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To conserve biodiversity in Djibouti by means of exemplary actions of protection and development
Djibouti has an amazing biodiversity that has been dramatically reduced over the years. In the middle of a very troubled region – the Horn of Africa – between Eritrea, Somalia and Ethiopia subjected to human conflicts, wars and natural disasters such as serious droughts, Djibouti now offers the possibility of long-lasting conservation efforts thanks to the – for the region unusual – political stability and effective laws that were put in place to protect the remaining biodiversity. Financial and technical means were lacking and this is why three associations (Association Beauval Conservation et Recherche – ABCR in France, Association Territoires Responsables – TER_RES in France and Association DECAN in Djibouti) joined together to develop programmes and resources enabling the conservation of Djibouti's unique biodiversity.
The general programme is divided into five different sites:
Decan: After the transfer of emblematic species from Europe to Djibouti, such as Somali wild asses (Equus africanus somalicus), Grevy's zebras (Equus grevyi) and Beisa oryx (Oryx beisa beisa) (born in European zoos) that are extinct or highly threatened in this country, the goal is to create a capacity building centre in Decan where different actions will be developed in order to enable teachers, students and visitors to learn, interpret, be trained and develop research in the field of ecology linked to sustainable development.
Djalelo: The goals are to protect the incredible biodiversity of this natural site through the creation of a protected reserve and to develop an ecotourism programme, a training site for rangers that will be used not only there but at the other sites of the programme as well, with the IUCN study the possibility of reintroducing Beisa oryx into this area where they used to occur but are now extinct, and develop compensation activities for local people.
The region of the three borders (Mont Ali-Sabieh): The goal is to create a protected area for the Beira antelope and to develop an ecotourism programme using the local human population and local resources, including camel caravans, discovery of nature and discovery of agriculture activities in the desert. We will also produce hay in order to feed the goats of the local people and nomads to keep the goats from grazing in areas where the Beira antelope occurs and, therefore, to avoid competition.
The Adailou region: The goal here is to develop integrated actions to restore and preserve a mountain natural environment that is presently overgrazed, to develop activities in favour of the economical development of local people and to monitor and put in place protection measures for large predators such as leopards and spotted hyaenas.
Fifth site to be defined: The goal is to assess, together with the IUCN Equid Specialist Group, the need and viability of reintroducing Somali wild asses and Grevy's zebras into Djibouti where they are now extinct, but where they used to occur, and to define an eventual location for this.
WAZA Conservation Project 09014 is implemented by Beauval Zoo, Association Decan and Association TER_RES, with support provided by CERZA, Zoo La Palmyre, Liberec Zoo, Gdansk Zoo, Chemnitz Zoo, Montpellier Zoo, Tabernas, EAZA Somali wild ass EEP, EAZA Grevy's zebra EEP, Djibouti Presidency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Djibouti, Ministry of Environment of Djibouti and Ministry of National Solidarity of Djibouti.
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