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28 July 2008

Mott MacDonald helps improve elephant and rhino conservation in Asia

Mott MacDonald has completed a review for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) on how to improve the conservation and protection of endangered species of elephants and rhinos in some of the most biologically diverse habitats of Asia.

Mott MacDonald was commissioned by the WWF in 2008 to review the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS), a species and habitat management programme, and present recommendations to improve its implementation and effectiveness.

The AREAS programme targets the protection of the Asian elephant and three species of Asian rhino – the Javan, Sumatran and Indian - across Asia. All four species are in danger of extinction and are listed on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) latest Red List of Threatened Species.

Wim Verheugt, Mott MacDonald’s project manager commented, “The aim of this review is to further the conservation of endangered species of elephants and rhinos in Asia by focussing on twelve priority landscapes that are of global importance for their biodiversity.”

He added, “By mainstreaming environmental concerns into a wider regional development context, and focusing on policy lobbying and advocacy, Mott MacDonald’s review will help the WWF put the plight of these species on the agenda at international conventions.”

Mott MacDonald was asked to review the existing AREAS programme in terms of its relevance, effectiveness, learning and the efficiency of its implementation, and how these might be enhanced. The project team was also asked to recommend the focus of the next phase of the programme, which will consider field-based conservation, creating conducive policy environments, monitoring, and information sharing, public awareness and building of support.


Notes for editors

1. Technical information

- The AREAS programmme

is focussing on 12 priority landscapes (eight containing rhinos and ten containing elephants) throughout Asia. The selection of these areas was based among others on their global importance for biodiversity (listed as one of the Global 200 Eco-regions) and the existing operational presence of the WWF. The field programmes run in India, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia (Sabah).

- Phases I and II of the AREAS Programme predominantly focus on field activities. Phase III of the AREAS Programme was designed to focus more on knowledge exchange, policy support and fund-raising.

2. About Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald is a global management, engineering and development consultancy with 13,000 staff, £750 million turnover and work in 120 countries for the public and private sectors. The employee-owned company is ranked 8th in the 2008 Sunday Times 20 Best Big Companies to Work For survey. Mott MacDonald’s core business sectors cover buildings, transport, energy, water, environment, health, education, industry, oil and gas, communications and international development.

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