Algeria: More than 10,000 hectares of UNESCO  protected park destroyed by fires

Algeria: More than 10,000 hectares of UNESCO protected park destroyed by fires

This park in the northeast of the country, considered one of the main reservoirs of biodiversity in the Mediterranean, has a total area of ​​almost 80,000 hectares.

Article written byplaceholder 36b69ec8

Posted on 08/20/2022 5:25 PM Updated on 08/20/2022 5:30 PM

Reading time: 1 min

It has a unique ecosystem in the Mediterranean basin and has been classified as a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. More than 10,000 hectares of El Kala National Park (Algeria) have been destroyed by wildfires that have ravaged northern Algeria in recent days, academic Rafik Baba Ahmed told AFP.

This park, considered one of the main reservoirs of biodiversity in the Mediterranean, has a total area of ​​almost 80,000 hectares. It is home to several hundred species of birds, mammals and fish, which give it “an extraordinary biological richness”, points out Rafik Baba Ahmed, former director of this park.

The scientist says he is “pessimistic” about the park’s future because “over time, fires weaken the forest, leaving it vulnerable to other attacks such as harmful insects, but most importantly human activity.”

Forest fires in northern Algeria have almost all been extinguished, the fire department said on Saturday. According to official figures, the number of people killed by the gigantic fires on Wednesday and Thursday in the north of the country is at least 37.

The north of Algeria is ravaged by forest fires every summer, a phenomenon that is increasing every year due to climate change, leading to droughts and heat waves. Algeria, the largest country in Africa, has only 4.1 million hectares of forest with a very low reforestation rate (1.76%).