List of national parks of Niger

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Niger is home to a number of national parks and protected areas, including two UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserves. The protected areas of Niger normally have a designation and status determined by the Government of Niger. Further, fourteen sites also have international designations, applied by UNESCO and the Ramsar Convention on wetlands protection. Protected lands in Niger are managed by a number of authorities, and the areas of authority and structure have changed a number of times since independence. Some of the first Reserves, Parks, and protected areas were designated under French Colonial rule and much of the legal regime is based on these colonial laws. Niger is also party to a number of international agreements and participates in international ecological, conservation, and resource management programs with its neighbors, region, and worldwide.

Type and number of protected areas[edit]

Protected lands in Niger fall under both national and international regulation, and are managed by elements of the Nigerien government, as well as regional bodies and international designation oversight bodies. Initial classification of lands as legally protected for conservation of flora, fauna, landscape, and resource protection was done under French Colonial rule beginning in 1936. Much of the legal framework of land management and protection is based on these original regulations. As of the late 1990s, most land management was the area of the Nigerien Natural Resource Management Unit (Cellule de Gestion des Resources Naturelles) of the Inter-ministerial Sub-committee for Rural Development (Sous-Comité Interministériel chargé de la politique de Développement Rural au Niger), which includes ministries focused on environmental issues, industrial resource extraction, economic growth, and farming. Nigerien designated protected areas were administered by the Direction of Fauna, Fisheries and Aquaculture (Direction de la Faune, de la Pêche et de la Pisciculture - DFPP) of the Ministry of Hydrology and the Environment (Ministère de l'Hydraulique et de l'Environnement - MHE). Actual protection is the responsibility of the DFPP's Fauna and Apiculture Management Service (Service d'Aménagement de la Faune et de l'Apiculture - SAFA) which in 1987 had only 40 staff actually managing or guarding sites.[1]

Note: most sites have at least two overlapping designations.

National Designations[edit]

Various Nigerien government designations, administered by the "Direction de l'Environnment" office of the Ministry of Hydrology and Environment.[1]

  • 4 Total Faunal Reserves, the equivalent of the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN Category IV - Habitat/Species Management Area.
  • 1 Partial Faunal Reserve, the equivalent of the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN Category IV.
  • 1 Faunal Reserve Buffer Zone.
  • 1 National Nature Reserve, the equivalent of the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN Category IV.
  • 1 Strict Nature Reserve, the equivalent of the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN Category Ia (Nature Reserve).
  • 1 National Park, the equivalent of the World Commission on Protected Areas/IUCN Category II (National Park).
Niger's national parks and protected areas (yellow).
  • 79 Forest Reserves (Forêts Classées) totaling 212,000 ha
  • 51 restoration and land protection areas totaling 69,000 ha

International Conventions and Programmes[edit]

Additionally, several sites have international designations as protected areas. As signatories of the below conventions, the Government of Niger places restrictions on use of these lands.

VII. "to contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance";
IX. "to be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals";
X. "to contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-site conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation."

Other international conventions ratified by the Nigerien government include the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Migratory Species, CITES, the Convention to Combat Desertification, the Convention on Climate Change, the African - Eurasian Waterfowl Agreement, the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, the Convention on Game Hunting and the Convention on Plant Protection.[1]

Nongovernmental[edit]

A number of Nigerien sites are recognised by conservation programmes as conservation areas of special importance, even where there is no formal government convention. Notable among these are 15 BirdLife International designated Important Bird Areas (IBA). [3] Many of these are additional designations given to existing Nigerien government, IUCN, or Ramsar designated sites.

List of sites[edit]

Parks and Reserves[edit]

UNESCO World Heritage Site 573 criteria vii, ix, x
World Heritage established 1991, endangered 1993
7,736,000 hectares
Aïr and Ténéré National Nature Reserve, IUCN type IV[4]
Established 1 January 1988
6,456,000 hectares
Aïr and Ténéré Addax Sanctuary [5]
Strict Nature Reserve IUCN type Ia
Established 1 January 1988
1,280,000 hectares
Total Faunal Reserve IUCN type IV
Establishment 25 April 1955, by Law No. 3120/S.E. Also a 'fôret classée'
76,000 hectares
Total Faunal Reserve IUCN type IV
788,928 hectares
Total Faunal Reserve IUCN type IV
75,600 hectares
Total Faunal Reserve
700,000 hectares
  • Termit Massif Faunal Reserve Buffer Zone: This forms a half ring around the southern border of the larger Termit Massif Total Reserve.[8]
Faunal Reserve Buffer Zone
National Park - IUCN type II
UNESCO World Heritage Site 749 criteria vii, ix, x[9]
World Heritage established 1996
220,000 hectares
Partial Faunal Reserve IUCN type IV
Established 1 January 1962
306,500 hectares

Ramsar Wetland sites[edit]

Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar), Inland Wetlands[11]
Established 1981
66,829 hectares
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
376,162 hectares
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
318,966 hectares
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
25,366 hectares
  • Gueltas et Oasis de l'Aïr Wetlands sites
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • La Mare de Lassouri Wetlands
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • La Mare de Tabalak Wetlands
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • Lac Tchad Wetlands - Niger
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • Oasis du Kawar Wetlands
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • Parc national du "W" Wetlands - Niger
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • Zone humide du moyen Niger Wetlands - Niger
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)
  • Zone humide du moyen Niger II Wetlands - Niger
Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Niger Conservation, African Bird Club, African Birding Resources (2005-2008).
  2. ^ Quote from Article 3.1 of the Ramsar Convention Treaty, quoted in The Ramsar Convention Manual, 4th Edition, 2006, Section 1.7: What are the commitments of Parties joining the Ramsar Convention?
  3. ^ Niger Important Bird Areas, The African Bird Club. Includes detailed descriptions of each site.
  4. ^ nep-wcmc site record
  5. ^ nep-wcmc site record
  6. ^ unep-wcmc site record
    unep-wcmc site details
  7. ^ unep-wcmc site record
  8. ^ See map here
  9. ^ UNESCO protected area information sheet
  10. ^ nep-wcmc site record
  11. ^ unep-wcmc site record 900597
  12. ^ unep-wcmc site record 902369
  13. ^ unep-wcmc site record 902370
  14. ^ unep-wcmc site record 902738