(Posted 26th August 2022)
The cash strapped if not outright broke government of South Sudan has taken a forward looking decision to support wildlife conservation in the country, after news emerged that African Parks – THE premier African privately managed conservation group – has signed an agreement with them in Juba yesterday.
Both Boma and Badingilo National Parks will now be managed by African Parks and given their track record in other conservation hotspots like Garamba National Park in Eastern Congo, are hopes high that the two key conservation areas in South Sudan will from now on see a full recovery and can look at a bright future.
Said Peter Fearnhead in a message overnight, formally confirming the deal:
|Giraffes in Badingilo National Park, South Sudan © Ted Woods|
Dear Friends, It is with great pleasure that I announce the addition of two new parks to our portfolio, Boma National Park and Badingilo National Park in South Sudan.
This new agreement is a momentous step for both African Parks and the Government of South Sudan as we embark on this journey together to revive and protect one of the planet’s most significant landscapes for the overall benefit of the country’s people and its unique biodiversity.
The 10-year renewable agreement was signed in partnership with the South Sudanese Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism on 25th of August 2022 at an event held in Juba and attended by Major General Peter Loro Alberto, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Honourable Minister Rizik Zakaria Hassan, the Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, and African Parks’ CEO, Peter Fearnhead.
Both these parks form a critical part of the biodiversity-rich landscape that support one of the world’s largest wildlife migrations, consisting of hundreds of thousands of white-eared kob that move from the Boma-Badingilo landscape into Gambella National Park in Ethiopia each year. A rich variety of other species are also found in the region, including tiang, Mongalla gazelle, Nubian giraffe, Lelwel hartebeest and Beisa oryx. A number of different ethnic groups with distinct traditions, cultures, and livelihood activities form part of this landscape, and engaging around the needs of these groups forms a primary part of our management plan.
There is no doubt that this agreement to realise the full potential of these two parks in South Sudan is one of the most ambitious conservation efforts ever to be undertaken in Africa.
We look forward to this next chapter and believe that with sound management, together with the existing intact ecosystems, we will see a quick recovery of diminished wildlife populations and long-term benefits for communities.
Adding Boma and Badingilo to our mandate brings our footprint to 22 parks and approximately 20 million hectares under our management responsibility.
This has only been made possible thanks to the support of South Sudan’s Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, the generosity of The Wyss Foundation and the commitment of the entire African Parks team.
To read more about these extraordinary parks please read the press release.
|Peter FearnheadCEOAfrican Parks|