Directors of parks and reserves from Mauritania, Senegal and Russia have signed an agreement that commits them to work together for a sustainable management of migratory waterbirds and their critical sites along the East AtlanticFlyway. This agreement is a result of activities of Wetlands International through its Arcadia Foundation funded "From the Arctic to Africa" initiative. The signing of the tripartite agreement that formalizes this willingness to work together, took place during an exchange visit that brought representatives of the Senegal River delta (Mauritania and Senegal) in Arctic Russia.
During the visit in Naryan-Mar (Region Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug) in Russia, Mr. Daf Daf Sehla, Director of Diawling Mauritania National Park and his colleague Ibrahima Diop of Senegal's Djoudj National Park have joined Mr. Stanislav Zolotoy, Director of the Natural State Reserve Nenetsky to sign the Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the commitment to collaboration between the three parks and reserves in their respective countries. The signing took place in Naryan on Tuesday, June 9th, 2014, uin ceremony chaired by His Excellency the Governor of the Region of Nenetsky Autonomous Okrug, Igor Koshin, and officials from Wetlands International.
This ceremony was the peak of the exchange visit which mainly allowed members of the African delegation from Diawling and Djoudj to visit a few key areas of the Nenetsky reserve which is one of the most important reproduction lands for migratory birds along the East Atlantic flyway. The visit took place on three islands which play host for the birds during their breeding season. This was a moment for African managers to observe certain common species of migratory birds and their characteristic features in breeding season.
The working session in "Okhot Control Center" in Moscow, the visit to the Nenetsky museum of Natural History and discussions with officials of the Cultural Centre and Tourist Nenetsky, were all beneficial on many levels.
Discussions in "Okhot Control Center” allowed sharing of information on the monitoring of birds in the deltas of the Pechora and the Senegal River as well as the management of bird hunting in these areas. The guided visit to the Nenetsky museum of Natural History was an opportunity for visitors to learn much more about the natural wealth of the region and its ethnographic history. Finally, the debates at the Nenetsky Cultural and Tourist Centre have highlighted the importance of taking into account ecotourism and the development of common ideas for interventions in the framework of the action plan that will be implemented from the agreement.
"From the Arctic to Africa" project
The exchange visit and the signing of the agreement are part of the activities of our project ''From the Arctic to Africa'' which aims to protect and a better conservation of waterbirds and their critical habitats along the East Atlantic flyway. In February 2014, a delegation of three Russians visited Djoudj National Park in Senegal to learn more about the management of migratory birds and habitats at this transit and rest site at the delta of the Senegal River. This visit in February 2014, among others, brought about the idea of cooperation which is embodied by the last trip to Russia.
The return visit by the Senegalese and Mauritanian managers in Russia in early June 2014, allowed them to have a new expertise on polar habitats that serve as breeding site to "their birds" and also emphasized the need to work together for their management.
Some details of the agreement
The objective of the agreement is to work together to support and contribute to:
- Sustainable Management of habitats of waterbirds;
- Monitoring and management of common migratory bird species for conservation along the East Atlantic flyway;
- Cooperation between countries along the key migratory route and the implementation of international conventions and regional partnerships;
- Joint research activities and sharing of knowledge and experiences on the conservation and management of natural resources.
- Development of ecotourism sites with positive impact on the livelihoods of local populations
To achieve these goals, the signatories of the Protocol agreed to:
- Facilitate exchange visits and transfer of knowledge between experts and site managers
- Exchange, evaluate and disseminate monitoring data collected on migratory birds
- Seek and establish partnerships with national, regional and international organizations to promote and enhance the conservation of migratory birds
- Explore and develop a sustainable funding mechanism to support the activities of the agreement’s implementation
For more information:
See the Memorandum of Understanding
Article on the visit and the signing of the Protocol: HQ website
Articles on exchange visit to Senegal: Africa website
Gabin Agblonon, Wetlands International Africa