As part of the Mangrove Platform introduced in March by the District Council of this area with the technical and financial support of Wetlands International, these two institutions have signed Friday, December 4th, 2015 a Partnership agreement for a better management of the Biosphere Reserve of the Saloum Delta (RBDS).
The signed agreement between the Foundiougne District Council (Central West Senegal) with Wetlands International is part of a territorial approach of participatory and inclusive management of the mangrove in the reserve. It is a first step towards a consultation of stakeholders and a prospective sharing of participatory management of mangrove initiatives.
''The Platform is a framework to channel and harmonize interventions in the field of the environment for sustainable development. This platform will be a catalyst. It will enable the council to have a roadmap and seek funding. The end goal is not only to reforest mangrove areas, but also to rehabilitate them and think about avenues related to mangrove resource development including fishing, oyster farming, beekeeping mangrove among other goods and services offered by the ecosystems. This platform will be a gateway for all stakeholders willing to help the department of Foundiougne. The priorities are clear. The potential of the community are enormous, '' said Mr. Papa Mawade Wade, Program Coordinator Wetlands International Africa who signed the document sealing this partnership with the local community on behalf of Mr. Ibrahima Thiam, Africa Regional Director Wetlands International.
For his part, the Chairman of Foundiougne District Council expressed his satisfaction with the signing of this agreement. '' Our district lacks revenue base means. It is certainly a new administrative entity, but we are fighting night and day to boost grassroots development base initiatives. With this signing, you have granted us two gifts. The first one is linked to the agreement that we have signed as it gives hopes in terms of biodiversity conservation benefits. The other one is related to the mangrove platform that we can use to link with partners'' said Mr. Moustapha Mbaye as he praised the role of Wetlands International for making many achievements possible in the Saloum Delta area. '' What you can bring to us is enormous. As matter of fact, there is talk about eventual offshore oil exploitation in Sangomar. Much has been said but we have to open our doors although we have fear that our interests may not be preserved. But with your proven expertise, we extend our hand to you as our partners in this fight to protect our environment and make sure that it is benefiting everyone, '' he argued.
With this agreement, the area has established with support from Wetlands International, a short, medium and long term action plan called '' Departmental Development Fund ‘‘ that will be implemented by the County Council to raise funds for the implementation of the plan. It is primarily funded by local authorities and partners who conceived the platform. Wetlands International has released a budget of 10 million CFA francs of which 3.5 million is meant for stakeholders activities in the nine mangrove bordering Area councils, 2 million to support the mission of education and awareness of actors in the Association of Journalists Friends of Mangrove (AJAM) created in April and 1 million for the operation of the mangrove platform.
In addition, the county council and Wetlands International Africa will be looking for funding for (resource development) projects and programs that favor conservation of ecosystems in relation with local communities.
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81