BIOREC Bouhedma: participatory biodiversity conservation at Bouhedma National Park
The internationally recognized Bouhedma National Park has been part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 1977 and is the last remnant of an ancient pre-Saharan savanna of acacia raddiana, a unique biotope in North Africa. This extremely diverse region is a refuge and important migration corridor for several endangered species such as the scimitar oryx (extinct in the wild), addax (critically endangered), red-necked ostrich (critically endangered), Barbary sheep (vulnerable species), gazelle dorcas (at risk), striped hyena (near-threatened) and Bonelli’s eagle (endangered).
Given the lack of data on the species’ current state of conservation and changing threats, the association’s BIOREC Bouhedma project aims to launch a participatory observatory in Bouhedma bringing together all biodiversity stakeholders to generate the knowledge needed for the conservation and sustainable management of the park’s biodiversity.
The association’s project encourages the equal participation of women and men. Young women play a leading role in managing the scientific facility and the nursery producing local essential oils. They will also receive adequate training to access management positions within the community. Young men will be involved in hosting and organizing scientific expeditions, and the entire community will participate in fauna census activities to further participatory management of the park, benefiting all parties.
- Knowledge on the state of biodiversity in the Bouhedma area is improved by participatory research
- Degraded areas are restored and the entire park benefits from effective management
- The living conditions of populations around protected areas are improved through activities generating sustainable income
- All stakeholders are trained in action against poaching and reducing pressures on wild fauna in the study area