SWS President Talks
Glimpses of SWS History
By: Prof. Ibrahim M. Hashim
President of SWS
The history of Sudanese Wildlife goes back to1960’s when it was established in University of Khartoum, affiliated with the Department of Zoology. Most of the members were teaching staff from the university and few members from then the Game Preservation Department. Activities of the society did not go beyond sporadic meetings that discussed wildlife problems. Ultimately, the society was unable to survive.
Ten years later the society was initiated again under slightly more favorable conditions. Members were mostly from Faculty of Science, University of Khartoum and researchers from the Research Section of Game and Fisheries Directorate. Lead by the wildlife researchers, the society survived for a short time with limited activities. “Sudanese Wildlife Society” implied specialty so wildlife activities and projects to attract funding in that direction were not successful. Instead “Sudanese Environment Conservation Society” was initiated to address broad environmental issues.
The year 2000 was the right time to establish the society: The public awareness about wildlife conservation increased, colleges that instruct wildlife curricular tripled, most university started teaching wildlife course in range science, forestry, animal production and veterinary science, and the Wildlife Conservation General Administration intended to appoint qualified wildlife officers.
Fifth July 2000 was the birthday of SWS when a General Assembly was held at the Natural History Museum Hall of University Khartoum, to select the transitional Executive Committee. SWS vision, mission and objectives strongly address issues of importance to the wildlife conservation which have opened avenues of cooperation with international organizations concerned with wildlife conservation. The society conducted many projects in collaboration with the Royal Society for the Protection of birds (RSPB), The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), The International Crane Foundation (ICF), the Horn of America Regional Environmental Center (HoA-REC&N) and Birdlife International.
Birdlife helped building the capacity of SWS. A 6-year strategy, governance and financial procedure were developed. The 7-memer Executive Committee routinely holds a monthly meeting, in addition to any other emergency meetings. A General Assembly is held annually in order to register the society in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. The General Assembly holds a meeting every three years to renew the Executive Committee.
Today, biodiversity is eroding very fast. Taking the Dinder National Park of Sudan as an example, species is lost every 10 years, which reminds the future of biodiversity in protected areas and other wildlife habitat to be precarious. Actions are urgently needed through supporting the society or executing conservation projects in partnership with society in order to stop the impetus of biodiversity erosion.
Ibrahim M. Hashim,