Agence D’Information D’Afrique Centrale
February 23, 2018

The South African NGO signed an agreement with the Government of Chad on
February 19 to manage the Ennedi Nature and Cultural Reserve, a World
Heritage site in the north-east of the country, the NGO said in a statement.

The Ennedi represents another unprecedented commitment by the Government of
Chad to the long-term protection of their wild and cultural landscapes.

The agreement would not be possible without the support of the financial
partners. Thus, the European Union committed up to 4.7 million euros and it
was announced at their annual gala Goed Geld that the Dutch Lottery of
postal codes also invested three million euros for the management of said
nature reserve.

Over a vast area of 40,000 km2, the reserve is a unique carved sandstone
landscape of extremely rich cultural heritage, with traces of human
presence dating back more than 10,000 years. It is characterized solely by
huge rocky arches, pillars, gorges, plateaus and canyons that harbor
permanent water sources creating a unique desert ecosystem.

A crocodile reserve estimated at more than 525 flora species and at least
199 bird species cross their transcontinental migratory routes. It is also
home to one of the largest and most significant rock art collections,
testifying to the importance humans have played here for millennia.

However, uncontrolled management and intensive poaching over the last 50
years have largely eradicated most of the wildlife that once existed in
Ennedi. Unsustainable activities such as poaching, agricultural practices,
timber harvesting, unregulated vehicle activities and the degradation of
archaeological sites continue to threaten its natural and cultural assets.

As part of this new agreement, the Republic of Chad and the NGO African
Parks are committed to the complete restoration and long-term protection of
the Ennedi. Both parties will engage and integrate the local population in
the conservation of the reserve.

Management priorities also include developing the necessary infrastructure,
launching important law enforcement and conservation activities, including
reintroductions of key species, and improving tourism to provide the
necessary revenues to the region.

With the government and partners, the NGO African Parks aims to secure a
future for this world-class natural and cultural heritage site, benefiting
the ecosystem and the thousands of people who depend on it.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.