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Rewilding The Sahara and The Sahel
Wednesday, 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
February 8, 2023
Date: Wednesday, February 08, 2023
Speaker: John Watkin – Chief Executive Officer, SaharaConservation
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SaharaConservation works to conserve the wildlife, habitats and other natural resources of the Sahara and its bordering Sahelian grasslands. The NGO wants to emphasize the need for scaled up, landscape-level approaches, that integrate wildlife conservation with the realities of human development, with a vision for a Sahara that benefits all inhabitants.
SaharaConservation has an accomplished legacy in Chad of protected area management, focusing on the vast 77,950km2 Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve. Here – and in partnership with Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Government of Chad – SaharaConservation has been reintroducing the scimitar-horned oryx as featured in the film Back to the Wild and reinforcing wild populations of addax and North African ostrich, as well as establishing an in-situ captive breeding group of the Critically Endangered dama gazelles, that number less than 100 individuals remaining in the wild.
In Niger, SaharaConservation spearheaded two translocations of West African giraffes to Gadabeji Biosphere Reserve in collaboration with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation and captive breeding of North African ostriches. SaharaConservation and partners are currently assessing the most effective ways to conserve a sub-population of dama gazelle, as well as engaging in conservation initiatives for six vulture species and three species of Sahel and Sahara bustards.
SaharaConservation also provides the in-country logistics for health and dental missions serving the populations around the GBR in collaboration with Education et Santé sans Frontière (ESAFRO) and L’Afrique à Cœur.