It is with a heavy heart that the Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands has learned of the death of Ilham Kabouya-Loucif. She was the former Director of Flora and Fauna Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries, and passed away on 12 May.
Ilham was Algeria’s National Focal Point for the Convention on Wetlands, and the first woman from Africa to be elected to the Convention’s Standing Committee, at COP13 in Dubai in 2018. She served as an active member of the Standing Committee, representing North Africa, from 2018 to 2022. During her term, she was a member of the Strategic Plan Working Group. After COP14 in Geneva in 2022, she continued to support the implementation of the Convention in Africa and globally as the continent’s representative on the Fifth Strategic Plan Working Group.
At the national level, she worked tirelessly for many years in various positions to prevent wildfires from affecting forests and wetlands and was the country’s focal point for the Mediterranean Wetland Ramsar Regional Initiative (MedWet).
She was a true woman of talent and a champion for wetlands in Algeria and Africa in general. Her determination and leadership in the Ramsar community will be missed. On behalf of the Convention, we extend our deepest condolences to her family, colleagues and all those around the world who are affected by her loss.