant on this rich mountainous ecosystem.

This refuge is a biodiversity hotspot, hosting an impressive array of species, including the critically endangered Togo Slippery Frog, affectionately known as the ‘whistling’ frog. This initiative is not just a win for wildlife; it’s transforming local perceptions about conservation. Community involvement is crucial; former hunters are now guardians of the forest, recognising the long-term benefits of protecting endemic wildlife.

Part of this grand plan includes eco-tourism initiatives like canopy walkways and lodges to attract visitors. I’ve yet to plan my trip, but the prospect of witnessing the Whistling Frog in its natural habitat is very appealing!

Caleb is quick to credit Rainforest Trust UK Trust for their indispensable support.

This is just one of their initiatives to preserve the world’s forests and biodiversity. That’s why I’ve become one of their Ambassadors.

Of course, they could do even more if they can raise the funds – so please give them your support too.

Comment Section

Leave a Reply