Tuesday, August 22, 2006

UNESCO Supports Wildlife Conservation Policies in Darfur

The Radom Biosphere Reserve in Darfur, Sudan has a great variety of climate and ecosystems; each with distinct group of faunal and floral compositions, and a good representation of the African wild species. These ecosystems, -which are considered to be of great economic, scientific, recreational, biological and cultural values-, need to be protected and sustainably managed.

A number of questionnaires were developed to obtain a general idea on the socioeconomic status of the displaced people, and seek solutions to compromise their living conditions in a way that does not conflict with the conservation policy. It appears that modern weapons have replaced the old traditional primitive tools and have modified the hunting techniques of many people willing to maximize their yields of sun-fried meat. The desperate need for protein by the ever growing human populations coupled with easiness of possessing automatics triggered this grave but tragic situation whereby several species are believed to have completely migrated and abandoned the area.

On the wake of signing Naivasha peace agreement between the government of the Sudan and the southern rebels, resource depletion was in part eased when southerners started to return to their home villages. Similar scenery is anticipated for Darfur. It should be emphasized that both security and food are the ultimate needs of the people, therefore, only permanent peace can stop this misery and bring back conditions stable. This would of course necessitate public awareness program that addresses and reflects both the benefits of peace and the negative impacts of war. Nevertheless, the situation will remain catastrophic unless the warring parties agree upon efficient and sincere disarmament program, and the international community assumes a positive role towards a lasting compromise to the political conflict. The planned program should specify certain areas as weapon free zones that will serve as asylums for wild fauna under full protection by the government of the state. This would be the first step towards enabling the entire environment to recover and restore viability.

Concerned with the reduction of biodiversity loss, the improvement of livelihoods, the enhancement of social, economic, and cultural conditions for environmental sustainability, and with the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goal 7 on environmental sustainability, UNESCO has, since its early days, initiated a vast array of research programs and activities focusing on humans' impacts on biodiversity, as well as how biodiversity affects human activities. UNESCO underscores the importance of biosphere reserves and calls for the protection of the biosphere even in times of war and other human tragedies.

Read More
*Click here for full report
* Biosphere reserves
*People, Biodiversity and Ecology
* UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB)

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