Thanks to the diligence of Wetlands International Africa, who won a tender, Senegal will finally have a national policy for the management of its wetlands (PNZH), 40 years after the country signed the Ramsar Convention (in 1971). The national workshop to launch the development of this process was held on Friday, October 4th, 2013 in Dakar, under the aegis of the Senegalese Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Mor Ngom, who promised the state support to help promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands in Senegal.
Speaking at the official launching ceremony, Minister Mor Ngom said that the adoption of a national wetlands policy (PNZH), will help to face many challenges that Senegal regularly encounters in the sustainable management of these areas, which are often subject to land grabbing. According to Minister Mor Ngom, the ongoing process is a step forward towards the enforcement of the Ramsar (Iran 1971) Convention in its Resolution VII.7, referring to "Guidelines for reviewing laws and institutions to promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands." Listen to Mor Ngom
Ibrahima Thiam, the Regional Director of Wetlands International Africa said it is important to quickly correct the lack of status for certain wetlands as well as put an end to problems of coherence in the legal and institutional framework. The same goes for the need to end technical hitches in the enforcement of regulations as a mean to end conflicts of interest between conservation efforts and production that regularly arise against the growing demand for residential land, the requirements for food security and land pressure and its repercussions.
Therefore, said Mr. Thiam, “the thematic studies prior to the process of PNZH have identified problems related to legal and institutional framework as well as other important aspects such as land use, urbanization, health, green economy, biofuels ... All these themes will help to ensure that from now on, Senegal takes into account the unavoidable link between infrastructure development and the living environment.
At the end of the process, the national wetlands policy of Senegal will consist of elements that will lay the basis for strategic direction in sustainable management of wetlands, but also operational action plans in each eco geographical area. It will be a consensual framework for monitoring and evaluation of all issues on sustainable management of wetlands.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81