To properly carry out the project « Conserving wild plants and habitats for people across the Mediterranean », Mrs Kabouya Ilham, national coordinator of the project and Deputy Director of Protected Areas and Natural Habitats at the General Direction of Forests (DGF) organized, from April 3rd to 7th, 2017, at the Gouraya National Park a training about « IPA mapping methodology ». 8 DGF executives participated and worked together to map the natural habitats of two Important Plant Areas (IPAs): the Gouraya National Park and the Mount Chelia.
Professor Roger Manière, expert in Mediterranean ecology and spatial imagery processing from Aix-en-Provence-Marseille University, hosted this workshop in order to allow project managers to acquire a methodological approach towards natural habitat mapping based on geographical information systems.
The objective of this reflection, inspired by IUCN’s approach on IPAs, was to elaborate a standardized protocol about natural habitat mapping using QGIS in order to generalize it for other Algerian IPAs and protected areas.
Several topics were addressed, including: methodological concepts about mapping and teledetection, data acquisition and processing, and the typology that enables the description of natural habitats and the perception levels adapted to the issues and challenges faced by protected areas.
This workshop demonstrated the necessity to have a good knowledge of ecological concepts linked to environmental mapping and to agree on « the concept of habitat », for which long and passionate discussions took place between Mrs Yahi Nassima, scientific coordinator of the project; Mr Briki Athmane, coordinator of Chelia IPA and Mr Benaida Halim, coordinator of Gouraya IPA.
This project represents an ambitious initiative to develop plant conservation actions in the South and East of the Mediterranean region (including north Africa, middle east and Balkans) combining the experience and expertise of Plantlife International and IUCN.