Aerial survey of African continent completed, results eagerly awaited
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
August 22, 2005
Sun setting over African countryside
Dr. Michael Fay, a world-renowned conservationist and explorer famous for his 15-month, 2,000 mile walk through Central Africa’s forests, will offer the first report on his latest expedition at the upcoming 8th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), convening from September 30 October 6, 2005 in Anchorage, Alaska.
Fay’s recent expedition took him by light aircraft across the entire African continent. Known as the “MegaFlyover,” the yearlong survey took him through close to 50 countries and covered 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers). From his vintage 1960’s-era Cessna, Fay snapped digital photos every 20 seconds. He landed in places rarely seen by humans, and his survey will help set conservation priorities for decades to come. The “MegaFlyover” was sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and National Geographic Society.
Fay gained world renown for his “Megatransect” through Central Africa’s rainforests. Over the course of his trek, Fay and his team documented the region’s dense forests, rich biodiversity, and remote villages. Fay’s efforts raised awareness on the state of African forests and led to the creation of a national park system in Gabon.
Dr. Fay will issue his first public report about his Mega-Flyover at the World Wilderness Congress, a public forum expected to attract more than 1,000 conservationists and experts from 55 countries. Beyond Fay’s report, at least two significant announcements are expected to be made at the Congress regarding the creation of new wilderness areas. Although more than 100,000 protected areas and/or wilderness areas already exist globally, this unprecedented announcement may spark an entirely new way of protecting land in the Americas. The announcements, which have a strong Texas and Latin American angle, will be made on Saturday, October 1.
Journalists interested in registering for the Congress should send an e-mail to media -AT- 8wwc.org. More information about the Congress is available at www.8wwc.org. Journalists may also contact Brad -AT- PhillipsMediaRelations.com.
This article is adapted from an International Wilderness Leadership (WILD) Foundation Release. For more information visit wild.org.