Enjoy catching up with what is happening in ICAs across the globe..... If you wish to SEND a report... please send to: inform@ica-international.org

To view past issues of Global Buzz: Please see here
To view past issues of Network Exchange: Please see here
To view past issues of Winds & Waves magazine: Please see here

 ICA International here

Global Buzz Report: May 2021

Most pictures will enlarge if you click them. Some have captions

The new Winds and Waves magazine

We are delighted to invite you to share your stories
via medium.com/winds-and-waves which is the public platform
we have moved to now, to publish Winds & Waves.
Please see the attachment which sets out how you can now
personally publish your stories for Winds and Waves magazine.

See here W&W@Medium PDF


Governance, Sea Turtle Conservation
and SSustainable livelihood within the
Anlo-Keta Lagoon Ramsar (Ghana)

The Development Institute

The Anlo-Keta Lagoon Complex Ramsar Site (AKLCRS) is located in the Volta region of southeastern Ghana. It is the largest lagoon in Ghana. It has several different ecosystems such as brackish water, floodplains, swamps, mangroves and beautiful beaches. The site is home to significant biodiversity with about 80% of Ghana's waterfowl, sea turtles (including Ghana's three endangered species - the green, leatherback and olive ridley turtles) and the West African sitatunga. The leatherback turtle, recognized by the IUCN as critically endangered, is the most frequently observed species at the site.

The main problems related to biodiversity conservation in the AKLCRS are the lack of community involvement in governance and management processes, poaching, overexploitation of natural resources and unsustainable livelihood practices.

PPI Project Overview
In order to support the conservation efforts of stakeholders such as the local Sea Turtle Conservation (STC) association and the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, The DI designed a project focused on improving the governance and community management of the AKLCRS, as well as introducing alternative and sustainable forms of livelihood for the communities of Akplortorkor, Agbledomi, Atiteti, Fuveme, and Dzita, all in the Anloga District. This project has received support from BothEnds (Netherlands) and the French Committee of IUCN within the framework of PPI-5.

In this territory, we have opted for the CREMA (Community Resource Management Areas) approach developed by the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission. It guarantees a win-win situation in which communities have the right to manage their natural resources in a sustainable manner. This approach has been tested over the years and has proven to be very effective.

COVID-19: A disrupted but never stopped start-up!
Even though our project started in a global context of concern and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, this did not stop us from moving forward. Our first actions were to ensure the safety of our beneficiaries. Each community received three sanitation kits that included hand washing devices (veronica buckets), soap, disinfectants, tissues, and masks. In addition, between April and June 2020, and with the permission of law enforcement agencies, we had the opportunity to hold awareness sessions prior to each community engagement session during which about 250 participants were given extensive information about the Covid-19 virus and its mode of transmission.

Subsequently, to ensure that all stakeholders were at the same level ie knowledge and skills, a series of capacity building workshops were held for all stakeholders. These included forest guards, women, fisheries leaders, traditional authorities, representatives of law enforcement agencies (navy and police), representatives of the Wildlife Division (WD) of the Forestry Commission, the judiciary and the District Assembly. The capacity building workshops focused on three main areas: the CREMA model, laws governing sea turtle conservation (national and international), and the development of fish farming as an alternative source of income.

Our successes so far...
Through our project, all the communities in AKLCRS have reached a consensus on the collective establishment of a CREMA. The areas to be conserved have been delimited and mapped, indicating that the communities are now ready to conserve certain areas and use the resources sustainably for their own benefit and for the future.

After our intensive capacity building and sensitization sessions, the communities as well as other stakeholders are finally open to conservation and natural resource management. As a result, all stakeholders are now involved and taking the initiative to ensure the sustainability of natural resources.

A total of 25 youth volunteers, representing the five communities, have been successfully trained by The DI in collaboration with WD in marine turtle handling and protection. Currently, there are five patrol teams (rangers) for each community, who monitor day and night to ensure the safety and protection of the sea turtles, their nesting areas and eggs. So far, two arrests have been made and the accused are currently being prosecuted. Additionally, 55 turtles comprising Olive Ridley, Leatherback and Green turtle have been rescued and 2,000 eggs have been protected.

But that's not all, thanks to the capacity building sessions organised for the law enforcement agencies, the laws are finally working and these agencies are working hand in hand with the communities to ensure sustainable resource management. Finally, three fish pens which can hold up to 2000 fishes have been set up in some of the project communities as an alternative source of income and in a few months, the fish market will be booming, giving the turtles a rest!

And in conclusion…
We understand that even though we have made some progress, we still have a lot of grounds to cover so even as we celebrate our wins, we are focused on going the long haul with this project. We can confidently say that we’re ready for an action packed 2021 with some more exciting activities such as mangrove restoration amongst others.



ICA Nepal
Brief April Activity Report 2021

The majority of Nepalese students cannot excel in innovation and creativity due to inadequate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) equipment and education. ICA Nepal is utilizing a crowd-funding platform-global giving to promote STEM education in Nepal. STEM is crucial for the development and safety of the country. Due to the lack of knowledge in STEM, a country has to suffer a lot. For example, if we had enough resources and experts during this pandemic, we could have developed our vaccine. We could not do so this time, but years later we hope we can. We urge our colleagues to support us by contributing to the global giving platform and circulating the message as much as possible by following the link below.

Every penny will go towards the improvement of STEM education in Nepal and is highly invaluable for the future of the country.


ICA USA April News

The Mayor’s visit to the ICA GreenRise: Mayor Lori Lightfoot is in the center with the ICA’s Lesley Showers, ICA COO standing behind her with white shirt and yellow sweater.

ICA USA celebrated Earth Day, April 22, in Chicago with a visit by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, the Chief Sustainability Officer, two aldermen, and Naomi Davis, founder of Blacks in Green. The Mayor toured ICA GreenRise to see its potential as a Chicago Sustainability Hub. Lesley Showers, ICA’s COO, took everyone to the roof to see our 485 solar panels first hand. They learned about our vision for being a demonstration, zero-emissions, green-living sustainability project. This dream addresses the 70% carbon emissions in Chicago from buildings. The fact is that converting older buildings is cheaper and more ecologically sound than tearing them down and starting over. The Mayor has encouraged Angela Tovar, the Chief Sustainability Officer, to work with ICA GreenRise and program staff since August 2020. Angela connected GreenRise with Chicago’s Department of Planning, which has committed a $1.5M grant to the GreenRise during its second closing on its building renovation. 

On April 1st Mara Olsen, Co-Founder and Director, and Krystal Burns, Community Outreach Coordinator, from One Solution Global (https://onesolutionglobal.org) toured ICA GreenRise.  Their non-profit is working to solve global challenges by helping individuals change within.  Their programs, Rebels for Peace and Jetpack for Youth Leadership, work with youth to discover solutions to violence and initiate community engagement.  ICA and One Solution are exploring a partnership as we exchange curriculums focused on positive images and positive actions.  We are also planning how One Solution’s two 2021 summer intern programs can visit GreenRise and have a conversation about changing images.  We found that One Solution and ICA have a lot in common relative to finding ways to change images in individuals and groups. 

Karen Snyder              karen.snyder10@gmail.com



Svetasala Matova
ICA Ukraine


Clean water saves lives in a Congolese village
Lotumbe, a remote village of 3000 located in the heart of the world’s second largest rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has partnered with Rotary Addison Club in Texas USA and HandUp Congo, an Australian-based non-profit, on a clean water project. Led by the community’s grassroots development committee, Debout Lotumbe, the villagers now have access to a rehabilitated water cistern as well as 5 new wells. This will reduce water borne diseases and save the women and children many hours each day, as they focus now on income generating projects and education rather than fetching water from the river. For information: handupcongo@gmail.com.

Helping African refugees with resettlement in Australia
Covid-19 has meant that Australian volunteers who usually travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo to work on development projects must stay at home. For the past year, they have been putting their energies instead into helping facilitate the resettlement of African refugees in rural areas. This program is designed to address the chronic labour shortage in regional areas, while simultaneously affording jobs and better living standards for migrants and refugees. As an example, two non-profits have been collaborating on the resettlement initiative in Taree, New South Wales:  the Great Lakes Agency for Peace and Development www.glapd.org.au and HandUp Congo www.handupcongo.org. Currently 6 Congolese adults and 10 children are now settled in Taree, with employment and housing. The challenges include lack of English, literacy and driving skills, however local volunteers have become champions and are assisting in these areas. For information: handupcongo@gmail.com.

Lucy Hobgood-Brown

HandUp Congo www.handupcongo.org

Celebrating 15 years of Congo collaboration!


Here is a brief summary of the Zoom session held last week focused around John Burbidge’s book. Using the ICA’s Global Schedule of Events.

This week’s Zoom session based on John Burbidge’s book MORE THAN HALFWAY TO SOMEWHERE was an engaging and lively affair. Sponsored by the Institute of Cultural Affairs ‘Global Schedule of Events’, it attracted 27 people from five countries. Host Nancy Trask (picture attached) interviewed John then split participants into groups in which they shared stories of how their lives had been changed by exposure to other cultures. Said ICA Program Coordinator Karen Snyder, “It was a great example of having a conversation about a book and engaging the group in their life experience in relation to the group topic!”

Here are a few participant’s responses:
•It was a great conversation. Well done, team – John, Nancy and those who led the group chats, using Zoom technology. A valuable reflection.

•So glad you wrote your book, John, and thanks to Nancy and Karen for organizing the event. We’ve all been changed by our encounters with other cultures. And that process is nowhere near done yet!

•Congrats on your event spanning part of the globe.

•Sending love from Australia for all your wonderful work.

•That’s awesome!

John Burbidge


Published by The Institute of Cultural Affairs International,
401 Richmond Street West, Toronto, ON. M5V 3A8 Canada
All rights reserved.

For more information or to unsubscribe, email: