Wiki Loves Earth 2015 expedition to Batna Province

Reda Kerbouche| by Reda Kerbouche

It’s always a pleasure to know that your initiative is a triger to another one. Today we want to tell you a story from Algeria about expedition to Belezma National Park.

Algeria participated in WLE for the second time. As a part of preparation for WLE 2015 Reda Kerbouche co-organiser of Wiki Loves Earth Algeria decided to organise expedition.

Wiki Loves Earth: Before you will start you story about your expedition, I want to ask you about WLE. How did you find out about the contest and why do you want Algeria to be a part of it?

Reda Kerbouche: I learned about it in 2014 from my colleague of Algerian User Group, who suggested me to try this competition out in our country. Algeria became a part of this contests, because the nature is magical, there you can find sea, snow, sand, mountains and so on.

WLE: Besides the fact that after the contest we have a new portion of photos for Wikipedia articles, we are presenting Wiki Loves Earth in two ways: in terms of environment protection and prestige of the country. When mentioning Algeria, which one is the most important and why?

RK: Both are, because the nature needs to be saved everywhere, and prestige of Algeria, need to be showed, as you can see Algeria is very beautiful, but it is not known by the people.

Wiki Loves Earth 2015 expedition to Batna Province| by Reda Kerbouche

WLE: You are a co-organizer of the contest in Morocco and Algeria, so talking to you is a unique opportunity to ask you and compare stages of preparation for WLE and the attitude to natural heritage in these countries. What is the difference between them?

RK: Competition in Algeria has its own audience, we tried to make it widely known in 2014. In Morocco we are working on it, but I am sure everything will be done in the same spirit. Concerning the nature, I believe Morocco and Algeria stay in the same lavel and the general situation could be bette, but there are activist who eager to provide changes.

WLE: Right now you live and study in Russia. In cooperation with Ukrainian part of Wikimedia Foundation they founded Wiki Loves Earth. What can you say about Russian landscapes and natural heritage? What impressed you the most?

RK: To be honest, I was in only 3 cities of Russia and there was little was of its nature. But from the photos of nature I saw from Russia, I was the most impressed by Lake Baikal, forests of Siberia and Caucasus mountains.

WLE: Ok, going back to your expedition to the Belezma National Park, tell us more about the place and why did you choose it?

Time lapse of Belezma National Park 1 | by Reda Kerbouche

RK: I chose this place because I lived in the city of Batna, which is next to this park. It has trees and nature unusual for Africa, which are mainly found in the north of Europe.

Note: The Belezma National Park (Arabic:الحظيرة الوطنية بلزمة) is one of the most important national parks of Algeria. It is located in Batna Province on the slopes of the Belezma Range, a subrange of the Aurès Mountains.

Created in 1984, it stretches over an area of 262.5 km², the climate ranges from a cool subhumid climate to a dry semi-arid climate, it contains 447 species of flora (14% of the national total) and 309 species of fauna, of which 59 are protected species.

The main summits of the range in the park area are 2,136 m high Djebel Tichaou and the 2,178 m high Djebel Refaâ, the highest peak of the Belezma Range.


WLE: Your initiative is completely new and extremely interesting. How did you promote it and what was the reaction?

RK: Mainly we have promoted the competition in social networks and online magazines. Many people pay attention to it, and take part in it and the result is wonderful.

Wiki Loves Earth 2015 expedition to Batna Province | by Reda Kerbouche

WLE: Tell us about preparation for the expedition? How many people took part in it? What was the most challenging thing?

RK: At first, I agreed it with our working group, and then I began to call people to come with me. Finding people was the hardest thing for me. I found 6 people, of which only 3 have come, and I want to say that the expedition was very interesting for everyone.

Wiki Loves Earth 2015 expedition to Batna Province| by Reda Kerbouche

WLE: What advise can you give to those of our readers, who will be inspired by your story? What kind of tips could you give them?

RK: I would advise everyone to do these kind of activities, even if a few people join you. Nature is life, and you always get pleasure from these trips with your friends and joy from the photos you make on cameras.

Wiki Loves Earth 2015 expedition to Batna Province| by Reda Kerbouche

WLE: And the last question: what are your expectations from WLE 2015?

RK: I know that it will be even more interesting than it was last year, as other countries have joined in, and I am always interested to see new places, and I am not the only one indeed.

All photographs in this post are published by their authors under CC BY-SA 4.0. Click the photos for details.

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