Kakum National Park
89,000 acres (36,000 hectares)
Protected areas must be part of long-term development strategies that benefit people and biodiversity. Starting in 1993, CI supported the development of a canopy walkway and educational visitor center in Ghana's Kakum National Park. Today, it is among the top ecotourism
sites in West Africa. The park attracts some 80,000 visitors annually, and profits are reinvested in the local Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust that manages the park. Two-thirds of Kakum's visitors are Ghanaian; through their visits, local people develop greater awareness of the region's conservation needs.
Kakum is a critical surviving portion of the severely fragmented Guinean Forests of West Africa hotspot
, once a virtually unbroken forest
stretching from Guinea to Cameroon. It shelters endangered large mammals such as forest elephants as well as a remarkable diversity of insect and bird life. Kakum also is home to leopards, giant forest hogs and water chevrotains – at a foot high, the smallest hoofed creatures on Earth.
Corumbau Marine Extractive Reserve
221,163 acres (89,500 hectares)
Conservationists and communities
can be natural allies. In 2000, CI and its partners supported community efforts to create the Corumbau Marine Extractive Reserve, a protected area in Brazil's Abrolhos Bank where commercial fishing is banned. The designation of the reserve addressed overexploitation of Abrolhos' natural resources, which threatened not only biodiversity but also the livelihood of residents. In addition, CI worked with local fishermen to adopt practices that ensure the sustainability of the fish supply. Since the creation of the reserve, fish populations have bounced back dramatically, and communities have become active participants in conservation.
The Abrolhos region shelters the greatest marine biodiversity in the south Atlantic Ocean, including well-known species
such as the green, hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles
as well as the humpback and south Atlantic right whales. The area is home to several marine organisms found nowhere else, including the Chapeirão, a mushroom-shaped coral reef
structure that can rise over 75 feet from the ocean floor with a diameter of 150 feet. Abrolhos also harbors some of Brazil's most important seabird colonies.