Thank you for this year together!
As 2022 draws to a close, we wanted to thank you for your continued support throughout the year. The past 12 months have seen many great accomplishments, all of which you have made possible.
Thank you for your commitment to Sahara Conservation.
Thanks to your support, we have many successes to celebrate together.
- In March, two animal translocations were completed as part of the Oryx project: 25 addax, 20 scimitar-horned oryx, and 5 dama gazelles joined the pre-release enclosures of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve (OROAGR).
- Our dama gazelle population program has also progressed. The in-situ captive breeding of dama gazelles in the reserve almost doubled this year, going from 12 to 21 animals.
- This summer, we released a second group of North African ostriches in the OROAGR after fitting them with GPS transmitters, so we can track their movements and study their behavior.
- Our partner Wings for Conservation flew 7 missions into the OROAGR to provide an aerial support to help monitor key wildlife populations in the reserve.
- This year we joined the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals project aimed to halt the extinction of the last wild addax in Niger. Our objective was to identify wild addax in the Tin Toumma area and fit them with GPS collars to allow tracking the movements and survival of some of the last wild individuals. However, we were unfortunately unable to find any addax in the area due to bad weather conditions.
- We carried out several anti-poaching surveillance missions to protect the dama gazelles in the Aïr and Ténéré National Nature Reserve.
- In May, a second transfer of ostriches was carried out from the Kellé breeding center to the Gadabeji Biosphere Reserve.
- In November, we supported Giraffe Conservation Foundation for “Operation Sahel II“: the translocation of four new West African giraffes from the “Giraffe Zone”, next to Niamey, to the Gadabeji Biosphere Reserve.
The individuals installed in the reserve in 2018 are thriving in their new environment, where we were happy to welcome three baby giraffes in 2022!
- As part of the Egyptian Vulture New LIFE project, funded by the European Union LIFE program, we conducted massive awareness and capacity building campaigns in the Zinder and Maradi regions. In total, more than 2,200 people participated in our various awareness-raising activities.
This year, only one part of a vulture was found for sale in the markets, compared to 36 in the same markets of the zone in 2019, demonstrating the positive impact or our work on vulture conservation.
WORKING WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES
- In 2022, we provided school material (notebooks, books, pens) as well as furniture for classrooms lacking resources. 15 schools, with 1,400 students, have benefited from this support in Niger.
- In Chad as well, we have carried out similar actions within the framework of the POROA project, providing the provincial authorities of Wadi Fira with 4,500 notebooks and more than 2,000 school books.
- In addition, one of our objectives is to provide basic health care assistance to vulnerable populations living in the areas where we operate. In partnership with Esafro, we conducted four nomadic health missions in Niger this year in the Gadabéji and Aïr regions, providing care to more than 550 people, the majority of whom were women and children.
This year, we concluded the four-year project to support the development and management of the Ouadi Rimé-Ouadi Achim Game Reserve in Chad. The culmination of this project was the production of the Reserve Management Plan, product of a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders in and around the reserve, including administrative and traditional authorities, among which were the 27 traditional leaders.
But this project is not an end. We prefer to see it as the beginning of a new phase for the reserve, for the pastoral and local communities that depend on this area to thrive, and for the biodiversity that provides important ecosystem services that benefit everyone.
This new phase is supported by the Local Development and Climate Change Adaptation Project – ALBIA project – for which Sahara Conservation is responsible for improving the management of the OROAGR. This project is coordinated by the Chad Ministry of the Environment, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and funded by the World Bank.
CHAMPIONING SAHARAN BIODIVERSITY
- As experts of the area, one of our missions is to convene and inspire the Sahel and Sahara conservation community at the highest-levels, mobilizing support and resources needed for empowering local actors and delivering impact on the ground. With this in mind, this year, we have multiplied our presence in key regional and international events, including the update of the West African giraffe conservation strategy in Niger, the first Congress of African protected areas in Rwanda, the IUCN French Nature Congress, the Pan African Ornithology Congress, the West African Vulture Conservation Strategy Workshop, the update of the North African Ostrich Conservation Strategy in Niger, etc.
- We also brought together, for its 21st edition, the Sahel and Sahara Interest Group, which was held online and gathered some 100 participants who were able to learn from more than 30 presentations about conservation work carried out in the region.
- We published the 30th issue of Sandscript, dedicated to veterinary aspects of conservation, and organized our first webinar, dedicated to the One Health approach to conservation in the Sahel and Sahara.
We have been able to achieve these results through strong partnerships with government authorities, donors, technical partners and in-country teams.
We take this opportunity to extend our thanks to all of them.
Sadly, 2022 also had its share of difficulties, unexpected events and sadness.
Our thoughts are with the loved ones of friends and colleagues we have lost this year.
Mark Stanley-Price and Kallé Dakou are forever in our hearts.