As part of the Ecosystem Alliance program, Wetlands International has just completed a series of training sessions for new local governments’ representatives of the regions of Saint-Louis (North) and Fatick (center) of Senegal. It focused on the ecosystem approach, the approach to climate change adaptation and conservation techniques for land and soil for their integration in future Communal Investment Plans (CIP). Councilors from Ndiayène Pendao and Ndièbène Gandiole (St. Louis) as well as those from the municipalities of Toubacouta (Fatick) were the beneficiaries.
New councilors in burghs of Ndiayène Pendao and Ndièbène Gandiole, Saint-Louis region (North) and Toubacouta, in Fatick region (center) of Senegal, have just benefited a training on strengthening capacities on the ecosystem approach, adaptation to climate change and the fight against erosion techniques from Wetlands International.
The subject matter of the ecosystem approach was centered around an ''integrated management strategy of water land and living resources that promotes conservation and equitable sustainable use‘', as a participatory and holistic approach that involves all users and beneficiaries ecosystems and ecosystem services.
On the issue of adaptation, the example of the National Action Plan for Adaptation (NAPA) to climate change in Senegal was presented to serve as a working basis. The development of village woods and community nurseries, the battle against land salinization, training, among other aspects were discussed. The program developed by Wetlands International and Senegal’s Civil Forum is in line with the recommendations from activities designed to develop community nurseries that are currently being conducted in all these mentioned municipalities.
The problem of erosion in all its forms (wind and water) was also at the center of the debate. Erosion is manifested by '’detachment and transport of soil particle, from its original location by various agents, into its new place of deposit.''
In Ndiayène Pendao, this phenomenon is characterized by the silting up of rivers and roads and can be curbed by techniques of conservation of land and soil: Soil Protection and Restoration (DRS) and Conservation of Water and Soil (ETUC).
Following the training sessions, a select committee has been set up in all three (3) municipalities to think about writing a technical roadmap. The purpose is to commit each municipality on the inclusion of these ecosystem approaches in future Communal Investment Plans (CIP) and the monitoring of the activities included in the action plans.
Recommendations were also made. They include the establishment of village and community nurseries, deferred grazing of areas with adapted species (1 ha / year / village) battle against wandering livestock and assisted natural regeneration (ANR) as well as ending the excessive wood cutting and bush fires.
In addition, the workshops recommend that prevention activities through communication and firewall, the establishment of monitoring committees for MED and RNA among others as well as fixing sand dunes and the fight against wind erosion be integrated in the approach.
The erection of an inter-City Hall between Toubacouta and Karang is envisaged in the future. This could be extended to municipalities of Sokone (the oldest in the area) and Diossong for the establishment of the platform for the preservation of the ecosystem of a mangrove.
All newly elected local officials thanked Wetlands International and the Civil Forum for holding these capacities building programs after two other sessions held there two years ago by former Wetlands International teams.