Success Stories

A paradigm shift in sustainable construction

59 species detected quickly and affordably with eDNA, supporting local environmental management efforts

A paradigm shift in sustainable construction

Project Snapshot

Safer vertebrate sampling enabled during Ghana's wet season
Optimised resource allocation for assessment and mitigation, whilst yielding valuable biodiversity insights
A road project developed by QGMI, supported by Ramboll and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST)


Embarking on a Ghanaian road construction venture, Ramboll, QGMI, and NatureMetrics seamlessly blended innovation and environmental stewardship. Employing NatureMetrics’ innovative eDNA technology, this project not only contributed towards local ESIA and BAP reporting but also revealed 59 species, including the vulnerable Senegal flapshell turtle, setting a high standard for biodiversity reporting and sustainable construction practices in the region.

Upper East Region, Ghana
Project Date
Project Length
4 years
Sample Type
Group Targeted
Fish, Flapshell Turtle
Freshwater Rivers

What the Client Says

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“QGMI is grateful for the collaboration with NatureMetrics, both in the first stages of the project when supporting the ESIA and during the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) implementation. NatureMetrics provides very replicable and efficient biodiversity analysis, supporting the preparation of reliable biodiversity databases. The results in this project encourage us to explore future collaborations in other projects with NatureMetrics.” - Daniel Alonso MSc, PIEMA - Environmental Coordinator at QGMI

Suzanne Coey, Senior Managing International Biodiversity Consultant at Ramboll, adds “The use of eDNA and DNA barcoding on the Bolgatanga Project has proved invaluable in characterising the Project environment; highlighting the usefulness of these techniques in supplementing conventional survey data to generate a more complete list of biological receptors than would otherwise have been possible. This really does highlight that even in largely modified environments, species of conservation interest will persist in the pockets of suitable habitat which remain, providing opportunities for development projects to safeguard that habitat for the benefit of both the environment and local communities”

The Challenge

QGMI faced the imperative of aligning with local environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) regulations. Their goal: mitigate risks to local wildlife and enhance habitats to support species diversity. However, the project encountered hurdles, particularly during the challenging wet season, requiring innovative solutions to access sites and generate important site-based biodiversity data.

Our Role

In collaboration with NatureMetrics, Ramboll and KNUST, QGMI navigated these challenges. Ten water samples were collected along the Bolgatanga road, complemented by a fishing netting survey. NatureMetrics played a pivotal role, training academics from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to perform eDNA fieldwork during the rainy season. With in-field eDNA kits, swab kits, DNA barcoding services, and a comprehensive DNA analysis/reporting service, the team was equipped for robust biodiversity exploration.

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The Findings

From just ten water eDNA samples, we unveiled a treasure trove of biodiversity. The team detected the vulnerable Senegal flapshell turtle, categorised as Vulnerable by the IUCN. This innovative approach identified 59 species, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the area, including 35 fish, 7 amphibians, 11 birds, 5 mammals, and a reptile. Notably, a critical revelation occurred thanks to DNA analysis, where the field team initially believed they had found a Critically Endangered Nubian Flapshell Turtle but DNA results clarified it to be the vulnerable Senegal Flapshell turtle- Showcasing the usefulness of accurate DNA-based monitoring when dealing with the vast diversity of species occurring on these sites.

The Impact

This project's impact goes beyond species identification and towards transforming how the industry carries out wildlife reporting. The cost-effective and rapid eDNA method allowed for reporting during both wet and dry seasons, driving efficiencies in the construction timeline. NatureMetrics' eDNA survey facilitated the generation of data on 59 species with minimal training and technical supervision, crucial for the ESIA and the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) developed by QGMI. This real-time monitoring now extends throughout the road project's lifecycle, tracking impacts on local habitats and species. QGMI's commitment is reflected in the ongoing Biodiversity Action Plan, including the collection and sampling of another ten water eDNA samples during the dry season, among other biodiversity actions. A testament to how innovation in construction can drive lasting positive outcomes for both nature and infrastructure.

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