Government, UNESCO vows to save Sudd Wetlands

By Ephraim Modi Duku Sokiri

The National Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) yesterday ended a three-day workshop on awareness about conservation of Sudd Wetlands.

Speaking to the media, the Director General of environmental planning and sustainable development at the Ministry of Environment, Mr. David Batali highlighted areas on why the wetlands should be protected to support the communities within and around the wetlands.

“The Sudd wetlands has so many benefits, economically, it has so many benefits, these benefits are providing resources like food, water, fuel and many others. It also has the function of regulating like the micro climate, floods and many others,” he noted.

The issue of the Sudd Wetlands provoked a national debate that woke every youth in the country against its dredging that was slatted by the government and decision to stop it immediately was made by the president.

“The issue of the dredging, it came up and then I think decisions were made by that time, the president stopped the dredging and then he urged the ministry to undertake some activities on the feasibility study and then to be followed by others,” said the DG Batali.

The Director General also revealed that the ministry in partnership with UNESCO, will continue with the process of conserving the wetlands.

Meanwhile, the National Coordinator for UNESCO, Paul Gore explained that the process was turned down since 2020 due to the pandemic that impacted the country into restrictions on gatherings and locking down the country.

He further said that the program was designed and implemented for the country to develop and conserve the wetlands as a national bio-share.

According to UNESCO, with an estimated area of approximately 57,000 km2, the Sudd wetlands represents one of the largest freshwater ecosystems in the world. The extent of the Sudd wetlands is highly variable; it depends largely on the seasons and years respectively. 

The Sudd Wetlands falls within the “Sudd-Sahelian Flooded Grasslands and Savannas” WWF Global 200 eco-region. It is internationally recognized for its unique ecological attributes that include various endangered mammalian species, antelope migrations, millions of Palearctic migratory birds and large fish populations.

The Sudd has rich and abundant fish populations, a response to the favorable environmental conditions for recruitment and survival offered by its mosaic of habitat types. 

The culture and society of the approximately 1 million people inhabiting the Sudd wetland region are closely linked to its ecological functioning.

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