Biodiversity conservation and the private sector in Mauritania

Show notes

What better way to start the week with another episode of Ocean InSight! For this fourth episode, we had an enjoyable conversation with some of the brains behind the WASP (West African Biodiversity under Pressure) project.

Sandra Kloff is working for Nature Mauretania, an NGO dedicated to the integrated management of wetlands, coastal ecosystems and their resources in a sustainable manner. André Freiwald is the director Of the Senckenberg am Meer Institute in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Both have been involved in the region for a long time.

We had an interesting discussion about the unusual alliance they formed with stakeholders exploiting the marine resources (fisheries, O&G) to better protect biodiversity including the famous Banc D'Arguin Marine Park. This largest protected area on the continent is sometimes called the African Wadden Sea because of similarities in landscape and also because it harbors many of the same wading birds migrating to the area for the winter. However, this protected area is threatened by large-scale exploitation happening outside the borders. The unprotected ecosystems lying more offshore include a newly discovered, cold water reef system in the world, numerous canyons, and impressive pelagic biodiversity on which life in the African Wadden Sea depends as well.

In the end, they all shared their vision on what impact they are hoping to make in the Mauretanian biodiversity conservation landscape. So dive in with us!

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