Saharan Cypress (cupressus dupreziana)
The Saharan cypress (Cupressus dupreziana) is an extremely rare tree that grows only on the Tassili n'Ajjer plateau in Algeria. There are about 230 of these trees, which grow in depressions on the plateau in Tassili n'Ajjer National Park, where they can find enough water to survive. Some trees are thought to be 2,400 years old. Since Saharan cypresses are on the list of endangered conifers, an action plan to save them was proposed by O.G.E.'s director, Jean-François Asmodé.
The plan entails:
- Adapted management of the cypress population based on diagnostics of grazing intensity, tourist flows, firewood gathering, etc.
- Awareness-raising among the various stakeholders, including Park staff, tourist agency personnel, inhabitants, schoolchildren, etc.
- Creation of guard posts to protect the most vulnerable sites
- A programme to replant specimens nurtured in vivo
- A research programme on the biology of the Saharan cypress
Reintroduction of threatened and extirpated animal species into tassili n'ajjer national park
In Tassili n'Ajjer National Park, O.G.E. was tasked with identifying threatened and extirpated animal species, including the scimitar oryx (Oryx dammah), the addax (Addax nasomaculatus), the dama gazelle (Gazella dama) and the North African ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus). The goal was to draw up a plan for reintroducing them, while conducting awareness-raising efforts among the local populations.
In its report, O.G.E. provided a brief description of each species followed by the means required to help each animal adapt to its new environment.
Creation of a tourist resort (tassili n'ajjer national park)
UNESCO has listed Tassili n'Ajjer National Park as both a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. As part of a project to build a tourist complex in this exceptional setting, O.G.E. was named project manager, in order to ensure an environmental approach to tourism.
The measures O.G.E. proposed included selecting a site where the complex would have the least impact, putting together a garden using native plant species, reducing water consumption, treating and reusing wastewater for irrigation, using solar energy to meet part of the complex's electricity needs, and sourcing materials locally.
Technical conference – Sidi Fredj – Algeria
In 2012 O.G.E., in partnership with the Bexam engineering office (Algeria) and Ecomed, organised a technical conference on the topic of environmental impact studies, which was held under the aegis of the Minister of the Environment.
The event was hugely successful – proof of the significant demand for training.
For several years, O.G.E. has worked on projects in the UAE. For example, Jean-François Asmodé contributed to a development project involving a hotel complex in Abu Dhabi – an ecotourism-themed island. The guiding principle was to introduce tourists to both the specially-built island and the city of Abu Dhabi, allowing them to experience the charms of the East and the values of desert culture.
As part of the project, a hotel on the island provides a peaceful environment in which the natural resources (water, plant species and animals) are managed in such a way that each can "breathe".