13 maart 2012


National Conservation Action Plan for the Barbary macaque

MPC organised a very important meeting last October in Azrou together with the Moroccan ministry of Water and Forests inviting national and international experts to create a national conservation action plan for the Barbary macaque (PANSM) in Morocco.
The plan is almost finalized now and that is an amazing achievement. I have been working in Morocco on the conservation of the BM since 2004 and for years I felt that even though slowly things changed for the positive, that the issues I worked on would never get any priority. It is of course understandable that animal welfare and conservation are issues not high on the list of priority in a country that has so many other more pressing issues for the human population, but of course we have always tried to make people see that the loss of the Barbary macaque and its very important habitat would also have disastrous consequences for the local population, such as accelerating desertification and the loss of a very important fresh water supply for Morocco.

Personally I don't like to use human advantages to convince people why it is important that we conserve our natural environment and in particular species, because i think every living organism has the right to be on this planet without it having to serve a purpose for human beings. But I guess many of our own species just don't share the passion some of us have or have other more important issues to deal with.

For this reason I am extremely proud and pleased that we have reached the point where the Moroccan authorities and also a growing number of the Moroccan population are supporting our work.

The latest and hopefully final version has been edited and written by the Water and Forestry department themselves and it is looking really good. Soon we will be ready to start looking for partners and funders to start putting the plan into action. I am very excited and this is the most important moment I have reached in my 7 years of fighting for the conservation of this species, so you can all imagine that I am very happy!

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