SOUTH SUDAN: African Parks to manage Boma and Badingilo parks for 10 years

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SOUTH SUDAN: African Parks to manage Boma and Badingilo parks for 10 years © Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

The conservation organisation African Parks has signed a partnership with the South Sudanese authorities for the delegated management of Boma and Badingilo National Parks. These are the two main biodiversity hotspots in South Sudan.

African Parks is expanding its activities in East Africa. The Johannesburg, South Africa-based biodiversity conservation organisation has signed a partnership with the South Sudanese Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism. The recently signed agreement covers the management of Boma and Badingilo national parks, including wildlife corridors and extension areas proposed by the South Sudanese government, forming a conservation area that could be “well in excess of three million hectares”, says African Parks.

According to the organisation led by Peter Fearnhead, this commitment by the South Sudanese government is an important step in the long-term protection of these vital ecosystems and in ensuring sustainable benefits for people and wildlife.

Biodiversity hotspots to preserve

African Parks will manage the two national parks and their corridors for a 10-year renewable period. Badingilo National Park covers an area of 10,000 m2 in the Equatoria region. The park, established in 1992, hosts the second largest animal migration in the world each year (after the Serengeti in Tanzania), involving multiple species of antelopes, including the reedbuck, tiang and white-eared kob. The park is home to other iconic African wildlife such as the Nubian giraffe, a subspecies considered extinct in several East and North African countries, where it once lived.

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It is therefore crucial to strengthen wildlife conservation in Badingilo National Park, together with Boma National Park, which was established in 1977 on 22,800 km2 of grasslands and floodplains in eastern South Sudan, near the border with Ethiopia.

Ecotourism development

According to African Parks, Boma and Badingilo national parks and their migration corridors are home to an estimated one million antelopes, including the white-eared kob, which is one of the landscape’s most prominent features. “African Parks will work closely with indigenous communities to ensure sustainable socio-economic development and to put in place the necessary tourism infrastructure to fully exploit the potential of these globally important areas. This is just the beginning of our relationship, and we look forward to developing this partnership in the future,” promises Rizik Zakaria Hassan, South Sudan’s Minister for Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.

Badingilo and Boma National Parks are home to other typical sub-Saharan African wildlife species, including elephant, lion, eland, oryx, ostrich, etc. South Sudan is well on its way to developing its tourism sector. In 2019, the East African country welcomed over 664,000 visitors according to CEIC Data.

Jean Marie Takouleu

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