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Mauritania - Main Details

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Status and Trends of Biodiversity


Although Mauritania’s biodiversity suffers greatly from natural phenomena such as desertification and droughts, the country possesses areas of special interest with regards to biodiversity. The Parc National du Banc d’Arguin is a vast wetland comprising a great variety of birds and animals. Moreover, Mauritania is home to the biggest wader population in the world and millions of migratory birds come to the country to stay through the winter months. As is the case for most countries, human activities are also threatening biodiversity resources. Many agrobiological resources that are essential to Mauritania’s food security are now threatened notably because of inappropriate agricultural practices. In addition, illegal trafficking, diseases in animal population, killings of animals considered harmful, and bush fires contribute to the degradation of natural resources. Several of the country’s species are now threatened such as the Dorcas gazelle, the Addax, the Roan Antelope, the ostrich, the crocodile, and the manatee.

National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan

Major features of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan

The strategy comprises eight major principles related to: value of biodiversity; sustainable development; in-situ conservation; ex-situ conservation; participation of population; rational management and ecosystem approach; indigenous and local knowledge and practices; collaboration between departments and levels of government, and sharing of costs, knowledge and benefits. Furthermore, the document focuses on 17 sectoral themes including conservation, territory planning, biotechnologies and biosafety, and participation of population, NGOs, and the private sector.

Implementation of the Convention

Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target

Mauritania intends to achieve this target through the implementation of national plans and international treaties (ex. CBD, CITES, reforestation plan, strategy on rural development, strategy on conservation of nature, etc.) The Third National report mentions legislations for specific issues related to the six work programmes of the CBD. Various quotas established also contribute to protecting species and ecosystems.

Initiatives in Protected Areas

The national parks and reserves cover more than 2 487 000 ha. Two parks, the “Parc National du Banc d’Arguin” and the “Parc National du Diawling” are listed as Ramsar sites. In addition, 30 forests are currently under protection (48 000 ha). Problems occur in managing these protected areas for such reasons as the lack of financial and technical resources, low participation of local populations (which often don’t understand the purpose of these sites), lack of data, and low representation of arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Some additional projects regarding protected areas are being considered.

Initiatives for Article 8(j)

A study on article 8j has been undertaken but there was no follow up due to lack of funds.

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  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme