By Fekadu Lema
The Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme (EWCP) sponsored the launch of the extension to Borena Sayint Worehimeno National Park (BSWNP) in Amhara on 16 March 2019. The opening of the park was celebrated by a workshop for over 70 stakeholders, park experts, supporters and representatives from federal to woreda (local community) level from 18 institutions. The workshop included question and answer sessions for the stakeholders, as well as a speech by EWCP’s Girma Eshete highlighting the importance of the park for wolves and other wildlife.
EWCP was pleased to support this launch, after supporting the extension throughout the process, by training community scouts, creating a database, and holding community-park meetings, among other activities.
Dr Belayneh Ayele, the General Director from the Amhara Regional Wildlife Authority, introduced the honorable guest Mr Kumera Wakjera, the General Director from the National Wildlife Authority. Mr Wakjira gave an opening speech acknowledging the great effort made by all of the stakeholders to expand the National Park. The new National Park is among a few national parks (Simien Mountains, Bale and Arsi Mountains) in which fragile Afro- and Sub Afro-alpine landscape and biodiversity are protected. He acknowledged concerns of the regional government, and offered gratitude to EWCP and the local communities who have effective conservation bylaws, as they have made the sustainability of the park possible. This collaboration between communities, EWCP and many other organisations ensures the conservation of critically endangered species and their natural habitats. With this remarkable speech he officially opened the Park, with the hope that it will be a great success.
BSWNP is naturally endowed with an impressive landscape, as well as cultural, historical, and living heritages of sacred places. There is great biodiversity in the park, composed of rare, endangered, conservation-dependent and endemic species, so it is a very valuable protected area.
At the end of the workshop, participants were treated to a field visit into the park, to see the beautiful landscapes and wildlife that had been protected by the extension of this park. EWCP hopes this extension to the park will benefit the wolves, other wildlife and the local communities by protecting more of the important Afroalpine habitat.