African Parks is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Chad to assess the challenges and opportunities that would result from setting up Ennedi as a protected area.

The MoU was concluded between the Honorable Mrs Rosine Djibergui Amane Baîwong, the Minister for Agriculture and the Environment, and Peter Fearnhead, African Parks’ CEO in the country’s capital, N’Djamena, on 3 February.

Located in north-east Chad, in the Sahara Desert, Ennedi straddles the important Sahara-Sahelian and Sahel biomes. It is a proposed UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its towering rock arches, rock paintings spanning thousands of years, and its quivering yellow sands.

In terms of the MoU, African Parks will spend 20 months obtaining an understanding of the landscape, its people and its challenges in order that a new protected area measuring between three to four million hectares could be proclaimed.

"We are privileged to have been invited by the Chadian Government to assess the potential for establishing this unique ecological area as a protected area, and to help restore its biodiversity.” said Peter Fearnhead, African Parks’ CEO.

African Parks, in partnership with the Government of Chad, manages Zakouma National Park in the south of the country. Conservation initiatives implemented in Zakouma since 2010 have not only thwarted the demise of its elephant population but led to a settling of the species and the birth of elephant calves. Between 30 and 40 calves have been born in Zakouma since the end of 2013 and not a single elephant has been poached inside the park for more than three years.