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Bui Project - Comments on EIA Print E-mail
ImageAn Environmental Impact Assessment for the Bui Dam Project was prepared by Environmental Resources Management in association with SGS Environment. Many of its claims are impossible to verify because the government of Ghana prohibited independent biological research in Bui National Park in 2001. A number of the claims made in the assessment are surprising. One of the most extraordinary claims in the assessment is that "hippopotamus will benefit from the increased area of littoral habitat provided by the reservoir".

Because work on dam construction is now in progress it may seem superfluous to comment on them. Nevertheless, biologists cannot be excluded from the area forever, and future investigations will reveal the extent of the damage.

The bibliography accompanying the EIA (Annex D) omits in entirety works on the biodiversity of Bui National Park, most notably the hippopotamus censuses conducted by Paul Choribe, our paper in the African Journal of Ecology and all of the faunal survey reports published by the Aberdeen University/Ghana Wildlife' project in 1997.  In fact the only works cited on the biodiversity of Bui are unpublished (and apparently unavailable) reports commissioned by the Ghanian authorities.

There is some cold comfort in the fact that all our surveys, except the floral survey, are considerably more extensive than those carried out for the EIA, and for much less than 1000th of the price. Access the Bui Library here >

 
 

 

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William Oliver

William Oliver. Champion of biodiversity and its students. So many of us benefited from his advice and expertise. What a character. RIP.

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The Butaan Project
Varanus bitatawa

Varanus bitatawa is the third species of  monitor lizard to be recognised by science that belongs to the "Pandan Biawak" group,  all of which are of at least as great a conservation concern as the Komodo dragon, but receive virtually none of the attention. Pandan Biawak occur only in lowland dipterocarp forest. The first species (Varanus olivaceus or Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Varanus mabitang or Mabitang) was discovered in 2001 and in 2010 Varanus bitatawa (Butikaw or Bitatawa) was described. Other species of frugivorous monitor lizards may remain undescribed, but many may have  gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

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