ANEF calls on countries to act for the conservation of endangered species

Countries must join forces and establish a strategic action plan to preserve the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna threatened with extinction, warned the director general of the National Agency for Water and Forests, Abderrahim Houmy.

The National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF) is organizing, from March 14 to 16, 2023 in Agadir, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), the third regional seminar level on the conservation and restoration of the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna.

This event, in which nearly 70 participants from more than 24 countries took part, aims to adopt an action plan for the conservation of the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna and their habitats, as mandated by COP13 of the CMS Convention. . It should be noted that this action plan will be presented at the COP14 scheduled for October 23 to 28, 2023 in Uzbekistan.

On the sidelines of this high-level meeting, Morocco and Niger concluded an agreement to strengthen their bilateral cooperation in several key areas, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable management of wildlife and freshwater fishery resources, forestry development and the fight against desertification. This initiative bears witness to the will of the two countries to work together to protect their environment and ensure a future.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Abderrahim Houmy, Director General of ANEF, said that the conservation and restoration of the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna are crucial environmental issues for the preservation of biodiversity in this region. ” The Sahelo-Saharan megafauna includes emblematic species where several species are threatened with extinction“, he continues.

The Sahelo-Saharan zone is one of the most arid regions of the world and the most affected by the phenomenon of erosion of biological diversity, where several species of antelope are either extinct or have a precarious global status, indicated the director.

Houmy points out in particular that the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species, as an important international legal instrument for the protection of migratory species including the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna and as an intergovernmental agreement, constitutes a valuable tool to help protect these migratory species by providing a legal framework for the conservation and restoration of their habitats and by promoting international cooperation between the countries of the region.

By working together, countries can develop effective conservation and management strategies to protect these migratory species and their habitats.“, adds the DG.

It should be noted that in Morocco, several protected areas and National Parks offer refuge to the Sahelo-Saharan megafauna and allow the natural habitats of these species to be preserved. As part of the “Forests of Morocco 2020-2030” strategy, many actions are carried out there to protect species threatened with extinction. Among the eight species targeted by the Concerted Action of the Sahelo-Saharan Megafauna of the convention, six are present in Morocco, namely the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax, the dama gazelle, Cuvier’s gazelle, the Dorcas gazelle and the Barbary sheep.

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