Thursday 8. September 2022

The Forgotten Park

Alan Deverell, a UW alumni, holds a lunchtime lecture at Vísindaport on Friday 9 September. Alan has incredible experience from working in Africa and often shares his valuable knowledge in lectures, such as at a TEDx talk

“Originally from the UK, I came to Iceland in 2009 as a very 'mature' student to study on the CMM programme at UW.  Despite graduating from a programme focused on the marine and coastal environment, my first job was running a project in the middle of Africa. I have been working in various countries in Africa ever since, none of which has been anywhere near the ocean!

Currently the main focus of my work is protected area management. This involves supporting wildlife authorities to develop programmes to manage their parks and to provide capacity building for rangers and conservation staff. When not working in Africa I spend a lot of time in Iceland although I try my best to programme the projects in Africa for the winter months.

In this talk I will cover the latest project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Maiko National Park has received little support or recognition since its creation in 1970. 

Despite containing one of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity on the planet, it remains little known and is, for all intents and purposes, a forgotten park. Like many protected areas in the DRC, Maiko is now under serious threat from illegal resource extraction, poaching and political instability. Covering an area of over 10,000 square kilometres, with no roads or infrastructure and occupied by a number of armed groups, the conservation challenges facing the park are huge.

Yet now one of these armed groups, who have been occupying the Maiko forest for almost 60 years, may provide some of the answers to protecting this environmentally important landscape and ensuring its survival for future generations.”

Lunch Lectures of Vísindaport are open to the public and start at 12:10pm in the cafeteria at the University Centre of the Westfjords. Alan’s lecture will be in English and streamed via Zoom.

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