- 0 million
hectares: Boma-Badingilo-Gambella-Omo Landscape
Duration2023 - 2024
EconomyDKK 3,2 million
The Boma-Badingilo-Gambella-Omo Landscape (BBGO) in South Sudan and Ethiopia is one of the most important protected area systems on the continent. Not only does it form part of the second-largest land-mammal migration in Africa, but, extending to Omo National Park in Ethiopia, forms one of the largest contiguous and relatively intact landscapes on the continent – approximately 15 million hectares in size. The BBGO Landscape currently comprises three national parks, Boma and Badingilo in South Sudan and Gambella in Ethiopia, as well as vast areas currently not protected that span from Eastern Afromontane to Saharan Grassland ecoregions, but which contain over half of the annual migration route of four antelope species. Several species suffered significant population losses during the various civil wars, and are now only found in several hundreds, where tens of thousands once roamed.
The BBGO Landscape also supports an important population of the Nubian giraffe, as well as other key species including African elephant, Bohor reedbuck, northern lion, leopard, probably cheetah, central African buffalo, Beisa oryx, wild dog, and pangolins. This high level of biodiversity can be attributed to the large span of ecoregions from Eastern Afromontane to the vast plains. These populations are contiguous to the Gambella National Park in Ethiopia (and to some extent with Omo National Park), making a trans-border conservation effort necessary.
The “Sudd-Sahelian Flooded Grasslands and Savannahs” and “East Sudanian Savannahs” ecoregions centered in the BBGO Landscape with their headwaters, are of inestimable value to the flow of the River Nile and the protection of endemic species, but also support local communities who are directly dependent on its landscapes for livelihoods and well-being.
The BBGO Landscape is threatened not only by direct conservation threats on species and habitat but also by high levels of poverty in both local sedentary and nomadic populations in the periphery, cross border infringement, increasing human footprint, a lack of good governance, insecurity in the respective regions as well as very challenging logistics. In addition, as has been seen in Omo National Park, there is a constant risk of poorly planned large scale agricultural projects and infrastructure developments being developed, in the absence of credible and holistic protected area management in these areas.
We support the development and initial operations of long-term management partnerships to secure key parks and build a support base with local authorities and stakeholders in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The expected outcomes will be as follows:
- Wildlife management to include law enforcement, outreach to poachers and cattle herders to reduce threats and increase wildlife populations. We believe that with existing populations and good management we will see quick recovery of migrating antelope and steady increases in other key species.
- The establishment of governance structures that will result in the maintenance of the ecosystem function and connectivity in the great floodplain east of the Nile, the headwaters, and the migration routes it contains. This will be accomplished by working with the central, regional and local government bodies, local people and other stakeholders.
- Land use plans that will include extension of the current protected areas, formal gazettement of the extended protected areas with proper demarcation.
- Improved engagement, capacity and authority of communities to achieve conservation and livelihood outcomes.
- Strengthened cooperation between all actors, including NGOs, communities, and the GoSS to maximize conservation efforts.
- Decreased conflict over natural resources that leads to enhanced security in the BBL.
- Sustainable economic activities among communities, including diversification of options to better withstand environmental, social and political shocks.
- Community resilience will increase through the strengthening of sustainable livelihood options that reduce dependence on destructive and non-sustainable use of the ecosystem, including reduced poaching and overharvesting of plants/wood products.
- Women and youth will increase their roles in effective management of the BBL.
- Increased ability of wildlife authorities and other relevant enforcement officials to assume their roles in supporting sustainable community conservation in the Landscape.