Chad's newest Wetlands of International Importance
The Ramsar Secretariat is pleased to announce that during a side event organized by DCFAP (Directorate for Fauna Conservation and Protected Areas, Ramsar's administrative authority in Chad) on the 14th of November 2005, which took place at Ramsar's 9th Conference of the Parties, Chad formally received the site certificates for two new Ramsar sites. The two large sites, situated in Chad's southwest, are the Plaines d'inondation du Logone et les dépressions Toupouri and the Réserve de faune de Binder-Léré. WWF's Global Freshwater Program provided valuable assistance to the government of Chad in the preparations for the designations. Chad now has four Ramsar sites with a surface area covering 4,957,068 hectares. Brief descriptions of the sites, prepared by Ramsar's Lucia Scodanibbio from the Ramsar Information Sheets that accompanied the designation letters, can be found here.
Plaines d'inondation du Logone et les dépressions Toupouri. 14/11/05; Chari-Baguirmi, Mayo-Kebbi, Tandjilé; 2,978,900 ha; 10°30'N 016°14'E. One of Africa's largest wetlands, characterized by a succession of rivers, lakes, floodplains and permanent and temporary ponds. The different ecosystems support typical faunal and floral associations, among which are some locally threatened plant species such as the African Palmyra palm and the Néré (Parkia biglobosa). The site also hosts important Occidental Palearctic and Ethiopian migratory species such as the Black Crowned-Crane, the Spur-winged Goose and Dendrocygna species. The floodplains also play an essential role in providing spawning and nursery sites for numerous fish families, which are exploited by the locals throughout the year, using different fishing practices according to season and location. Men are responsible for fishing, while women dry and smoke the fish which is then commercialized. Animal raising, subsistence agriculture (rice, sorghum, taro), a faunal reserve in the northern part, and oil prospecting are other land-uses in the site. Deforestation, poaching, water extraction, pesticide pollution and oil extraction are some of the threats arising from within the site, while irrigation, oil mining and cement production threaten the site's integrity from outside. A management plan is envisaged under the GEF/ World Bank/ UNDP Lake Chad Basin Commission project. Ramsar site no. 1560.
Réserve de faune de Binder-Léré. 14/11/05; Mayo-Kebbi; 135,000 ha, 09°18'N 014°17'E. A variety of wetland types, including lakes, permanent and temporary streams, and swamps at the Chad-Cameroonian border. The renowned Gauthiot Waterfalls, which are venerated by the indigenous Moundang people, prevent the rich fish fauna from moving from the Niger river system to the Lake Chad basin. The site hosts a number of endangered species such as the manatee, crocodiles, hippos, and cheetahs and is a feeding ground for many waterbirds including Dendrocygna spp, Balearica pavonina, Pelecanus rufescens and Plectropterus gambensis. Fishing is a very important activity for local people, with fish sold in the surrounding towns. Agriculture, hunting and livestock raising are also carried out. In the surrounding areas, a number of activities threaten the site or have the potential to do so, including oil exploration, gold and cement mining, and a cotton factory. An environmental information and training programme is being carried out to integrate an environmental component in primary school curricula. Ramsar site no. 1561.