After Mr. Mor Ngom, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, has launched the National workshop, last October 4th in Dakar, Wetlands International Africa (WIA), the organization that is spearheading the development of a National Policy Management of wetlands in Senegal (PNZH), just completed nearly a one month nationwide inside country tour, with the Department of National Parks (DPN) for information sharing and document review. The process was interactive and participatory.
The process to develop a National Policy for the Management of Wetlands in Senegal (PNZH) started on October 1st 2013 in Louga and ended on October 30th in Kaolack. For about four weeks, Wetlands International Africa (WIA), as the NGO being entrusted by the State of Senegal to carry out the process, together with the Department of National Parks (DPN) which made to order the study, visited 06 eco-geographical zones in the country. Zonal consultations were held and attended by various stakeholders. ''The purpose of these forums was to go as far as grassroots level to make an exhaustive inventory of the characterized wetlands, to define the purpose of wetlands and identify constraints. This will help to reconcile conservation activities with production in wetlands'' says Pape Mawade Wade, Programs Coordinator of WIA who is managing the PNZH development process.
Six (06) zonal workshops were organized. The first one targeted the Ferlo zone which comprises the regions of Louga, Diourbel and the Department of Ranérou Ferlo (Matam Region) at Regional Council hall of Louga. This was followed by the Great Niayes zone in a workshop held at the Forestry Centre in Thies for the regions of Dakar and Thies. After that, it was the turn of the Delta and the Senegal River Valley, in a workshop held in the Prefecture of Saint-Louis for Matam and Saint Louis.
The second phase of the development of the National Policy on Wetland Management process took place in the southern, eastern and central Senegal. “Aubert” hotel in Ziguinchor hosted zonal consultations for Casamance and Anambé Basin where stakeholders from Ziguinchor, Kolda and Sédhiou participated. The zonal workshop brought together, in Senegal Oriental’s “Niji” hotel, actors from Kédougou and Tambacounda regions. Finally, the Saloum Delta and Petite Cote Zone had their workshop at hotel “Le Relais” de Kaolack for Fatick, Kaolack and the Department of Mbour.
Following these gatherings,''five-year action plans came out nationwide from each targeted area and zonal follow-up committees were created between different areas to support the policy. All findings will be restituted and validated by stakeholders at national and local level. The Policy Document should be ready in December'' according to Commander Abdou Salam Kane, head of the DPN wetlands division.
The whole process was interactive and participatory to bring grassroots actors to take ownership of the forthcoming National Wetlands Policy.
At the end, Senegal, in accordance with its international commitments, will have for the first time, a PNZH as well as other African countries.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81