Microsfere aims at combining biodiversity conservation and rural development in areas protected for their ecological value in West Africa. We use a variety of tools, such as social microfinance, which is nowadays renown to be one of the best performing instruments to combat poverty, training, creation of pilot microenterprises, introduction of environmental friendly techniques, as well as awareness raising on environmental and health issues. But how does a social microfinance scheme work and what is the link between reduction of poverty and biodiversity conservation?
Areas of intervention
Currently Microsfere is active in southwestern Ghana. It operates in the Kakum National Park and has also completed a project in the Amansuri wetland, two sites that are part of the world biodiversity heritage region (Biodiversity Hotspot) called "Guinean forests of West Africa." Our projects are implemented in collaboration with our national partners, the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and the Ghana Wildlife Society.
Microsfere in action
Microsfere has supported more than 600 micro-entrepreneurs working in the following areas: fishing, pig rearing, small-scale trade, agricultural activities (cacao, vegetables, etc.), fishmongering and food processing. We also supported the creation of new social or environmental-friendly micro-enterprises, such as soap making, bee-keeping, grass-cutter rearing, handicrafts and fishmongering with improved smokers (chorkor smokers). A key focus in recent years has been the provision of cookstoves to more than 420 beneficiaries, in order to combat deforestationand respiratory infections stemming from the traditional cooking methods. We are also proud to have created four children's libraries (one in Amanzuri and 3 in Kakum).
Microsfere wishes to promote accompanying measures for the project beneficiaries, such as further technical training, the use of improved cook stoves, the development of "Fair Trade" activities, training for librarians, and of course to increase the number of micro-entrepreneurs participating in the project.
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Anyone's contribution, however small, can help!