Tamer Khafaga

Botanist, Egypt

Conservation Officer, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Research Focus: Bedouin culture and use of indigenous plants for food, shelter, medicine and clothing.

Environmental Leadership: Whilst continuing my leadership role as conservation officer in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, I plan to further my knowledge and understanding of Bedouin culture and the management of arid zone reserves.

My work and study is focused on conservation biology and sustainable use of natural resources. While working with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency as Conservation Botanist in the St. Katherine Protectorate from 1998 to August 2006, I became interested in plant conservation and management. As a team leader with general responsibility for the survey of target species and ecosystems, I oversaw biodiversity and ecological monitoring, management interventions and conducted environmental impact assessments.

My MSc thesis explored the impact of grazing on floral diversity in high altitude mountains in St. Katherine, South Sinai, Egypt. This gave me the opportunity to work with the Bedouins, a nomadic Middle Eastern people who have an extensive knowledge of the uses of most local plant species. My current job as conservation officer for the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve has continued to enhance my abilities in managing conservation areas. I am responsible for planning, controlling, developing and regularly monitoring the conservation practices and ecological aspects of the reserve. I believe my professional skills have been widely improved after 12 years of fieldwork and research which has included habitat and species surveys, plant identification and the preparation of management plans.

“By attending GESA I will be able to deepen my understanding of the human dimensions of global environmental change and apply what I learn back in my home country.”